By Richard Whitten Barnes

It is November 11, 1968, fifty years to the day since the armistice of the Great War.. The seventy year old German diplomat Jurgen Stern is in Ottawa, Canada on a special assignment. He rescues a portfolio mistakenly left behind in his hotel lobby by a man near his own age. Inside are drawings that are obviously from a soldier’s perspective of WW1. One of the sketches is so intriguing he is compelled to find this man and learn the truth about it.

The story reverts back to 1916 when Brian MacLennan, a farm boy from northern Ontario joins the Canadian Expeditionary Force. At the same time, young Jurgen Stern has been conscripted by the Imperial German Army. Their experiences in that brutal war are followed until they become entangled in a way that will take fifty years to unravel. The two men face the consequences of those events a half century in the past and must put them right.

What They Are Saying About Enemies

A wonderfully worthwhile read! Barnes induces deep and meaningful understanding of human nature in this well documented history from World War 1. The utterly absorbing tale delves deep into the hearts and minds of men of the trenches on both sides of the Siegfried Line as it wavers back and forth under oft-times inept leadership, at a dreadful cost of human life. He paints indelible mind pictures of men under pressure both physically and emotionally. This heady insight into the tribulations of the time brings us characters we understand as if kin.

A worthy piece of work in every aspect of tale telling.

Kev Richardson

historian, novelist, biographer