The Last Jump: A Novel of World War II

The Last Jump: A Novel of World War II

by John E. Nevola


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Would you like to thank a soldier? Help an injured veteran? Read on! The Last Jump is a war story, a mystery, a love tale, a touch of history and a narrative of valor and honor about the people who won World War II. Fact and fiction intermix seamlessly to unravel a secret passionately guarded by four old soldiers who swore an oath to die before revealing it. The reader is transported back in time to an imperfect America struggling with racial and gender issues while fighting for its very survival. The Last Jump takes us back to a time when Americans stood shoulder to shoulder to free the world from tyranny in defense of liberty and freedom. It celebrates the spirit and the courage of ordinary citizens pitted against the militaristic societies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. It was a time when the sons of presidents and senators served, fought, suffered and died alongside average Americans and famous celebrities.

The Last Jump spans the war in Europe from Sicily to the Battle of the Bulge. It evokes both the agony and the glory of the greatest conflict in human history and the special generation that earned the final victory while striving to live up to the promise of equal justice and fairness for all.

Our story begins in present times. J.P. Kilroy, a middle-aged divorced journalist, regrets ignoring his mother's only deathbed request. Even her last letter, which exposed the existence of a dark family secret, could not motivate him to reconcile with the father who abandoned them thirty years ago. When he receives an invitation from the White House to attend a long overdue Medal of Honor awards ceremony for African-Americans, he also discovers his estranged father, also an honoree, recently passed away.

Was the secret now lost forever? The only remaining links to the past are four aging veterans who served with his father. His only chance to uncover the secret rests with the free-spirited Sky Johnson, a rough and tumble paratrooper, Frank West, the studious company commander, Harley Tidrick, Omaha Beach veteran and cousin of his father's best wartime friend, and Lincoln Abraham, the only living black honoree at the Medal of Honor ceremony.

Kilroy sees them as a second chance to fulfill his mother's last wish and engages them in an effort to uncover the truth. He soon discovers the four men not only know the secret, they are bound together by a sworn pact never to reveal it. Undaunted and with the aid of Cynthia Powers, an alluring Army press liaison, he accepts the challenge to cajole the veterans into revealing the mystery by any means necessary. Their conversations become a verbal odyssey and flashback to the racially charged attitudes in America during the War, the plight of women volunteer pilots and factory workers and the extraordinary dedication, bravery and sacrifice of the average citizen-soldier. Kilroy is taken back in time to a country in grave danger but a country as united as never before or since. But the old warriors stubbornly resist. As Kilroy works to solve the puzzle, he discovers truths he could never have imagined. Finally, the last veteran passes on and Kilroy's hopes are dashed. But one reaches from beyond the grave to identify the only other living person who has the answer and Kilroy races death to reach her. And a shocking conclusion awaits him, if only he can get there in time!

In honor of those brave men and women who have served our country so selflessly and honorably, half the royalties from the sales of The Last Jump are being donated to charity to assist severely injured servicemen and women and the families of the fallen. You can both thank and help a soldier by buying the book and spreading the word. For more information visit

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781432755614
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 07/28/2010
Pages: 530
Sales rank: 774,046
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

John E. Nevola makes his literary debut with The Last Jump, a historical novel based on United States Army airborne operations in Europe during World War II. The study of this conflict has been the author's lifelong passion and he weaves a compelling tale of courage and sacrifice set in a historically accurate backdrop in an extraordinary time in American history.

A retired Information Technology executive, Nevola has been widely published in business magazines with numerous articles and white papers on contingency planning, disaster recovery and terrorism. His articles have appeared in The Disaster Recovery Journal, Crisis Magazine, National Underwriter and The International Journal of Network Management. He also contributed a chapter to the book, Disaster Recovery Testing - Exercising Your Contingency Plan.

As a frequent speaker at various industry conferences, he shared his expertise with numerous interviews and was widely quoted in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Computerworld, Information Week, The New York Times, Networking Magazine and with appearances on JATV, the BBC and The Wall Street Journal Report on CBS. He served for four years on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Disaster Recovery Journal and was elected to the Contingency Planning and Management Hall of Fame in 2000.

While serving in the military, he authored a column for the Yuma Proving Ground post newspaper and is currently a member of the Military Writer's Society of America.

What People are Saying About This

John Austin

"This is a really, really good book…it reminded me of Herman Wouk’s second book, War and Remembrance." --(John Austin, host of "The Book Club" - WTAN 1340 Radio, Tampa)

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The Last Jump - A Novel of World War II 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Jeane17623 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and I'm not one to read war novels. This book should be mandatory reading for teens to learn about WWII. I learned more from your book than I did from history classes.
VINSTER More than 1 year ago
The best read I have had in many years. Realistic and make one feel as if you are there with the characters in the trenches and parachuting from the planes; working next to the women in the shipyards and sharing the feelings of all those involved. It was better than any war movie and John Wayne has always been my hero. This book would make an excellent movie and would awaken that patriotic feeling than I think was lost after 9/11. Be there for THE LAST JUMP. John E. Nevola where have you been all these years. Looking forward to you next novel..
RB14 More than 1 year ago
. If one is a history buff this is right up your ally, if not one will certainly be intrigued with the facts of the war from a very human side of the equation. The book kept me in suspense for at least three days and always wanting for more as it progressed throughout the history of those who served both in and out of the military. Buy it, read it and get a copy for your children, you will be happy you passed on this part of our great country's history to those who never experienced, didn't really study it or don't realize the importance of how our Nation rallied together, worked together and succeeded together through a most trying time of our Nation. It speaks volumes of how we should be acting today in the face of the problems we are challenged with and the fact that we need to step up as our forefathers have in the past, as Citizens.
SHSDMD More than 1 year ago
First of all, it is hard to fathom that this is a first novel - one can only wonder what Mr. Nevola will share with us in the years ahead! The book is broad is scope and beautifully written. These characters are extraordinarily well developed and you cannot help but feel a strong connection to them. And while they may be fictional characters, the painstaking research the author did has me convinced that they were real. These are the details behind the wonderful book, The Greatest Generation. The details will stay with me for years to come. It is difficult to see how our Congress argues about nothing and can never seem to pull things together for the American public - and then compare it to the solidarity that allowed us to prevail 65 years ago. It may not have been The War to End All Wars, but Mr. Nevola has provided a road map of what it will take for us to prevail again. We are all in his debt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a recount of history. No, it's a love story. No, it's a mystery. No, it's an action/adventure book. It's...all of the above. The Last Jump is a novel that you can't put down because, as the reader, you care about the characters. You feel what they feel; their anger, any adrenalin rush, and their pain. You see what they see as each setting is described in immaculate detail. World War II is brought back to life, home and abroad, so we can see why the heroes are called the greatest generation. As each chapter ends, you can't wait for the next one to begin. Where will the author take us next? You must read this book to find out. This is a true tribute to those who fought for what we take for granted today. Our veterans deserve our admiration and our thanks and so does author, John Nevola for creating this reminder of just how great we all could be.
JEBarrett More than 1 year ago
GEvery American Should Read This Novel at Least Once! The Last Jump: A Novel of World War Two By John E. Nevola In this fictional account of World War II, John E. Nevola manages to successfully combine the politics and economics of the time, the shifting roles in society, the sacrifices and hardships that were faced by both Soldiers and civilians and the frailty of life and love during this period of history. The novel begins when modern day journalist J.P Kilroy is summoned to the White House to stand in for his deceased father in receiving his Medal of Honor for his actions during World War II. While attending the ceremony, J.P recalls his promise to his mother just before her death, to reconnect with his father and discover the truth behind the secret she, his estranged father, and all their friends had kept since World War II. While at the medal ceremony, J.P. meets the men that his father had been closest to when they fought their way across Europe as members of both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. After convincing his father’s war buddies to have dinner with him the night after the awards ceremony J.P. learns that, there is indeed a secret surrounding his father that the men all swore they would take to their graves. From there the book switches between modern day J.P. Kilroy, his father and friends fighting their way across Europe, their families in the U.S. and the roles that they played in supporting the war effort. As an active duty Soldier with four combat deployments and former member of the 82nd Airborne, many parts of this novel definitely returned me to times and places from my past. I was transported back to Airborne School, from the physical training pits to the 250 foot tower (the great Oongowa), from our mornings running in circles, but somehow always going uphill to feeling the air blast and opening shock after exiting the door on your first jump. After reading Mr. Nevola’s novel and prior to writing this, I read several other people’s reviews of his work to gauge what comments had been made in the past. Of all the reviews I read, the only negative criticism that I felt was in any way justified, was one critics comment that it was hard to follow the story line initially as it switched back and forth between two main characters named John Kilroy and one of their son’s by the same name. I had the same thought at first, but once the reader recognizes that, the John Kilroy’s were all from different states, one was John Kilroy, one “Jake” Kilroy, and one “J.P.” Kilroy, the issue becomes null and void. Do not let this in any way dissuade you from enjoying this wonderful story. Mr. Nevola has seemingly done the impossible by combining so many different aspects of a great story into one work. Within the pages of this book, there is truly something for everyone. The author started with a great story and added romance, loyalty, history, suspense, sacrifice, determination and long buried secrets into one tale. The novel immerses the reader in the climate and pulse of the nation and world during the war by viewing events through the eyes of the characters. While the novel does detail many of the battles and events of the war it does not make them seem like a history lesson. Instead, they are important details that affect our lives as we journey through the story, liberating Sicily, parachuting from planes over Normandy and doing our best to keep ourselves and buddies alive through the bitter cold and fighting in the Ardennes Forest during the Battle of the Bulge. We observe as women and African Americans finally gain the opportunity to prove their love for the country and value as people, while still having to fight against the prejudices that face them. There are romances and friendships throughout the story that remind us of a better time, a time of national unity, without being naive or overly simplistic. No matter what you enjoy in a story you will find it within the pages of this novel. Additionally, if you are a member of the military, a veteran, a fan of military or U.S. history, or know someone who needs to be reminded what our country once stood together for, then you need to read this book.
BillyG45 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. For me, I learned a great deal about the details of WW II, including a closer look at the courage and dedication of our men and women. It was also a great adventure and mystery. I waited with eager anticipation for the guarded secret to be revealed.
janimar More than 1 year ago
The Last Jump: A Novel of World War II is the story of middle-aged journalist, J. P. Kilroy, who is invited in 1997 to go to a ceremony at the White House to accept the Medal of Honor for his dead father. When his mother was dying, she had told him he needed to find his father who had left years ago but J. P. never had. He felt his father could not get over J. P.'s going to Canada to avoid Vietnam War. While at the ceremony J. P. meets a number of his father's old war buddies and wanting to know more about his father he goes out to dinner with them. As he is a journalist, he tapes the conversation and when he uses the rest room the men acknowledge they are keeping a secret from him. This piques his interest but also some of the things they had said about his father intrigued him so he is determined to figure it out what the men are keeping from him. The book then follows J. P. as he has conversations with his father's old buddies and the story flashes back so we get to know J. P.'s father and his best friend, both with the last name of Kilroy. You see how Jake and Johnny meet, become friends and go through their training and then on to Europe as paratroopers. They were excellent soldiers and found themselves behind enemy lines. Nevola gives you historical and military information about the battles they are involved in and you get a real feel for the horror of the war. You are on Omaha Beach with them as the bullets buzz by. In addition to seeing the front lines, both of the men have girls back in the states so you get to see what it was like in America during the war. There is a glimpse of the women who were working in the shipyards, and those who were WACS and flying airplanes to transporting goods but not allowed in combat situations. You saw how the role of women was changing and how the people back home were sacrificing for the war. The story progresses and J. P. is older, now 60 and wiser. His father's old friends are dying off. He had told he has everything he needs to figure out the secret but he still can't solve it until he meets someone else connected to his father and it all comes together. This book has romance, mystery, and action. As it the story moves between time periods and places, Nevola has the geographical place and date as the chapter titles so there is no confusion. I also appreciated the quotations that begin each chapter. Nevola has done his homework and gives the historical background and though a few times I felt like I was reading a history book, most of the time the fictional story and historical information flowed smoothly. Since the story is dealing with soldiers there is some salty language and there are several graphic descriptions of the horrors of the war. This is a sweeping novel that gives a picture of a different time in America and Nevola has given the reader a sense of why Tom Brokaw called that generation the Greatest Generation.
JOddo More than 1 year ago
It was fascinating to discover how difficult it was to train to be a paratrooper, realizing how important they were to defeating the enemy in World War II. It opens you up to the world of paratroopers, and how significant their role was in the war. This book is enlightening as to the importance of the role of women in the war, and their major contribution to our victory. The role of African American soldiers during WWII was underappreciated, as they were highly dedicated in their efforts to defeat the enemy, considering the racial tensions of the day. The whole country came together, uniting in a team effort to win the war. These men who fought were very tough and determined in battle. This makes you appreciate life today, and brings to light how we need to emulate their efforts in today's war against terrorism. The author captivates your interest by including details that required intense research and a solid understanding of the times. Well written!!
GuyG More than 1 year ago
A well written, engrossing novel. Anyone who has ever been in combat will see themselves in some of the characters and situations. Anyone who has gone thru the Army jump school at Fort Benning will relive some memorable times. But the best part is the "secret" that is woven thru the book. Just when you think you might have guessed it, you are led down another path. I look forward to Mr. Nevola's next book !!
pistolpetePP More than 1 year ago
A must read for anyone... not just History buffs....the author... John Nevola did a wonderful job with this WWII novel.....the characters just jumped off the pages and were very real...the descriptions of the battle scenes were so vivid you felt like you were actually there....and the way Nevola spun this tale back and forth from the battlefields to the ship yards and to the conversations many years later was brilliant!!!I loved every aspect of this novel.
ghansen1 More than 1 year ago
The Last Jump, by John Nevola, is a great example of superb story-telling wrapped around an accurate portrayal of historic events. John provides enough real history to give the book the authentic feel of talking to the aging veterans of WWII. At the same time, the story he tells has enough human drama, interpersonal relationships and vivid imagery to make for great entertainment. This is an outstanding first novel, and I look forward to the next one!
BOBBYC More than 1 year ago
I found The Last Jump to be very interesting and hard to put down. This is a novel that should be read by anyone interested in World War II. I believe the generation of today would be especially interested in learning what our service men and women did and sacrificed in keeping our country "The land of the free and home of the brave.At times I felt like I was actually there with the characters.This is a great book and a must read.
Jsnoto More than 1 year ago
Outstanding read. A brilliantly written story that draws you into the characters and history of some of our proudest and most difficult years as a country. You can't help but feel you are in the thick of the action and standing alongside the characters as their individual journeys become forever intertwined. It's the story of courage, brotherhood & sacrifice that we must never forget. This is one of those books you need to read, put down and think about, because it affects you more and more as you think back on its many lessons. This one goes back on the bed stand, not the bookshelf, as I'll be reading it again very soon.
AliceMiller51 More than 1 year ago
This book is a mixture of actual history with some great blend of some fiction. Difficult to put down once you start reading. It shows the determination of our soldiers and the bond between them as well as the bond back home and how during WWI and WWII, the country was United for the common goal - FREEDOM!
Ed_C-Sr More than 1 year ago
As the author's first work, The Last Jump is nothing if not ambitious. Not only does Nevola tell the tale of a group of soldiers as they train for and ultimately battle their way through the European theatre of WWII and the special bonds they share with one another, but he intertwines it with a modern mystery, a love story or two, and a vivid portrait of the society and lives of those stateside who supported the war effort. Interspersed throughout are a legion of historically accurate facts about the period, the military, customs and venues that will have even the most knowledgeable reader thinking "Gee, I didn't know that" over and over. Despite the ambitious scope, the author pulls it all together magnificently. His characters are real, and their joys and sorrows, achievements and failures are at once both believable and genuine. This is an exciting, informative, and enjoyable read. I highly recommend it.
FurmanRF More than 1 year ago
While The Last Jump is the fictional account of several key players' participation in the events of World War Two, it contains an encyclopedia of period minutiae, and memories that define those years culturally, and historically. Encapsulated within 525 pages of educational reading, told with the help of a darn good yarn, a reader can learn as much about United States history from 1940 thru 1945 here as in anything that has ever been written. Detailed history in a love story that is representative of a million like it, going on at the same time, in every branch of the service, the reader gets a beautiful look at how it was to be an American at war during that time. There is nothing dry here; anything but. This might be the first romantic military history book ever written that should have "all women should read" stamped on the cover. Men too, of course, by all means. This reviewer, a history buff, learned plenty. Another good movie candidate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put the book down once I started. It is a great story with an easy flow. Very enjoyable the whole way through. I would recommend to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A brilliant heartwarming storyline woven through a fabric of courage and sacrifice of those who served our country in World War II. The lessons of integrity, loyalty and honor are both inspirational and humbling and should remind all of us what made America a beacon of hope to the rest of the world. This book had me riveted at times and choked up at other times. If you are looking for the resolve to do what's right...personally, professionally or politically... READ THIS BOOK ! Bob Monaco
KurtG More than 1 year ago
Wow. What a great novel. It came in the mail on a Saturday morning and I finished it on that Sunday afternoon - I couldn't put it down - it was that good. Just had to keep on reading to find out what happened next. Each of the characters were developed and came to life as I turned the pages. All the story-lines were tied together in the end. I think it would be an excellent read for WWII history enthusiasts and for those who like mystery/suspense and action/adventures. Get this book!
kimreadthis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The similarity of the characters¿ names was confusing at first, and while that was worked into the story, it did not seem necessary for the plot to still play out as it did.The author did a great deal of research and integrated a sizable amount of military and wartime history into the book in an interesting fashion.The book was longer than it needed to be ¿ fewer missions and less detail would have kept the story more focused. Additionally, the African American aspect of the story was interesting, yet tangential and seemingly unnecessary to the main plot.The dialogue was often unbelievable saccharine ¿ a lot of exclamation points and ¿brother¿ references.It seemed unbelievable that many of the servicemen in different divisions kept inadvertently running into each other during battles.
JGance More than 1 year ago
John Nevola deserves some kind of medal for this book. The effort it must have taken to write such a great story with all the back ground information WWII offered was absolutely herculean. This is the first novel I have read that shared the stories of what it was like to live state side in the 1940's as well as the details of war on the war front side. I enjoyed the way John presented an important piece of history in an entertaining and enlightening way. We could all learn more about our countries history with a book such as this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jw1943 More than 1 year ago
Just finished reading this excellent work. Great story,had a hard time putting it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago