Book Title: An Enemy Like Me
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Teri M. Brown
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: 24th January 2023
Number of Pages: 328
How does a man show his love – for country, for heritage, for family – during a war that sets the three at odds? What sets in motion the necessity to choose one over the other? How will this choice change everything and everyone he loves?
Jacob Miller, a first-generation American, grew up in New Berlin, a small German immigrant town in Ohio where he endured the Great Depression, met his wife, and started a family. Though his early years were not easy, Jacob believes he is headed toward his ‘happily ever after’ until a friend is sent to an internment camp for enemy combatants, and the war lands resolutely on his doorstep.
In An Enemy Like Me, Teri M. Brown uses the backdrop of World War II to show the angst experienced by Jacob, his wife, and his four-year-old son as he left for and fought in a war he did not create. She explores the concepts of xenophobia, intrafamily dynamics, and the recognition that war is not won and lost by nations, but by ordinary men and women and the families who support them.
Teri M. Brown returns with yet another outstanding work of historical fiction after making a successful debut with her first book, “Sunflowers Beneath the Snow.” An Enemy Like Me is a beautiful story about war, bravery, and love. The book shows deep appreciation for patriotism and the American military.
Jacob Miller is a first-generation American who grew up in a small German immigrant town known as New Berlin in Ohio. Although he lost his father at an early age, he and his mother survived the harsh years of the Great Depression. Despite the hard times, Jacob continues to make his way through life. He meets and marries the love of his life, welcomes a sweet baby boy, and even starts to build their dream home. For Jacob, everything is going great, and he believes he is on his way to his “happily ever after.” However, as World War II reaches its apex and the United States officially joins the fight, Jacob feels a powerful sense of duty and patriotism to join up and defend his beloved country. But his German heritage also serves as a quandary for Jacob, and he is left to grapple with a difficult internal conflict, a moral dilemma between love of his country and loyalty to his ancestry.
“Jacob the German American who chose his new homeland over his old one. Jacob who believed Germans were vicious and cruel…But he wouldn’t be able to explain the tears. How could he tell those who counted on him in battle that he wondered if the Germans were any more the enemy than they were?” [pg. 219]
The book goes back and forth between the past and present, and like her debut novel, this book also tells its story from different points of view—Jacob, Bonnie, and William. We get to know the thoughts and feelings of each family member interchangeably at different points in time. Ms. Brown was able to skillfully weave the story between different characters, generations, and times without confusing the reader with too much information all at once.
Riveting, and patriotic, An Enemy Like Me is an amazing work of historical fiction that presents a thought-provoking glimpse into the lives of the people on the frontlines of the war. It shows a new perspective on how the war affects the brave soldiers who enlist to serve their country, which is rarely seen in World War II-based novels.
“He looked around at the men who had become his brothers. Haggard men, streaked with dirt and unkempt hair, smiles that didn’t always reach their eyes. They had seen too much and lost too many.” [pg.221]
Yet again, I enjoyed another work by Teri M. Brown. I would rate this book four out of four stars. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a captivating story and is a fan of historical fiction.
*Thanks to the author for providing me with a free copy of this book in advance for review purposes.
One thought on “Book Review: An Enemy Like Me by Teri M. Brown”
Thank you so much for the amazing review!
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