I know when I have read an outstanding book by the fact that I cannot get the story or the characters out of my mind after having read it. “The Other Side of Courage” by Joe Matlock is such a book. This book is written about the American fliers and their counterparts in Britain during World War II. One pilot, Tom MacMillan is sent to England to fly against the Nazis because he is a scoundrel and one girl did not respect had family connections with his commanding officer. In reality, he is a coward. He doesn’t want to fight, is scared to death of going into battle. During one early sortie, he is hit by flak and is recuperating in the army hospital. His nurse is Molly Masterson, a wonderful girl who really does not want to be a nurse and who hates American fliers. Their relationship is a back and forth war-of-words until sparks fly between them. Her family is not enamored of Joe, but he and Molly love each other and have plans.
During wartime, one can never be sure of the future. This is true of Molly and Joe. She worries and frets when he flies his missions, and he just tries to do his job and get home to Molly. Joe is shot down and is helped by the resistance to get back to England. He is so anxious to see Molly, but fate has a different path for him.
I was so captivated by the writing of Joe Matlock. The characters really came to life for me and the descriptions of aerial combat kept me on the edge of my chair. Joe really goes through so many emotions and life changing experiences that it was hard to imagine anyone surviving all this. However, I’m sure that in war, especially a war like that the men who fight never come back the same person as they were before their war experiences. This book will join others in my personal library, not to be loaned or traded. Joe mentions in the back of this book that he is not a real author. I beg to differ. I think his writing is exciting, insightful, and compassionate. I look forward to reading his next work about Katinka Oostvogels, a Dutch girl and Commander Bob Corey, a survivor of Pearl Harbor and their adventures together in Joe’s next great saga.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Mr. Matlock for my honest review.