Smorgasbord Book reviews – #Afghanistan #ServiceDogs – Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg

Over the last week I have enjoyed reading Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg set in Afghanistan were families, troops serving their country and service dogs, face daily dangers.

About Silent Heroes

Silent Heroes’ is a highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.

*’Silent Heroes’ is the ideal read for the fans of ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘Dear John’!*

When Talibans descends in the village of Nauzad and discover girls can read, a woman accepts the blame and is killed on the spot for breaking the Islam law. Her teenage daughter witnesses the sacrifice and swears revenge, her life and that of her brother becoming intertwined with those of the US Marines serving at FOB Day nearby. But the Taliban is infiltrated everywhere and friends or foes are hard to differentiate.

The U.S. Marines fight with bravery to protect the civilians of Nauzad and to fend off the Taliban at Qala-e-Bost, thus protecting Bost Airport, a vital strategic point for the allies. Faced with questions about the necessity of the war, with the trauma of losing their platoon-mates and the emotional scars of battle, the US Marines race against time in one last battle of eradicating the Taliban before it is too late.

The War in Afghanistan is a contemporary, vitally important conflict whose meaning needs to be understood by the public worldwide. ‘Silent Heroes’ is a narrative about the value of life and the necessity of combat; the terror of dying; the ordeal of seeing your loved ones and your platoon-mates killed in front of your eyes; the trauma of taking a human life.

Read about very well trained MWDs, military working dogs, capable of detecting the smallest traces of explosives, working in the extreme weather condition environments, under the stressful battlefield situations that is the War in Afghanistan.

Smart and agile, at the end of the day what these dogs are looking forward to is the close bond they developed with their handlers, which call themselves the dog’s partners, brothers, daddies.

From the storyteller of the Bestseller “Joyful Trouble” comes a riveting, fictional account inspired by the War in Afghanistan, a battle that spanned centuries and has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

“Light, knowledge, they bring the courage to look at the people around us, accepting them for what they are.”

“Do you ever think that history speaks of victors and captors, of battles and soldiers whose lives have been lost and history even counts them, but of the casualties on the civilian side?”

“When soldiers grieve, time takes a screenshot and a new star rises in the sky.”

My review for the book – Life in a war torn country.

As much as this novel is about Afghanistan and the centuries old conflicts in the region, it is about the people.  The local villagers who face the day to day challenge to grow food when all the arable land is taken by the Taliban to grow the lucrative poppy. The constant fear that armed men will descend on your community and kill indiscriminately to enforce a barbaric regime that devastates families. And the terror of IEDs that are constantly being laid across land next to your homes that murder and maim young and old alike.

One family in particular witnesses the cruelty of this enforced existence, when their mother is murdered, and a young boy and teenage girl find their lives entwined with the soldiers whose remit is to protect the villagers and to fight and remove the threats from the Taliban.

Enter another family formed by the men and their highly trained dogs at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Day. Under the leadership of the enigmatic Captain Marcos, these men and their canine companions sweep the ground around the villages to remove the IEDs repeatedly planted by the insurgents. They also undertake operations within their territory to find and attack the bands of rebels threatening both the villagers and the occupying forces.

The author does a very good job in engaging us with the cast of this tragedy that has been playing out for hundreds of years, and introduces us to the key elements of the history of the region that brings us to the present day conflict. Tribal dynamics, religious intolerance and foreign intervention all have their part to play. But at the end of the day it is those who have little say in the matter who are affected the most.

There is danger, loss and great courage shown by the young men within the unit at FOB Day and those who come to their aid, such as combat medics. We end up with a better understanding of the role of the dogs who loyally face the risks of bomb clearance daily because of their love of their handlers. We also gain an appreciation of the impact of this role on both dog and man as they are wounded physically and mentally.

We also witness the stoic tenacity of the local people to carry on with their daily lives, the courage and determination of two young people to try to bring justice and retribution to those who have devastated their family, and the sacrifice that is made by men and women who reject the tyranny.

War and its tragedy is not light reading, but Patricia Furstenberg does offer some moments that show how even when oppressed, people will find a way to create a garden of beauty and sustenance, and that the spirit of defiance and courage will find a way to flourish.

I recommend that if you are unfamiliar with why and how the young men and women of our armies are involved in this conflict, that you read Silent Heroes. It is a way to honour their service, that of their canine brothers-in-arms, and the bravery of the Afghanistan population, trying to exist in a country torn apart by devastating conflict.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

A small selection of other books by Patricia Furstenberg

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Patricia on Goodreads:

About Patricia

Patricia Furstenberg is a multi-genre author, poetess and mother. With a medical degree behind her, Patricia is passionate about history, art, dogs and the human mind. “Silent Heroes” is her 13th book and her first contemporary fiction novel. So far Patricia wrote historical fiction, poetry and children’s books. All her books have one common denominator, dogs.

What fuels her is her fascination with words and coffee. She is the author of the bestseller Joyful Trouble and a prolific writer working on her next novel already, a historical fiction. Will it feature a dog as well? Only tme will tell. Patricia lives happily with her husband, children and dogs in sunny South Africa.

Connect to Patricia.

Author Blog:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will also enjoy reading Silent Heroes as much as I did. Sally

41 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Book reviews – #Afghanistan #ServiceDogs – Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg

  1. Gosh, Sally, this is such a beautiful review, more than I ever imagined. Thank you so much!
    You captured the very soul and spirit of Silent Heroes and of the message I tried to covey by writing this book.
    It may come as a surprise that a non-combat woman wrote a book about war, but at the very core of any bloodshed are the innocent lives of those sucked into the battle. And the reverse is valid too. Warriors, no matter on which side they fight and how we coin them, have dreams and lives that cannot be paused, but dragged, like weights hanging on their backs, into the war.

    So, thank you for this post, Sally. I celebrate your love for books and your considerate spirit.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Fighting a war without end. It must feel hopeless to those on both sides of the battle. Beautiful review, Sally. MWD have a hard life. They’re often the first to enter danger zones with only their keen senses to protect them. I’m glad the military recognizes their valor and awards them for a job well done.
    Congrats to Patricia on writing a tough story ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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