Through the Window:
A Diverse Collection of the Past and Present
by Clark Hawkins and Geraldine Bianchi-Wolfe Trafford Publishing

"It was mid-afternoon—time for the daily poker game at the Hilton, the name given to the tent which held the largest number of bodies, living or not."

Caught somewhere between the fine line dividing fiction and creative non-fiction lies the collaborative work of Clark Hawkins and Geraldine Bianchi Wolfe in Through the Window: A Diverse Collection of the Past and Present. The stories are so captivating and vivid that unless mentioned in the introduction one would not know the difference between what actually occurred and what was created by this writing team.

The first half of the book is a series of stories that are filled with vibrant detail and human emotion, told from odd, unconventional perspectives set around different wars and battlefields throughout the globe: the stand-in chaplain for a last minute burial at sea, a pet gibbon who saves the life of a American soldier who is later left behind in France after the war, and a sergeant who as the Viet Cong are closing in on him and his men, he decides to play poker. The writing is gritty and bold prose that immediately commands attention.

The following section is quite enjoyable, but these stories have a slower, less agitated pace than the war section. Delightful sketches accompany this portion of the text, and there are poems and photographs interspersed all throughout the book.

The final vignette, "Commentary... Is Anyone Listening?," a metafictive reflection on an interchange of books, is the most daring of the collection. This is an open conversation with the reader ending with the charged question of the title. Thought provoking, heart-felt, and enjoyable to read, the obvious answer to this question is: Yes, someone is listening, and others should also read this book and listen in on this conversation.

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