Reviews for So Close to Home

The New Orleans Times-Picayune was at the epicenter of the U-boat menace in the Gulf of Mexico in 1942, and this year reporter Mike Scott revisited the situation with this great piece about So Close to Home. They even reprinted the front page of the newspaper from May 25, 1942 when the Downs family was featured.

Times Picayune front page 05.25.42


Thank you to National Public Radio, which has brought new attention to So Close to Home, including in survivor Ray “Sonny” Downs’s home state of Texas, where Texas Standard played this interview (click here) in late May.

SCTH Texas Standard


The Washington Independent Review of Books called So Close to Home a “Lightly fictionalized, little-known tale of disaster at sea.”

wash indep review of books

The reviewer, Philip K. Jason is professor emeritus of English at the United States Naval Academy. A former editor of Poet Lore magazine, he is the author or editor of 20 books, wrote:

So Close to Home offers a harrowing adventure story at sea, a surprising recovery of         frightening historical material that had been shrouded in obscurity, and an unexpected, humanizing look at the enemies — the U-boat commanders — who turn out to be quite different from the conventional Nazi monsters of most WWII representation.”


So Close to Home is featured on this week’s History Author Show. Click here to find it.

history cauthor collage


Read an excerpt of the book that was  published in the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, April 2, 2016:

click here to read the article.



“. . . a gripping tale of family bonding and fortitude in the face of disaster.” — authorlink

“[The authors] recount the true story of an ordinary family’s ordeal using first-hand accounts, newspaper reports and official records of the time. The German side of the story is also told in a manner sympathetic to the commanders and crews who suffered in service to their country’s flawed cause. This book is a gripping tale of family bonding and fortitude in the face of disaster. Recommended for any student of human nature in adversity.”


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