Dublin, September 1914. Nineteen-year-old Kevin Flynn hates his job, which he finds dull and boring. Along with a group of his friends, and desperate to impress the girls, he enlists in the Army keen not to miss the adventure of a lifetime, fighting in a war which will be over by Christmas. He joins the 9th Battalion, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, nicknamed “The Lambs”. However, confronted by the vagaries of army life and the realities of trench warfare, Kevin finds not only his courage tested, but also his loyalty, with Irish Republicanism challenging the status quo, demanding an independent Ireland. The novel culminates in the attack on Ginchy at the Battle of the Somme in September 1916.
While a work of fiction, the book is rooted in fact, actual historical events based on records relating to the 9th Battalion. It is highly readable; the author brings alive the harsh realities of life in the trenches, which are effectively portrayed in a vivid, unsentimental way without being graphic or overstated. The battle scenes are exciting and plausible. This is history brought alive. More please! Recommended.