Oh wow. This NY Times feature of Laura Hillenbrand had moved her up my list of authors to read. And then, when my Audible trial was running out, I had one unspent credit and chose the longest possible audiobook to maximize my investment. I CHOSE WISELY. Edward Herrman (Rory’s grandfather!) read this book, and I don’t think it could have been more wonderful. The mixture of storytelling and voice was so compelling, which helped to temper the horrifying details of the story.
Ummm…thoughts about the story? It was tough to hear. I can’t imagine what it was like to live. War is terrible. Humans are both incredible and terrifying. It reminded me of this observation from C.S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory:
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which,if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”