Everything We Had
a Novel of the Pacific Air War
November – December 1941
By Tom Burkhalter
A Book review by
JR Hafer, aviation writer
Author Tom Burkhalter has written a fine first historical fiction novel, titled Everything We Had: a novel of the Pacific Air War November- December 1941.
Now what I personally like about historical fiction is the blending of setting and historical fact with an engaging story line to produce a work that is educational and informative as well as entertaining. And this author has done his homework! The flying scenes are not too technical, so a non-aviator can enjoy reading this book without getting lost in the jargon. But it will also keep the seasoned fliers interested and entertained. In fact they will both hastily keep turning the pages!
The action of the book occurs as the US tries to reinforce its garrison in the Philippines. The main characters are two brothers, Jack and Charlie Davis, both pilots in the US Army Air Forces. Charlie flies a B-17D Flying Fortress, while Jack flies the Curtiss P-40E. The Japanese are already at war with China and have forcibly annexed the former French colony of Indochina. War is coming between the United States and Japan; the only question is when.
Burkhalter develops his characters and plot with the ease of making a new friend, and without the awkwardness of wedging a new mother-in-law into a ready-made family. He has a style which is easy to read, flowing smooth as silk. He reminds me of W.E.B. Griffin and I am definitely a Bill Butterworth Fan. If you are too, I think you would like reading this new author, Tom Burkhalter.
Needless to say I am very much enthralled with Everything We Had. I highly recommend it for your investment in time to read and money to purchase. Additionally there is good news: The story will continue! Jack and Charlie will appear in at least two more books coming out soon. The second novel is titled A Snowball’s Chance, set during the fighting around Java and Mindanao. The third book is Boxcar Red Leader, due out before Christmas this year. Personally, I can’t wait to read them!
By, JR Hafer, 20th Century Aviation Magazine.com/JRHafer/Bookreviews/