This post contains affiliate links. Wow, A Higher Call by Adam Makos is a great a story! Adam Makos, who writes non-fiction about World War II, is interested in interviewing Charlie Brown, a WWII American pilot, but Brown tells him, the real story rests with Franz Sigler, a German pilot. Reluctantly, Makos begins researching Sigler. (He had a firm policy not to give attention to “the enemy.” He only really wanted to interview American soliders.) That changed when he met Franz Sigler.
About A Higher Call by Adam Makos
Franz Sigler was one of Germany’s flying elite, but one day, when he flew alone to target an American plane overhead, he stopped being a soldier. He saw Brown’s plane, so heavily battered from German fighters, that Franz could literally see into the plane and see some of the crew working on an injured man. Franz had every intention of shooting Brown’s plane, but what transpired next changed the lives of all the men aboard Brown’s plane as well as Franz’s own life.
This is a suspensful, intriguing, albeit sometimes gory, true story of two planes that met over Germany and a pilot who did the unexpected.
My Thoughts on the Book
I enjoyed this book. Franz’s life was intriguing for me from the beginning. His family doesn’t believe in the Nazis and doesn’t join the party. In fact, Franz has no intention of joining the war until tragedy strikes his family. Then, when he does join the war, he’s locked in a battle with his own humanity, but he’s helped by his mentor, Gustav Rodel, who stresses how important it is not to become just a killing machine. Humanity must be retained.
This humanity is on full display on December 20, 1943 when Brown and Sigler had their encounter. At this point, the book really picked up and became more exciting.
This book is almost entirely about Sigler’s experience. Charlie Brown is only given a few chapters. While it’s important to hear Brown’s experience firsthand, inserting his story in the middle of the book disrupted the flow I had with Franz Sigler’s story. I don’t know how this would be remedied, but I did want to point out how it felt disruptive.
I give A Higher Call by Adam Makos 4 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.
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