“MORE, MORE, MORE!” – Second (RAVE) Review of “No Greater Love” by Justin Sheedy
“No Greater Love” by Justin Sheedy – Review by Marc H. Stevens, Ontario, Canada
Australian novelist Justin Sheedy’s latest book, ‘No Greater Love’, has just crossed my desk. Finally. Having read the first two books of the trilogy (‘Nor The Years Condemn’ and ‘Ghosts Of The Empire’), I can honestly say that I was already hooked on Justin’s smooth writing style, and was eagerly awaiting his latest.
And this newest work fits right in, using similar characters, with even a bit of cross-pollination between the stories. Yes, Sheedy’s books introduce you to everyday men, mainly from poor, hard, working-class Australian neighbourhoods. But what is special about these people (hardly men, really, as the eldest of them is barely 23 years old) is that they belong in non-fiction books like Tom Brokaw’s chef d’oeuvre ‘The Greatest Generation’. They are truly willing to give their all, their todays, to ensure everyone else’s tomorrows.
Once again, the depth of research is evident to students of history. The names have been changed, but not by much. Senior Air Force commanders, good and bad, show up in several scenes, and we cheer for “Dowling” and “Sparx”, while booing “Lee-Halloran” and “Shilo Burgess”. Sheedy’s intricate plots weave their way through battlefields in Europe and North Africa, and end up straight into your guts, ripping them to shreds.
As I have written before, Sheedy’s characters become family; we want them to thrive amidst the horrors of war. And yet, knowing in advance that the odds are stacked to impossible heights against them, they pull through, time and time again. Until they don’t. And we cry for them.
While becoming well-known in his native land, Justin Sheedy’s work deserves much wider and greater recognition than it has yet received. His finely-crafted sentences remind the reader of an Old Master’s canvas. His delicate word-strokes add to the beauty of simple scenes, like an Italian prisoner-of-war cooking a plate of spaghetti for his erstwhile Australian captor, whom he grows to love like a brother.
That immense talent, along with the author’s ability to invest the reader emotionally, deeply into his stories, means that this book, and in fact all of Sheedy’s work, should be studied in schools today. Not just as an excellent source of history (which they are), but as beautiful creative writing.
In short, this book is Justin Sheedy’s own finest hour, and it leaves us begging, “More, more more!”
“No Greater Love” plus all titles in the trilogy available NOW for UK readers in ebook & print-on-demand paperback format from Waterstones Online, also Amazon UK, for U.S. readers via Amazon and Barnes & Noble, for Australian readers on Dymocks bookstore shelves and online, Gleebooks, Abbeys Books, Readings Carlton, Berkelouw Books Leichhardt, and via all good bookstores. Also internationally available via The Book Depository with FREE SHIPPING.
ALL REVIEWS OF “NO GREATER LOVE” HERE.