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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Long Way Home from Crete is a work of fiction in the historical, military, and cross-cultural fiction subgenres. It is best suited to the adult reading audience and was penned by Isaac Kal. In this fascinating and socially relevant work of historical fiction, we explore the world through the eyes of father and son Abraham and Aaron in the time preceding, during, and after the Second World War. Based on a true story, we explore the life of an Israeli Royal Pioneer Corps member who enlists after escaping Germany in the 1930s, only to find that the pressures of global war put yet more strain on his family and relationships than he had ever thought possible.
Isaac Kal delivers a tribute to soldiers like Abraham from the 1930s through to the present. They were displaced from their homes and turned to a solid career in the army in an attempt to live a more stable life. This is balanced with the realistic and emotional struggles of his wife Genia, who was a standout character for me. She had a fighting spirit and a desire for hope and companionship that was powerfully relatable. Then along comes Aaron, born into a dangerous and difficult world on the precipice of destroying itself, which makes for a heartfelt narration and some cinematically described images of a lonely child in a broken world. The Long Way Home from Crete is a detailed and evocative read that relates personal, religious, cultural, and familial issues in a highly engaging, heart-breaking, and relevant way. I can’t recommend it highly enough.