Choices. Every war provides talented writers with the experience to convey to readers something similar and something different about the horror of battle. Kevin Powers displays his lyrical writing skill and thoughtful insight in a debut novel titled The Yellow Birds. Two young male protagonists, Bartle and Murphy, are developed just enough for readers to be engaged in the Iraq War and its aftermath. Powers does a fine job in exploring their choices, and the trauma they experience. Had this novel been twice as long, it would have been half as good. Powers’ poetic language describes the places and their experience with clarity and horror. If there’s one debut novel you’re likely to read in the next few months, make it this one.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
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