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Reviews (by Author)

Reviews (by Title)


Author:  Jo Anne Allen

Title:  My Son Is A Marine

Publisher:  Echelon Press Publishing

Reviewer: W. H. McDonald, Jr. – AAA Founder

Moving, inspiring, compelling, mystical, spiritual and entertaining! Personally, it was one of the best reading experiences of the year for me. Author, and mother of an Iraq veteran, Jo Anne Allen writes from her heart and it shows in her memoir “My Son Is A Marine.”  It is a joy and a real pleasure to read something uplifting dealing with the Iraq War experience. Even though her book is filled with enough “Kleenex Moments” to make a great soap opera, she never loses her faith in life.

Her moving words about her son and his friends are touching and healing. This book would be good spiritual medicine for those with children in a war zone; or whose own lives have been challenged by having to carry some of life’s burdens. Jo Ann is not some simple minded “Pollyanna” but a faithful and very much human being, who is trying to cope and deal with her life under some extraordinary circumstances.

I found myself rooting for her and her family throughout the pages of this book. It is one of those stories that you are glued to as soon as you begin and must continue reading through to the end. I read it the first morning I got the book—I could not put it down until I was done with it.

This is not your normal “I got a son in the war story” by any measurement. It is something very special. I believe it will help bring people back to their own spiritual roots. It will change lives and make people different in a very positive way.

Reviewer: Rob Ballister

Hard to put down, impossible to forget!

Jo Anne Allen's MY SON IS A MARINE captures in riveting detail the author's personal struggle through every mother's nightmare; a child deployed to combat. Despite the sheer gravity of the situation, Jo Anne manages to fill her story with humor and an unshakeable faith while describing how she kept both her spirits and that of her deployed Marine high throughout his combat tour in Iraq. Through Allen's extraordinary writing talent, her children come alive to the reader, as well as her "other children" (AJ's friends, whom she practically adopts), and even the family dog is described in such simple yet warm detail that you expect her to come bounding into your room at any moment!

Allen draws her audience in early with a graphic account of a childhood near-death experience for her son AJ, and then another from his teenage years. Both of these events convince the reader that AJ must survive, because he has some higher purpose from God. Eventually it becomes clear that the purpose is going to Iraq, where AJ not only does his duty, but impacts the lives of so many of his fellow Marines as well.

My favorite part was all the little anecdotes relayed through the story, usually concerning AJ's childhood. They add such depth to the narrative flow of the book. And the stories of the Three Trees and the Cup Full of Sins are ones that I will carry around with me for a long time. This book is easy to read, easy to develop, hard to put down, and impossible to forget. It is a must read for parents of young deployed servicemembers, and also for anyone who has ever asked the Almighty "Why?"


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