Cover Image: For Malice and Mercy

For Malice and Mercy

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Amazing page-turning novel set in WWII! Mr. Toyn has done a phenomenal job of telling the story of the Meyer family and the cost of legalized hatred and unjustified suspicion. This book is very well-researched and talks about a part of WWII of which I was completely ignorant. I knew Japanese-Americans were sent to internment camps but I had no idea German-Americans were also treated with such cruelties and inhumanity.

Many thanks to the author and NetGalley for the early copy. My review is my own opinion and give of my own volition.

Was this review helpful?

Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I learned about the Germans being interned with the Japanese during WWII. The Meyers left Germany for religious freedom for their Mormon religion. The book is written historically correct and the story is quite moving. I enjoyed reading the novel and recommended it to my book club.

Thank you #NetGalley, #AmericanLegacyMedia, #GaryWToyn and #ForMaliceandMercy for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

A new author for me and I will be looking up additional novels by him. This is well researched book that deals with the US interment camps that were a result of Pearl Harbor. I was aware of the Japanese camps as a sad moment in US history and now I am able to also understand that there were German camps as well. Karl and Marta were born in Germany, immigrated to the United States and became citizens. They had two children and were leading a good life on their farm when they were falsely accused of being German spies. Their son Hank is a soldier in the Army Airborne unit, and their daughter Ellie is training to be a nurse. The best friend of Ellie is Billie who lives with her grandmother across the street. Billie flies planes in the WASP which is a new division for women pilots. The story is about the horrors of war both in the U.S. and in Germany. So much research obviously went into the book and the truth comes through in the characters. Hank’s resilience is astounding. It’s about forgiveness and how people react to prejudices. The religious tones bring everything into focus and will leave you contemplative. Although it is long it is well written, researched and presented. I would definitely recommend the novel.

Thanks to Gary W. Toyn, American Legacy Media, and NetGalley

Was this review helpful?

Wow! This was such a different type of World War II read for me, but it was done so well. I have only read a few novels/memoirs about internment camps. Toyn did a great job with these characters, making you hope for them to evade and survive their terrible circumstances. A great read for historical fiction lovers

Was this review helpful?

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book like this and I don’t know if enjoy is even the right word. It’s emotionally evoking and caused me to think and then rethink about what I knew about World War 2.

So much research obviously went into the book and the truth comes through in the characters. Hank’s resilience is astounding. It’s about forgiveness and how people react to prejudices. The religious tones bring everything into focus and will leave you contemplative.

Thank you to Netgalley and the author for the opportunity to read this book.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoy reading historical fiction books, especially those set during WWII. This book focused on a different aspect of the war. I was aware of the internment of Japanese Americans in camps as well as German POWs housed in camps in the U.S. However, I did not know that thousands of German Americans were sent to internment camps and later sent back to Germany. The author did a great deal of research and I appreciated the notes at the end of each chapter.

Thank you to NetGalley and American Legacy Media for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

For more reviews, please visit my blog at: Over 1000 reviews posted!

Was this review helpful?

I know I am way behind in reading and reviewing this book. I'm DNF at 4%. As some others have mentioned, it seems to be written at a grade school level. I have even gone back to double check that it wasn't. I just can't get past the style of writing.

Was this review helpful?

Well worth the read. WWII Historical Fiction that I enjoyed. Toyn wrote so that I became invested in all the characters and not just the MC's.

This is about Karl and Marta Meyer, who a German American citizens. They came to America for a better life and settled in Huntsville, Utah to be part of the Mormon community there. They have a daughter, Ella, and a son, Hank.

After America gets involved in the war, Karl and Marta are sent to a German intern camp, just like the Japanese Americans were. At first I thought this couldn't possibly be true, because I had never heard of it, but to my surprise and horror it is. Soon they are sent back to Germany for a prison swamp that Roosevelt planned.

How will their children cope? Who will survive? What hardships will all the different characters face?

I usually stop and look up information, when I read a historical fiction book, but the notes at the end of some of the chapters kept me from having to do that. I think the book would have flowed better had the notes been at the end of the book, instead of the end of the chapters. For this reason I gave it a 4⭐. It just messed me up, because some of the notes were pretty long.

Thanks to Netgalley for a Kindle Version of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

WWII,the Meyers get drawn into something they have no control over.. Their son,is a American flyer who some think of as a spy. His parents are treated like spies themselves or traitors but no one listens.. Follow their story of drama,crime,spies and politics and who can you trust it anyone where you start to not only doubt yourself but your own family?? Exciting events where it is so very hard to put down..First time read by this author,,Gary Toyn and I will want to read more of his books..This is a must read it you like stories of WWII,families,spies,deceit and love!!

Was this review helpful?

This is a wonderful World War ll novel. # For Malice And Mercy is inspired by actual events. Revealing little known stories of government and personal betrayal. Also add in mystery......
Thank you for the advance copy,
#Netgalley, # Gary W. Toyn, and # American Legacy Media

Was this review helpful?

A big thank you to the author Gary W. Toyn, the publishier and NetGalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for my candid opinion.

This is an amazing World War II story, that while fiction, is based upon true events that took place in the US, Europe, and Pacific. The story starts out about an American family who patriarch and wife emigrated from Germany. And who like many first generation immigrants still like to speak in their original native tongue, which was German. Unfortunately, when WWII breaks out, authorities in the US are not very tolerant of naturalized Germans. This is the story of how the family was interned in a WWII internment camp. It is also the story of soldiers, nurses, female pilots, war prisoners, and many other stories of WWII. And while this is a fictional story, the author has based it upon real stories that happened in WWII. He explains the basis of the story after each chapter and includes a bibliography of references.

THIS IS AN AMAZING BOOK!!!!! If you love WWII history, please read this book. It tells of many stories that have not been greatly detailed, like how men sabotaged the planes that were being ferried by women pilots....some of whom died while serving their country. And of US citizens who were naturalized who were kept in camps throughout WWII....some of whom were deported back to Germany against their will. It is an amazing book.

Was this review helpful?

It’s amazing the plethora of information you can glean from reading historical fiction. Most of us know that there were places like Manzanar in the US where Japanese Americans were interred during WWII, but how many of us were aware that many German American as well as Italian American citizens were also interred in the camps.

Gary W. Toyn’s FOR MALICE AND MERCY is inspired by true events and begins with the fairly idyllic lives of the Meyer family, Mormon farmers living in Utah who, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, find their loyalties in question. Seems that while their adult children, Hank and Ella, were born in the USA the parents had emigrated from Germany and may pose a threat to the United States. When the FBI removes the parents from the home and sends them to an internment camp, the off-spring are left to keep the family farm up and running.

Toyn’s tale of the trials and tribulations confronting Hank, Ella and Ella’s friend Billie during the war years, is written with a very observant eye and supplies the “meat and potatoes” of this narrative. This is part relationship tale, part survival tale, and part war story with a bit of legalized suspicion and hatred added for good measure. (Makes one think about what’s going on in the world today). The story has a fluidity of writing that keeps the reader engrossed and invested in the lives of the characters as each one of them pursues a “career” that will aid the war effort thereby exposing themselves to dangerous and often deadly situations.

Get ready for an all-nighter.

Was this review helpful?

Special thanks to NetGalley for an e-arc of this book.

It is a historical novel about 2 Germans. I really like historical fiction, especially WWII, however, I found this to be just too long. It felt like the author was trying to cram too much into this novel. Might have made for a good duology.

The plot line was good. I never got to where I really cared much about the characters.

If you like a lot of information in your historical fiction, you would probably like this book. Sadly, it just was ok for me.

Was this review helpful?

This wasn't an easy read, even if I had read many books about WW2 this was very different.

For Malice and Mercy, it is the story of a German family living in the US, having their second change ripped apart for the terrible misinformation and the gossip of just a few people that didn't know what really was happening and also belive everything the news, the government or just a few people were believing in.

as I said this was a very hard book to read for me, I spend the majority of the book feeling angry and sad because of the constant injustice Karl, Marta Meyer, and their family was going through, there was no happiness for them in a very long time, they had to endure discrimination and atrocities over and over again in the hands of the country they believe and trust the most.

Hank leaves the US to fight for the right cause and finally help his parents to be free from the terrible lies and misunderstandings the governments keep putting on them. his own family has betrayed him, he was looking for a place to survive while he was fighting the enemy but Hank didn't count he was about to lose everything.

so many things I didn't know especially after what happened with pearl harbor, the racial injustice, the constant push and segregation the Japanese and the Germans were living in the US. after having their homes and families ripped apart now after years they are living the same in the country that saves them and pledged to protect them. Every right the Meyers had was stripped without a question only because of the terrible lies the government was not investigating.

one of the things that I really loved about this book was the ending, the last chapters, it is the only time that I finally understood the journey of this book was I was feeling very sad. but I understood the Mercy the compassion. in the end, Hank was the true hero in this book, after all, that he went through he was the one who really left me with a smile and hopes that there is always something better to come.

Nothing is lost not even when your worst enemy is finally acknowledging the mistakes he made. this is exactly what made the whole book better. the forgive and forget, the second chance, that's what made this story even better.

This is a true story, many of the situations and characters really went through, thank you to Gary W Toyn for writing a story that needs to be heard.

great book I really enjoy it!

Was this review helpful?

I am late with this review for good reason. I almost gave up on it. I started this book 3 times before I was able to finally get far enough into it to get attached to the story. I started to quit it after the second time but decided to read other reviews. They all stated it was a rough start but a great read. They were not wrong. The content was great. The concept was great. I feel like the delivery truly lacked something. The author is a journalist and he appears to be trying to write a fiction story in a journalistic style. I did not feel like he connected to his characters. This book reads like a documentary.

The story is fantastic and definitely a new take on WWII for me. I would recommend reading it if you are interested in this time period but not if you are looking for a fictional story to draw you in that you just can't put down.

I did not give up on this book because I felt like the author deserved a good chance but I think overall I did not enjoy reading it and it felt like a chore.

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the ability to read and review this book. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

This book contains the perfect balance between historical facts and captivating storytelling. The author has an obvious abundance of knowledge of lesser known facts surrounding WWII but has chosen to tell us the story through the eyes of people that he makes so real that we can't wait to find out what happens next to them.
I found myself lost in the story and put aside pressing tasks just to have a few more minutes to read the next chapter (or two).
I have not ready any of the author's previous works, but will be searching them out after reading this book! It is truly worth the read.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and American Legacy Media for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of For Malice and Mercy by Gary W. Toyn.

This is an incredible story, amazingly researched and so educational. Slow to begin with, but as we begin to become more familiar with all the characters, we are quickly immersed into their lives and the story speeds up.

The story begins as the US entered World War II, having no choice once the Japanese, bomb Pearl Harbour. For Malice and Mercy is written primarily from the point of view of the American/German Meyer family, Karl and Marta Meyer, and their children, Hank and Ella. Hank enlists in the US Army Air Corps and Ella trains and qualifies as a nurse. We follow their story as the war progresses and the horrific events that happen to some of them because of their German background.

After reading any fiction about World War II, I always come away having learned something I wasn’t aware of and this is definitely true with Toyn’s book. I didn’t realise that there would have been German citizens living in the US at this time, let alone that they were treated so badly by a country they had come to call home.

I thoroughly recommend For Malice and Mercy to anyone who has an interest in World War II and the additional chapter notes the author has included delve into more detail as to how and why certain events happened and the people who were affected.

Was this review helpful?

The lives of a German family who emigrated in early 1900’s and became naturalized citizens were treated as the enemy in WWII Midwestern USA. The many connections between the round ups in Europe and those here in the US are brought to light as the story unfolds and sides are chosen, whether true or not. Although I appreciated the topic, the story started slow and didn’t pick up for me. I did like the chapter notes that explained the various historical events that were covered in the story though.

Was this review helpful?

TLDR version…Go ahead and read this one. It is an excellent book with a great story that will leave you feeling like you read something of value when you finish it.
For Malice and Mercy was an excellent book. Set in the time of World War II, the reader joins Hank, Ella, Marta and Karl Meyer and Billie Russell in their various experiences throughout the war. I found it quite easy to get into this book. As a native of Utah, stories involving certain geographical references took me back to my experiences with those same locations- Ogden canyon can be quite beautiful and treacherous at times and Farr’s Ice Cream is certainly a place that should be visited if one is in Ogden. Nevertheless, by no means would a tie Utah be a prerequisite to enjoying this book.

In particular, I loved how Toyn weaved history into this novel. As a character would experience a particular event, it was fun to guess if what happened was real or just fiction to help move the story along. More often than not, a note at the end of the chapter would reference something that really happened. Some events were quite big and bold, but I was intrigued to find a note at the end of one particular chapter pointing to something that was experienced by Toyn’s grandmother.

Toyn skillfully allows the reader to connect to the character. There were times when a particular event would grab at my gut as it unfolded. This book only adds to the respect I have for those of the Greatest Generation who had to experience the ravages of war and the particular inhumanity that was part of World War II.
The 575 pages of this novel move fast. I certainly didn’t want to put it down. Read it. You won’t be disappointed.

Was this review helpful?

I thought I had just about had it with reading World War II novels; I’ve read so many over the last two years. But, this one was well worth it. The story is beautifully told and exposes some history of that era with which many of us are not familiar….how the United States treated many of its German citizens. Near the end of the book, it is revealed why so many of us are not knowledgeable about it. Ditto the history of and conduct toward the WASPS.

There are religious aspects throughout, but they are not overdone and interweave well with the story. It is an engrossing read, with strong characters who will make an impression on many readers. The title is perfectly descriptive….here, we encounter malice as well as mercy.

Lest the reader doubt the authenticity of some of the actions, Toyn, who has done extensive research, used end of chapter notes to identify real life events on which they were based. I liked this method of citation rather than footnotes or end of chapter notes. No need for the reader to Google!

Was this review helpful?