“Virgil Carpenter, a life well lived, comes full circle in this story that works so well on so many levels. We see the deep South, New York, war torn Europe through the eyes of this main character. Virgil is intelligent and calculating and deeply scared in more than one way. The story is sad, exciting and educational. Highly recommended.” G.R.

“I haven’t read a historical novel in many years. But The Reluctant Soldier grabbed my attention and kept me engaged and entertained from start to finish. The description of combat was riveting. Being a combat veteran myself, I was transfixed by the author’s ability to create a wartime experience with words. I would hope to see this novel someday be a motion picture. Bravo to the author.” J.R.

“I love this book! When I had to put it down. I could not wait to read it again. It is captivating!!!” T.W.

…”Follow Virgil and you feel as if you’re with him in many of the small, beautiful, quaint towns and villages scattered throughout France. …I was entertained. I was educated. It got me to thinking about race and equality in ways that I haven’t in quite a long time. … one thing is indisputable; not only is The Reluctant Soldier quite entertaining, but it is also extremely educational and thought provoking.” S. S.

“I recently had the pleasure of reading The Reluctant Soldier and was impressed by the powerful narrative and themes presented in the book. Primarily set in the early 20th century, the story follows the journey of Virgil Carpenter, an African American soldier who fights as a member of the Harlem Hellfighters in World War 1, and the trials & tribulations he endures afterward. The story is not only entertaining but historically factual. I appreciated the storytelling in which you learn about the complexity of Virgil’s life and a glimpse into the life during multiple time periods & locations. (i.e., the South shortly after the Reconstruction era, New York in the early 1900’s, and Paris during the Roaring 20’s/Jazz era). Through Virgil’s experiences, we see firsthand the devastating effects of prejudice and discrimination. The book also touches on themes of bravery, friendship, and the human cost of war.” W.A.

“I know when I really enjoy a good novel because good, I slow down as I get closer to the end. When characters are perfectly developed you almost become friends with them and don’t want the story to end. Mark Perlman has done an excellent job of mixing history with fiction. His detailed descriptions of Paris and France during the 1920’s and 1930’s was both educational and informative. Mark does Virgil’s life Justice. In the words of the Beatle’s his life was a “Long and Winding Road” filled with joy, sorrow and pain. A life well lived. Thanks for sharing his story.” E.A.

“A very good read: This novel is fluid, holds one’s interest, and provides a solid sense of history, especially thru the Jim Crow era and WW1. A recommended read.” S.L.