Cold Victory book review

Book Review of
Cold Victory

Author: Karl Marlantes
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Lynn's Review

Cold Victory book review

Cold Victory by Karl Marlantes is a historical fiction book published in 2024.

Cold Victory is set in Finland in 1947, when Finland was caught between the East and West after WWII. It follows Louise and Arnie as they arrive in Helsinki for Arnie’s new diplomatic job. 

Louise is from Oklahoma, and Arnie is from the Pacific Northwest but his family came from Finland. 

I read and enjoyed Deep River by Karl Marlantes several years ago, so when I saw that he had a new book, I knew I wanted to read it. 

I decided this would make a great buddy read with my husband. Once or twice a year, we read the same book at the same time and discuss it as we read it. My husband does not read a lot of fiction, but I thought this would make a great vacation read for both of us. It was exactly that. We loved it. 

I have read many WWII and post-WWII books, but I have not read much about Finland during that time. I loved that this book took me to a time and place I knew very little about. 

As we were reading Cold Victory, my husband and I commented on how we take our freedoms in America for granted. Americans don’t fully understand the extent to which people from other countries have suffered under communist rule. 

Karl Marlantes does an amazing job with his descriptions of the people and places of Finland. 

I heard an interview with Karl Marlantes about writing historical fiction true to the time period. He talked about not inserting today’s people and beliefs into history. If you do that, you change history. You might disagree with things that happened in history, but they are still history. 

His attention to historical details is what makes his writing so well done. I don’t think this book or Deep River has received the attention they deserved. 

I would consider this book PG-13. There were a few scenes that I could have done without, but overall, it was a five-star read. 


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