And Come to Dust
by Drew Bacigalupa
A love story set in the final months of World War II. Against the backdrop of bombed, skeletal towns and cities within Germany, American GIs battle not only the tenacious enemy but personal demons, despair and the descent into madness. Defying military regulations which prohibit fraternization, Drake woos and wins fraulein Klara, a deserter from the Wehrmacht. Drake's comrade-in-arms Trapani, an American soldier of Italian/Jewish origin, struggles with his friend’s embrace of a German girl, and with his own dilemma of racial identity and Nazi atrocities. The destines of these three very young people are irrevocably—shockingly—determined amid the ravaged ruins of a Rhineland city during the final days of the war. Moving between military sites in Belgium and Germany, the story introduces many of Drake’s and Trapani’s comrades—most in their late teens or early twenties—from their anti-aircraft battalion. It is a tale of Boys at War, and of the grievous psychic wounds which force them to become Men or destroy them. The author completed this book in 1950 while a veteran with fresh memories of the war in Europe.
About Drew Bacigalupa
Artist/Writer, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Graduate Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore; post-graduate work L'Accademia di Belli Arti, Florence, Italy. Married, 5 children. Extensive travels, work and study abroad, paintings and sculpture private collections, public installations USA and Italy. Published works include novels, children's books, collections of essays and short stories, newspaper columns and features.
“… the book is, by now, virtually an historical novel. It could not have been written by anyone who has not experienced the intensity of feeling that comes with sharing bunks and combat with a wartime buddy, and the collapse of that feeling when combat is over. Bacigalupa has humanized the enemy by having Drake form a meaningful relationship with a gal from the Wehrmach when such relationships were forbidden by military law, that shared sensitivities could be found.”
Joachim Oppenheimer, M.D.,
author Take Your Brother By The Hand
"I've read a few stories of war, enough to have a grasp on the human situation during wartime. Although, none of the books I have read have garnered my sympathies as much as this one. It's a love story, a story of camaraderie, and a tragedy all in one. This is the story of Drake, a young American soldier, who, against strict anti-fraternization order, falls in love with a German named Klara. It's more than a love story, though. It's a glimpse into the psyche of the soldier at war. As a veteran of war, Mr. Bacigalupa has first hand accounts of what war is like, and the state of mind of the soldier after one's been in hell for too long.
While there is not a lot of action to this book—it's uncanny when you think about it, a book about war with little action—there's a lot of emotion. My grandfather was a veteran of World War II. He fought in the Pacific, and although he told me a few stories, he never told me what it truly was like. This book showed me the ins and outs of occupying a village, the boredom, the loneliness, the way the trauma of the bloodshed a soldier had already seen could eat away at his sanity. All of this could only be accomplished by someone who had truly been there and experienced it.
Simply written, it's simply great. If there's anything that I did not like about this book, it would be the end. I wanted more. Please tell me there is more somewhere. And if not, Mr. Bacigalupa, get writing!"
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 30 January, 2014.