Bluebird in Belgium
In this inspiring fictional novel, author John W. Luton chronicles the
life of his father John Elwood as he grows up in northeastern North
Carolina and joins the army to participate in many of the most
significant battles of World War II.
John Elwood Luton, on his ninth birthday, is vibrant and carefree as he
grows up on his father's sweet potato farm near Weeksville, North
Carolina. With his younger brother, Earl, he roams the fields and woods
near their home, hunting birds with a new BB gun and exploring a
haunted house that lies on just the other side of a pine thicket.
His carefree existence comes to a close with the deaths of two family
members. As a result of these deaths, John Elwood's home is broken up
and the five children are separated to live with welcoming and
unwelcoming relatives. John Elwood wears out an already strained
welcome and, as soon as he reaches the required age, he joins the army
and is shipped off to boot camp at Fort Benning, Georgia.
After training, John Elwood is sent overseas where he participates in
three of the major land invasions of World War II. In the winter of
1944, during the famous Battle of the Bulge, John Elwood meets a
Belgium family that offers him shelter from the harsh winter weather.
While the meeting is brief, the Ducombles leave a lasting impression on
a young man who is far from his home.
After the war, the American and Belgian families correspond and nurture
a relationship that deepens with each successive generation.
Bluebird in Belgium is the winner of both the Editor's choice and
Reader's Choice awards. It is a story about one man's struggle to
survive and find meaning in life during war and peace.