A Soldier's Quartet


Fiction - Military
227 Pages
Reviewed on 10/29/2021
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

A Soldier's Quartet is a work of fiction in the historical, contemporary, and interpersonal drama subgenres, and was penned by author Colin Baldwin. We find ourselves with protagonist Conrad Bentley, a retiree who happens upon an old letter from World War 1. In a novel inspired by true events, we follow Conrad's journey from discovering the story of a German father who lost his son to the war, to tracing the letter's source and expanding on it to discover a whole series of emotional dramas taking place on the Western Front. The story comes full circle as the discoveries encourage Conrad to reflect on his own life and heritage.

Author Colin Baldwin puts heart and soul into this excellent work of fiction, which delivers a slower-paced account of real people in tough times, shying away from the action-packed, glamorized version of World War 1 stories that popular media is inundated with. In a sensitive and understated narrative form, Baldwin conveys the difficulties of real people at the heart of a terrifying worldwide event. He makes some very poignant discoveries that link our past to our present and describes the resilience and terrifying, destructive nature of humanity. The ultimate word for this novel is respectful, as it is always clear that the author wants to honor those he writes about and deliver accuracy and empathy above all else. Overall, I would certainly recommend A Soldier's Quartet to wartime fiction fans looking for an elevated, contemplative read that smacks of truth and never sensationalizes the lives of others.

Pikasho Deka

A Soldier's Quartet by Colin Baldwin is a historical fiction novel following a group of interlinked characters affected by the events of World War I. Conrad Bentley is a member of a string quartet. When he comes across a letter written by the father of a World War I soldier describing his death surrounded by his three best friends, Conrad forms an irresistible sense of kinship with the young man and sets out to learn more about the circumstances of his death. Meanwhile, in 1914, Wolfgang Deppner and his best friends, known as ‘the quartet’, are enlisted in the German military in their fight against the Allied powers. The narrative follows a third faction of Tasmanian soldiers who join the Allied forces in World War I, one of them a first-generation German immigrant.

Author Colin Baldwin offers a fresh take on World War I through a group of loosely interlinked characters bound together by the events surrounding The Great War. Emotionally resonant and strikingly poignant, A Soldier's Quartet showcases the greater ramifications of war and how they impact people from all around the world generations later. The narrative is non-linear, switching between the three factions spread across a century and multiple continents. The scope of the story is vast, and the author perfectly encapsulates the broader aspects of the narrative. Conrad's determination to provide closure to the Deppner family is in stark contrast to Andrew's participation in a neo-Nazi rally in Australia. If you're a fan of historical fiction, check out A Soldier's Quartet.

Natalie Soine

A Soldier’s Quartet by Colin Baldwin tells the intriguing story of Conrad Bentley, a retiree who enjoys many activities including attending lectures, playing his violin with The Sage String Quartet, and bushwalking. Conrad comes across a letter written by a father to his son, Otto, in 1918. Otto is informed that his younger brother, Wolf Deppner, has been killed. Conrad becomes obsessed with this letter and investigates its background. Through his research, he receives a photo of Wolf Deppner with his two older brothers, Otto and Ernst, all three in uniform. A “Quartet” of long-time friends, Wolf Deppner, Felix Wittmann, Bruno Klug, and Erich Wiese all joined the military together. “Apart, they looked curiously awkward, but together, they were efficient and resourceful, a force to be reckoned with.” During one of the battles, a Tasmanian soldier named Frank Swinton crosses Otto’s path, which is the start of the beautiful story captured in this historical novel.

Reading A Soldier’s Quartet by Colin Baldwin is an absolutely wonderful experience. The author tells this unique story through a variety of characters from different backgrounds and the complex web of events that bring them together. Through sheer determination, Conrad brings families and friends into the fold, and as a team, they solve the puzzle of the soldiers in the photo and the letter. The vivid descriptions of battle scenes, towns, and villages help the reader to form mental pictures of landscapes and people throughout the story. A Soldier’s Quartet reminds us that, no matter what the circumstances, we can all show compassion and help our fellow man in times of need. We need each other to survive the trials and tribulations of life.