Italy, near Cassino. The terrible winter of 1944. A dismal, icy rain, continuing unabated for days.Guided by a 70-year-old Italian man in rope-soled shoes, three American soldiers are sent on a reconnaissance mission up the side of a steep hill that they discover, before very long, to be a mountain. And the old man's indeterminate loyalties only add to the terror and confusion that engulf them on that mountain, where they are confronted with the horror of their own time - and then set upon by a sniper.Taut and propulsive - with its spare language, its punishing landscape, and the keenly drawn portraits of the three young soldiers at its center - Peace is a feat of economy, compression, and imagination, a brutal and unmistakably contemporary meditation on the corrosiveness of violence, the human cost of war, and the redemptive power of mercy.
©2008 Richard Bausch; (P)2008 Tantor