Plowman | Critical Book Review
Charles Bruckerhoff’s Plowman: Harvest of Grain and Innocence boldly navigates the intricate landscape of wartime legacies, childhood camaraderie, and the enduring strength of close-knit communities.
The Past Echoes: Journals as Time Capsules
In this historical novel, Stella Young and Hana Sanada, childhood friends, unearth the wartime journals of their great-grandfathers, spanning World War II and the Vietnam War. The narrative unfolds as they, alongside their English instructor and theater director, endeavor to compile these narratives into a poignant manuscript.
Strength in Unity: A Tapestry of Community
A central theme in Plowman revolves around the resilience of a united community. The narrative skillfully portrays the support networks at Stanton Academy for Humanity and Brother Blaine’s congregation, highlighting the realistic portrayal of grief and the unwavering community backing after a tragic event.
Illuminating Dark Chapters
The novel confronts historical dark moments, such as the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The Sanada family’s story, descendants of a samurai clan leader, unfolds amidst adversity. The author unflinchingly showcases their commitment to American ideals, a narrative choice that brings an often-overlooked aspect of history into sharp focus.
Questioning the Cost of War
Plowman raises thought-provoking questions about the true cost of war, emphasizing death tolls not only for American soldiers but for all involved parties. The narrative challenges readers to reflect on the past to avoid repeating mistakes in the future.
Unfinished Ambitions: Freedom and Democracy Revisited
As Stella and Hana transition to adulthood, their mission to create a manuscript takes an unexpected turn. The exploration of American freedom and democracy, viewed through a conservative, Christian-centric lens, leads them to question the legacy of America’s wartime involvement. The novel, however, takes a surprising and somewhat fantastical turn towards the conclusion.
Political Awakening: A Controversial Ending
The women’s foray into political action and their perspectives on contemporary leadership introduces a shift in tone. While the conclusion may resonate with some readers, it risks alienating others due to its departure from the earlier themes of inclusivity and community strength.
Plowman, commendable for its exploration of overlooked facets of American history, faces criticism for a conclusion that appears to dilute its central themes. The author skillfully introduces diverse characters, embodying powerful themes throughout, but the final narrative shift may leave certain readers feeling disconnected. Nevertheless, the novel’s commitment to addressing historical nuances deserves acknowledgment.
Publisher, Genre, Print Length, and ISBN
Charles Bruckerhoff’s Plowman: Harvest of Grain and Innocence boldly navigates the intricate landscape of wartime legacies, childhood camaraderie, and the enduring strength of close-knit communities. The Past Echoes: Journals as Time Capsules In this historical novel, Stella Young and Hana Sanada, childhood friends, unearth the wartime journals of their great-grandfathers, spanning World War II and…