A beautifully wrought modern fairy tale from master storyteller and award-winning American author NaRead Review
Boys of blood and bone
Henry Lyon, in a borrowed Volvo station wagon, is driving up to the south coast of New South Wales.
The paths of their lives are about to cross.
From this award-winning and best-selling author comes a story of two young men. As Andy and his mates head inexorably towards the bloody, torturous Western Front, Henry and his mates face challenges, dangerous situations and tragedies of their own.
Boys of blood and bone by David Metzenthen tells the stories of two young Australians: Andy Lansell who fought in world war one and Henry Lyon, an eighteen year old who becomes involved in the legacy of Lansell. The sections of the narrative that detail Lansell's experiences of war are very entertaining and dramatic and tend to overshadow the rather bland descriptions of Henry's "coming of age" in contemporary Australia.
In addition to the noble Lansell and somewhat boring Lyon, the novel features an assortment of characters. The most significant secondary characters include Andy's mates Bob and Darcy and Henry's eventual love interest, Janine. Darcy and Bob are the standout characters and they provide plenty of laughs for the audience. Interestingly, the characters in the novel do not reflect the multicultural society of contemporary or historical Australia.
The story focuses heavily on the issue of war but at the same time it focuses on the nature of mateship in Australian culture. The story shows us that mateship is a close relationship of brotherly and sisterly love that can be used to help people move through tough times- which is a worthwhile message.
After reading the novel, a reader is left with a sense of the tragedy of war but at the same time is amde aware of the admirable contributions of Australians who have sacrificed themselves on battlefields.
Overall, the novel is an interesting read that has real moments of emotional impact.