The Boat Runner by Devin Murphy
The Boat Runner is a heartfelt, harrowing and well-researched story about a boy named Jacob who comes of age just as his small Dutch town is plunged into the horrors of World War II. It’s very exciting—full of more action than any book I’ve read this year. The subject matter is dark, to be sure, because the story is about the destruction and devastation caused by World War II and the ways families were torn apart. Once the war gets going, Jacob spends much of the novel surrounded by death, with few recourses to relieve his suffering and few explanations as to who the real enemy is, since all sides bring grave violence upon the innocent Dutch. I held out hope that our hero Jacob would escape with his life and hopefully most of his sanity. The beautiful, sensitive writing about brutal and shocking events keeps you reading, in the same manner of some of the great books I’ve read about the war in Vietnam.