The Boat Runner

Devin Murphy. Harper Perennial, $15.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-265801-2
Inspired by his own family connection to the Dutch experience of Nazi occupation during World War II, Murphy’s debut novel is a stellar account of wartime sacrifice, loss, and suspense. Beginning in 1939, this is the story of 14-year-old Jacob Koopman, son of a successful businessman, as he grows to manhood through six years of war. Jacob’s father courts German contracts, even sending his two sons to a Hitler Youth camp to curry favor with the Nazis. When war comes to Holland in 1940, Jacob’s life is disrupted. His family is destroyed, and only his Uncle Martin lives. Martin is scorned as a Nazi collaborator, but the truth, which Jacob knows, is more complex. However, Jacob is confused and conflicted—he blames the British for his mother’s death, eventually joining the German navy for revenge. As a decorated naval hero, Jacob is disgusted by being used as a propaganda tool and finally decides he has had enough of war. Jacob’s final salvation is satisfying and inspiring. As one character says, “It’s the incidents we can’t control that make us who we are.” (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/10/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-06-265801-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-5396-4
Prebound-Glued - 384 pages - 978-0-606-40809-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-5394-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-279080-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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