Herman Wouk called War and Remembrance a historical romance, a description that barely touches what’s packed into its 3.5 pounds and 1,039 pages.
Wouk picks up the story of an American naval family—Commander Victor “Pug” Henry, his wife, and their three adult children—whom he introduced seven years earlier in The Winds of War.
This novel follows them from the attack on Pearl Harbor through the end of World War II. Wouk uses their stories to transport readers into the wake of war around the globe.
Pug wins promotions, but spends most of his time trying to unsnarl problems abroad at the behest of Roosevelt.
Pug and Rhoda’s eldest son is killed in action, leaving behind a wife and son.
While son Byron serves on submarines in the Pacific, his Jewish wife and their infant son become trapped in Poland.
Rhoda takes a lover, considers divorce.
Pug falls in love; the war continually pulls Pug and Pamela in different directions.
Wouk says frankly his purpose is to show that war must end. He’s too talented a writer to need to preach: His stories preach for him.
To understand War and Remembrance you need not have read Winds but you’ll appreciate both more if you read them as a set.
War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk
Little, Brown, ©1978. 1042 p.
1978 bestseller #2. My grade: A+
©2018 Linda Gorton Aragoni