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First of all, historically speaking, this is early in the Korean War in 1950. The North Koreans have attacked the South and conquered almost the whole country. Then the US counterattacked and drove them back.
In Brady's book, the hero, Captain Tom Verity, is just being called back to active duty in the Marine Corps. He'd been in World War II and now he's being called back. Verity's wife was killed the previous winter and he has a small daughter.
In the first two chapters, we see Verity in the process of getting called up and in the early stages of his experience in Korea. The book goes back and forth between what's happening in the present and his memories of his wife.
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