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Lost Sons    by Judy Clemens order for
Lost Sons
by Judy Clemens
Order:  USA  Can
Herald Press, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by G. Hall

This touching and thought-provoking book brought tears to my eyes with its parallel stories of two Mid-Western American families and their lost sons. Real-life Clayton Kratz was a Mennonite aid worker who disappeared in 1920 on a relief mission to war-torn Russia. And the present day Windemere family is coping with the disappearance of their naval officer son Jamie in Siberia.

Clemens paints a very real portrait of the modern family torn apart by the different ways they handle loss and uncertainty. Father Stan, a police officer, throws himself into investigating the ninety year old mystery of Kratz's disappearance, in the process becoming enmeshed with the strong local Mennonite community. Jamie's mother Rose reacts very differently, furiously attacking both her husband for not focusing on his own son's disappearance and the Mennonites and their pacifist beliefs. Both suffering intensely, Stan and Rose are completely alone in their grieving.

Lost Sons entwines the two stories seamlessly to keep the reader eagerly moving ahead. Along the way we learn a bit about the Mennonite Church. We also realize just how relevant this story of war and peace is to today's world, and how they impact both those who fight and those who stay at home.

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