Dodging Shells is about a Canadian soldier fighting through Italy in World War II.
Tommy tells his own story, through letters to his twin sister in Toronto. He’s young–only nineteen when the book begins with the invasion of Sicily–but he’s been in the army and away from home, across an ocean, for over three years already. He was a street-wise and mischievous kid when he left home, and he’s a well-trained and mischievous kid when he sets foot in Sicily, with a sense of humour that even that dirty war couldn’t dampen.
Tommy’s my hero. He’s my dad (there! now you know the ending…) and I’ve heard many of the most entertaining bits since I was a very small child. He only ever talked about the amusing parts. I’ve pried a few of the grittier bits out of him for you, finally, but somehow, it all comes out funny. It’s in our nature.
My dad never had a twin sister–that’s what makes it fiction. But the experiences are all his. He gets whatever glory is going around, and he gets the blame. He’s okay with that. Here he is. Blame him if you like.
We spent a lot of time probing dad’s memory, of course, but I’ve put plenty of research into this book too, and what I found confirmed every word…including the bits I’d always taken with a grain of salt. I’ve even unearthed a surprise or two–things my dad himself never even knew–and I’ll share those with you, if you come back.
The research–personal reminiscences of people who lived through the war, books, newspaper articles, mementos–I turned up a lot of intriguing things that didn’t go into the book, and I don’t want it to go to waste. Sign up, over there on the right, and you won’t miss a thing.
What do you want to know first? Why not go to the Dodging Shells page, and let me know.