(The Wallie Chronicles – Book 1 of 3)
Review by Rox Burkey
W. J. Kreeger relates a touching biography of life, from birth to fifteen, just after the end of World War II. The circumstances from his birth place of Norway to his early life in Germany is explained in detail highlighting the lives of survivors and refuges in Germany. For you historians, you’ll find post WWII life fascinating as told by someone who lived it. Wallie, shuttled between different homes, parents, and even foster care, learns how to adjust to many different situations with curiosity and persistence. His foundational questions of life, family and faith are formed and reformed as he grows.
Living conditions in post-war Germany were challenging and filled with potential dangers. Each of the incidents were related in a blatant vividness, resulting in some chuckles as well as some desperate sadness. One such example was when he was in a Catholic Kindergarten and a school mate closed the lid of the toy box severing the end of his finger, known as the pinky incident.
“Mein Finger!” he screamed as blood was oozing from the clean cut across the fifth digit of his upheld left hand. Sister Karla had witnessed the incident and was on the scene in an instant. She raised the malevolent lid and retrieved the severed piece of fleshy tissue, placed it approximately where it belonged, then secured it with cellophane tape.”
Youngsters on their own and left to their own devices sometimes have accidents. Wallie was lucky in many ways that he had this experience as I suspect it provides the resiliency, he demonstrates today. Recollections of a child and the photographs to help emphasize the memories are certainly part of the charm of this book. I would recommend this to any young person who thinks they have it tough. A well-written story that explains history in realistic terms and reminds the reader to be grateful for what they have.
About the Author
W.J. Kreeger is an IT professional who has authored a myriad of technical publications. Since his retirement he has taken up non-technical writing as well; including poetry, short stories, and biographical works. SKAGERRAK is the first in The Wallie Chronicles trilogy.