Can’t beat an article in the newspaper to help let readers know what this book is all about. Read below to see what it had to say:
‘Captured by the Enemy’ is Tribute to Grandfather’s WWII Service
It took eight long years, but 18 months after moving to Ponca City, the tribute was finally finished and author Crystal Aceves released her book, “Captured by the Enemy: The True Story of POW Carl Leroy Good.”
As a 12-year-old, Aceves was inspired by her grandfather Carl Good’s 1945 account of life as a prisoner of war and his subsequent escape. “…Although I was only twelve years old at the time, I was mesmerized by his story. It was so interesting and it made me proud that my granddad had lived through such an ordeal and he didn’t let it ruin the rest of his life.”
While Aceves was a college student, she interviewed her grandfather for a college paper. “As I started researching and things began to match up, I wanted to know more. With my granddad’s blessing, I began the journey to write a book that retraced his steps through WWII and the history that went with them.”
And the process of interviewing, gathering stories, researching, and writing began.
“Captured by the Enemy” covers Good’s landing in North Africa with Patton’s 3rd Division. Aceves retraces his steps across North Africa and his preparation for a second amphibious landing into Sicily. The book shares Good’s stories of Sicily during WWII until he is captured by the enemy.
After his capture, the book takes the reader through Good’s experiences in POW camps and participating in a mass prisoner escape into Italy. The book then shares Good’s harrowing life of living on the run for over nine months in the cold Italian mountains. It is a hard look at how the war and the stress from being hunted for so long changed him.
“It is an amazing view from a different perspective of WWII that shares a true and honest view of a hardworking draftee. The language is not harsh because most WWII draftees were not vulgar when speaking,” Aceves said. “It was a time when it is still okay to speak of God and to admit that in war many nonbelievers became believers when it came down to it. It is a good read for teenagers who are prepared to read about the atrocities of war, but it also makes an excellent read for adults who are looking for a true story written about an everyday hero.”
It certainly was not an easy journey to put it all together. When Aceves came up with the idea, she was finishing college, had three young children, and flipped houses at least yearly with her husband and his real estate profession. Although the real estate career changed, the moving did not. As she worked on writing and researching, she lived in Kansas, Iowa, Texas, and Oklahoma. While in Texas, she and her husband had their fourth child. Despite the sleepless nights and exhausting days, Aceves was determined to finish this tribute to her grandfather and veterans like him. The last three years were filled with long, sleepless nights, but she was determined to finish—and finish she did. She chose to put a picture of her family on the back of the book because everyone was involved during the years it took to write it—and yes, she is struggling to keep up with the toddler.
One “Captured by the Enemy” reader wrote a review on Amazon, awarding the book five stars while stating “Just as good as ‘Unbroken.’ You won’t be disappointed.”
With a smile, Aceves added, “I certainly hope you will not be disappointed. It is wonderful piece of history that was made from the true stories of my granddad. It recognizes him as one of the many soldiers who bravely fought in WWII and then was left to adjust to life with new and unforgettable scars that would last him a lifetime.”
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Here are some of the reviews “Captured by the Enemy” has received from Amazon:
“This story is superbly written and thoroughly researched. I am impressed with the author’s understanding and description of PTSD without ever having to name it as such since that language was not used at the time Carl was in its grip. I love how she sequenced the book, keeping gripping suspense alive and at the same time reassuring the reader that her grandfather will survive the ordeal. Her use of the vernacular and slang of the time and place adds authentic color, giving the reader the sense of being there in the midst of events. I salute the author for such a meaningful, touching and loving telling of her grandfather’s story.” –Ruth L. Eichler
“This is an awesome book that is very worth the read! The true story of Carl’s WWII prisoner of war experience is unbelievable. You will feel like you are right there experiencing it with him. I read the book on the 4th of July which also happens to be the day after Carl’s birthday. It just put in to perspective that much more! An excellent read about an amazing man.” –Melissa Vogts
“This was a very good read. From start to finish I was enthralled by Carl’s story. I know there have been many WW2 stories, but for making you not wish to put the book down, please read this epic story.” –Gutzo
“I really enjoy WWII era books, and this book did not disappoint. Would highly recommend.” –Jason
As many of you know, I wrote a book about my granddad’s WWII experiences. In fact, I worked on it since 2008. There were many reasons why it took me so long–the main reason being life. However, I did not quit. I kept working on it and researching and discovering. I tracked his steps from his landing in Fedala, Morocco, as he passed through Algeria into Tunisia, as he made a second amphibious landing into Sicily, his capture in Sicily just 6 days after landing, going from POW camp to POW camp and ending up in Camp 59 near Servigliano, Italy, and his escape into the nearby mountains where he lived near Monte San Martino for over nine months. Nine months may not seem like a long time, but when you’re in the open mountains during the wintertime with little food and people are out to kill you, it most certainly becomes an eternity.
On my journey of research, I found and connected with several people who answered questions and helped fill in the blanks. It is interesting how these people I had never met in person began to feel like long time friends. Here is one such story.
As my granddad was still surviving in the beautiful Italian mountains, he wasn’t able to enjoy the scenery as spring approached. Having just made it through the cold winter, starvation had become a very close neighbor. Not far from where he stayed, there was a young man who had become a partisan for Italy after being injured in the Italian Army and sent home. His name was Riccardo Funari. In short, Riccardo was discovered by the Germans and they went and shot him in front of his mother, father, and younger brother, Umberto. My granddad heard the commotion and saw the murder take place. There was absolutely nothing he could do about it, and the image was permanently burned in his memory.
Seventy years later, as I researched the story and put facts together, I found Umberto’s son, Ricardo. Umberto had moved to Argentina after the war and raised his family there. However, because Riccardo died for his country, he was listed as a hero of the people and not forgotten. Although Umberto had passed, Ricardo and his daughter, Vanesa, were most helpful. Ricardo was still living in Argentina, but Vanesa had moved to Italy and lived close to the area where my granddad had spent those nine long months. They were happy to hear from me and gave me some wonderful information that added to my story. They were proud of their family history in Italy and Vanesa shared stories and pictures. They also helped connect me to other knowledgeable people in the area who could help me fit missing pieces together and recreate such a fascinating story. I have enjoyed the friendships I gained, and I hope to meet them some day. This is the fun part of the many hours spent on research, and it was worth every minute.
This is just a very small part of what will be found in the book, Captured by the Enemy. I have lots of great stories to carry the book along and although it is a true story with lots of history, I promise you that it will not be a boring read.
I can’t wait for you to get to read it.