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Paperback Book Details
  • 01/2023
  • 9781639885459
  • 328 pages
  • $18.99
Teri M Brown
An Enemy Like Me
Teri M Brown, author

How does a man show his love – for country, for heritage, for family – during a war that sets the three at odds? What sets in motion the necessity to choose one over the other? How will this choice change everything and everyone he loves?

Jacob Miller, a first-generation American, grew up in New Berlin, a small German immigrant town in Ohio where he endured the Great Depression, met his wife, and started a family. Though his early years were not easy, Jacob believes he is headed toward his ‘happily ever after’ until a friend is sent to an internment camp for enemy combatants, and the war lands resolutely on his doorstep.

In An Enemy Like Me, Teri M Brown uses the backdrop of World War II to show the angst experienced by Jacob, his wife, and his four-year-old son as he left for and fought in a war he did not create. She explores the concepts of xenophobia, intrafamily dynamics, and the recognition that war is not won and lost by nations, but by ordinary men and women and the families who support them.

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 8.75 out of 10


Plot/Idea: An Enemy Like Me is a genuinely enjoyable story that balances three generations of familial history beautifully. The author particularly focuses on the hardships of war and generational trauma, while exploring the roots of patriotism and xenophobia. 

Prose: This work effectively balances multiple viewpoints while maintaining quick and concise pacing. Each characters' thoughts and circumstances develop distinctly through the third-person narration. 

Originality: An Enemy Like Me is a rich and layered historical story. While the WWII focus is a familiar one, the well-woven perspectives and thought-provoking reflections on identity, war, love, and family, uplift the narrative. 

Character/Execution: Each character's path is laid out clearly and vividly; readers will gain an intimate sense of the emotions, sacrifices, and struggles associated with war. 

Date Submitted: August 05, 2023

Brown’s (Sunflowers Beneath the Snow) emotional historical drama calls forth the heartfelt patriotism of a classic American World War II experience. When Jacob Miller, brought up by a widowed, German immigrant mother, falls for the once-wealthy Bonnie Phillips, the resourceful couple works hard to build a happy household, despite the Great Depression poverty threatening their stability. When their son, William, is born, the family feels complete, but war quickly devastates their simple life, sending Jacob overseas to endure the trauma of battle in Europe while Bonnie falls back on their timeless love to survive the hardships at home.

Brown deftly immerses readers in the daily life of World War II through haunting, intimate details—like Bonnie’s vivid grief at bidding Jacob farewell on a train station platform, Jacob’s loneliness in a German foxhole while awaiting enemy fire, and little William’s concern about being “the man of the house” during his daddy’s absence. Alternating perspectives and timeline jumps add relevance to the present day, particularly when an adult William reflects on a life well-lived and dominated by loyalty to his country on Veteran’s Day, 2016. As he struggles with bittersweet memories of a father who returned from war a sterner man, William’s resolve to improve his relationship with his own son will resonate with readers.

Most interesting is Jacob’s inner conflict about his ethnic heritage, to which the title alludes, and his decision to join the military to prove his patriotism, at the risk of losing his family. The pro-Nazi Volksbund movement, its anti-German backlash, and the anxiety it induced in German Americans is seldom addressed in popular literature—and Brown’s depiction of a unique angst within a much-chronicled American era sets this novel apart. History buffs will appreciate the thoughtful salute to those who served our country and their impact on generations of Americans.

Takeaway: A stirring account of a German American family’s joys and sufferings during WWII.

Great for fans of: The Winds of War by Herman Wouk and No Promises in the Wind by Irene Hunt.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: NA
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

A German American’s decision to enlist in the Army during WWII impacts his family for multiple generations in the stimulating if uneven latest from Brown (Sunflowers Beneath the Snow). Jacob Miller is raised by his German immigrant parents in New Berlin, Ohio, where he starts a family in the 1930s with his wife, Bonnie. When their son, William, is nearly four, Jacob enlists, determined to fight fascism and show his allegiance to the U.S. Though reluctant to leave Bonnie and William, Jacob fears it would be worse to stay, especially after a friend is arrested under suspicion of sympathizing with the Nazis and placed in an internment camp. The narrative alternates between Jacob’s nerve-wracking combat experience (an evocative scene describes him awaiting German fire while hiding in a foxhole) and young William’s fear that he might have to become man of the house if Jacob doesn’t return. In the present-day framing device, set several years after Jacob’s death, William recalls his mother’s pain at being separated from his father and how the war made Jacob emotionally distant, an effect William struggles against repeating with his own children. Though the plot skews melodramatic and draws obvious parallels between father and son, Brown offers a well-rounded portrait of German American life during the period. Fans of WWII fiction will want to check this out. (Self-published)
Paperback Book Details
  • 01/2023
  • 9781639885459
  • 328 pages
  • $18.99