THE EXPERTS WEIGH IN
"This is a wonderful novel. It is exciting, engaging, gut-wrenching, enjoyable, and sorrowful to read. I looked forward to continuing the story each time I picked it up again.
The best thing about it is that it brings to life what people were experiencing in the First World War. Like Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage, this novel gives us truths about being in war that you’ll never get from any history text. I could tell that the author had insights — from actually being in the cockpit of an FE2b — that I’ve never picked up in 25 years of studying WWI bombing campaigns."
"Seeking Courage by Gregory Smith brings to life the plight of a soldier during the Great War, one who moves from the trenches to take flight over them.
As an Aviator myself I can relate to the desire to slip the surly bonds of earth and take to the air over the grit and horrors faced by infantrymen on the ground. This story is more than a tale of one Aviator, it is the story of humanity and the choices we make.
Seeking Courage is a dynamic historical novel which describes in great detail the life of a young Canadian driven to defend democracy. Fighting on foreign soil he is inspired by love and compassion. This brings him to the realisation that he has the chance to pursue life to the fullest and the freedom to make his own choices.
At times, this novel is a painfully honest factoral portrayal of what life was like when the world was at war a hundred years ago. The first mechanised war was promoted to be over swiftly as a result of new killing technology and machines,but war dragged on; lives were interrupted, families destroyed, and empires ended. Gregory Smith ably demonstrates the changes in one man’s values and his growth through personal experience.
I am impressed with the way the subject matter has been handled, it is not overly technical nor ghoulishly morose; it is not bound up with politics or military minutia, rather it balances both the historical and technical details with a humane and honest portrayal of life at this time in history.
This biographical work is highly thorough yet refreshingly easy to read with the just the right mix of drama and detail."
"I recently finished reading “Seeking Courage”. It took me a few hours a day over a period of 4 successive days. As background, all of my recreational reading is technical so this was a very different focus and subject matter.
I found the letters a wonderful way of communicating very directly the emotions of the evolving relationships and situation. These, coupled with the sleepless nights and nightmares/dreams, painted a vivid mind picture for the reader of the horrors of the first highly mechanized war. It certainly made me think about how I would react in similar circumstances. The strange officers versus enlisted men’s class status which seems to exist in all the western military organizations surfaced enough to make a reader really think about the whole absurdity of military hierarchy.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in European historical novels, especially set in the early 1900s. It seems that the people and activities were set against an accurate geographic and historic backdrop so I think that anyone who makes it past the first pages, will finish the book and find real value in the detailed emotions and perspectives that are presented by the characters.
It seems that the author has to have experienced many of the high stress emotional issues to be able to write so eloquently and in depth about thought processes in trauma conditions. I was highly impressed with the structure, and the way in which the story unfolded kept my attention."
"I enjoyed reading the novel very much. For most of it, I had to set a timer to make sure I didn’t sit here for countless hours. I especially enjoyed the scenes of flying and the fliers’ lives. They were vivid, exciting and well-paced. The love scenes were tactfully handled and reflected well Lt. Pitman’s romantic nature."
"I was definitely drawn in at the beginning of the book… As someone who does not know a lot of WWI, I really found value in being transported to the front lines and understanding from the perspective of the protagonist the situations of war. I found value in learning new things that I didn't know previously. I thought that the use of imagery and personification was used very well throughout the story…I would recommend this book."