During WWII, a B-17 crew of ten men was shot down over German-occupied France in an area known as Coffin Corner. Their pilot, George Wiley Starks, spent six weeks walking through France into Switzerland with aid from ordinary men and women, plus several extraordinary leaders of the Resistance. These experiences instilled two dreams in Starks that have lasted a lifetime: to stay in touch with his crew by whatever means possible, and to return to France to relocate and honor those brave souls who assisted him in desperate hours of need. Through enduring dedication and loyalty, Starks accomplished both. Carole Engle Avriett offers a heart-pounding glimpse of what it is like to suddenly find yourself stranded in enemy territory.
Airmen called it the “coffin corner” because, they said, “you were more likely to have your ass shot down from there than any other place.”
WII History + narration by Patrick Lawlor = yes please!
This book is unique in that much of it is told from the perspectives of the men who were on the plane that crashed. It’s also not an action packed military thriller type take. We hear each of their stories and the various paths they took over more than a year to get home.
Starks also returns to France many times over a span of decades in order to thank all the many people who helped him make it to Switzerland. It was really great to get to hear what happened with them as well.
Because of the multiple views and several trips to Paris sharing memories it was somewhat repetitive. However, I did appreciate that Avriett used the men’s debriefing reports in order to accurately honor the events at the time they happened. There’s also a raw look at the conditions that soldiers faced – the constant fear can be felt through many chapters.
Patrick Lawlor really brought this to life. He gave each man their own distinct voice which really helped differentiate the alternating perspectives.
About the author:
Carole Engle Avriett is a former writer/editor for Southern Living Magazine. In addition to leading women’s conferences throughout the United States, Canada, and Brazil, where she and her husband serve as missionaries during the summer months, Carole has also authored two Bible Studies. She currently resides in Florida.
About the narrator:
You can connect with Patrick Lawlor here:
My Favorite Quotes
I walked along the road hoping I looked French. – Coffin Corner Boys by Carole Engle Avriett #Audiobook narrated by @PLawlorAudio #History #WWIITweet
I was a long ways from home, in enemy-occupied territory with no idea what would happen next—a very dangerous situation. – Coffin Corner Boys by Carole Engle Avriett #Audiobook narrated by @PLawlorAudio #History #WWIITweet
It’s funny how much more appealing the sky appears when you are a prisoner of war. – Coffin Corner Boys by Carole Engle Avriett #Audiobook narrated by @PLawlorAudio #History #WWIITweet