When I said I needed to get to reading, I meant it! 🙂 Although this one was a quick read.
GoodReads Summary: “The war tried to kill us in the spring,” begins this breathtaking account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger.
Bound together since basic training when their tough-as-nails Sergeant ordered Bartle to watch over Murphy, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes impossible actions.
With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, THE YELLOW BIRDS is a groundbreaking novel about the costs of war that is destined to become a classic.
My Review: I immediately found Powers’s prose both powerful and insightful. It took me a while to get used to the back-and-forth of the narrative (it fluctuates between Bartle’s experiences in Al Tafar and his readjustment to life in America after the war), it definitely came together and I was gripped at the end. It’s a difficult read– Powers does not hold back on description of the horrific nature of war– but an important one. I first heard about this book when our librarian recommended it to my students. I am not sure I would recommend this to all young adults, but there are some certain mature readers who would gain a lot from reading The Yellow Birds.