A 100th Anniversary of WWI Story

by G. J. House


Book Details

World War I 100th Anniversary Spirit of Philadelphia

~ FROM PHILADELPHIA SHIPYARDS TO PENNSYLVANIA'S COAL REGION, this historical fiction by G. J. House paints an eclectic picture of the "Commonwealth" during WWI. "Spirit of Philadelphia" hinges on chronology and patriotism, events and families, and provides a window into America's earlier culture. Included are vivid characters -- one being a Philadelphia youth working at the world's largest shipbuilding yard when Philly dominated the metal shipbuilding industry.

A treasure trove overflowing with Pennsylvania -- places, families, heritage, industry, relationships; military including the US Expeditionary Forces, US Army Ambulance Corps, & WWI medical personnel & ordnance; the Emergency Fleet Corporation. So, if open to the "wisdom of elders" shared with heart & humor, then you're apt to benefit from, and enjoy this book, while becoming further informed during this WWI Centennial timeframe.

Places in the book include Allentown, Elkins Park, Harrisburg, Jenkintown, Neshaminy, Ogontz, Philadelphia, Shamokin, Tinicum, Valley Forge, Willow Grove, etc.

Surnames in the novel include Cook, Jones, Lennox, McEliece, McGuillicuddy, Olbrecht, Rigney, Roberts, Rosenwald, Rubin, Sousa, Urquhart, Woodside, and more.

~ EXTRAS: Images, there are several from the National archives; Endnotes, for history lovers, and some historical societies are noted in the back of the book; Message "What is the underlying message of "Spirit of Philadelphia"?


~ ISBN: 9781478716525

~ FOCUS & FORMATS: Fiction: Historical, Cultural, Family Saga, War, US Military, Literary. Christian

E-Book: Kindle (this edition has been further edited with a chapter index added), Nook & iTunes .

Paperback: 12-pt. font (eye-friendly for many).

Espresso Books too.


1. Balpeen's Review. June 2018. A heartwarming story with lots of interesting tidbits. A nice story, chock full of fun facts, written in a colloquial manner that reaches back in time to revive a city’s heart and spirit. Set in Philadelphia during World War 1, the story follows Jon Roberts, fresh out of school, in his daily routine to help his family which at first seems mundane until his life is abruptly interrupted by the nation going to war. Being patriotic, Jon is hit with a tough decision to go off to battle, or stay at home and take care of his family. He decides to split the difference by getting a job at the Philadelphia ship yard to help with the war effort. About the same time, a cute girl, Mary, catches his eye. They meet several times while going about their business and create a cordial relationship that, in keeping with the customs of the era, masks their desires. Along the way Jon is hounded by a dastardly villain who also has his eye on Mary. To make matters worse, the nation is threatened by one of the world’s most deadly flu epidemics. As the war heightens, it is not Jon who is called to duty, but his sweetheart who signs up for nursing duty and is sent off to Europe. Though times are tough, they maintain a long distance relationship through correspondence that carries them along until Armistice Day. I enjoyed the writer’s unique style of combining a heart warming tail with interesting tidbits about the locality, the era, and the people, all of it painstakingly footnoted. I would recommend this book, especially to anyone who is interested in the WWI era or the history of Philadelphia.

2. Kathy's Review. May 2018. This is a great book. I thoroughly enjoyed the author's descriptive writing. I was able to visualize being in the World War I era in Philadelphia. I also learned a number of facts about World War I that I never knew or learned in history classes. The authentic pictures of posters during this era added a special touch to the story. Reading one chapter a day enabled me to gradually proceed through this book and feel all the characters, their personalities and settings. I also reminisced of my life experiences a number of times. I highly recommend this book.

3. Jennifer's Review. February 2018 What a wonderful story about a young man and the eclectic mix of people in his life in the WW1 era of America. The author has a unique writing style that allows the characters to come to life and entwined in the story are facts and fun tidbits about life in that time period. I would definitely recommend this book.

4. Ron's Review. February 2018.This book takes you back with personal stories and drama to a historic and formative time in the history of our country. It brings to life with vivid and interesting descriptions of the towns, houses, landscapes, food and clothing of the period, trying times when our people were still in the aftermath of the Civil War and found themselves needing to unify and put the good of all above their own self interest. The author puts you in the middle of this unique time where great opportunities coexisted and clashed with dire want and needs, and brought out the best and worst of human nature. The fertile mix of customs, culture and languages which House weaves into the story provides a striking glimpse of the reality of life in Philly and America at the time, and succeeds in placing the reader right in there with the characters in a simpler yet harsher time where victory (in a lot of ways) truly depended on teamwork and faith.

5. Maryanne's Review. January, 2018 Wonderful fictional history. The work that the author put into research paid off. I learned so much about the history of Philly during WW1. The story line is light and entertaining and blends nicely with the historical facts. Looking forward to her next book.

~ STORE AVAILABILITY: Order from this website or Ingram for your Store or Library or ask that they carry the book. You may want to call one of the below stores in advance to make sure they still have a book in stock.

Cambridge Springs, PA, John's Barber Shop

Carlisle, PA, US Army Heritage Education Center Museum Store (signed)

Clearwater, FL, Barnes & Noble

Corning, NY, Connors Mercantile (signed)

Corning, NY, Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes, Gift Shop (signed)

Elmira, NY, Barnes & Noble (signed)

Erie, PA, Barnes & Noble (signed)

Jenkintown, PA, Old York Road Historical Society (signed)

Lewisburg, PA, Barnes & Noble (signed)

Meadville, PA, Tattered Corners New & Used Bookstore

Newtown, PA, Newtown Bookshop

Philadelphia, Walnut St., (Rittanhouse Square), PA, Barnes & Noble

Scranton, PA, Library Express Bookstore

Towanda, PA, Afton's Book Nook (signed)

Valley Forge, PA, Barnes & Noble (signed)

Valley Forge, PA, Cabin Gift Shop

Wellsboro, PA, From My Shelf Book & Gift Shop

Williamsport, PA, Otto Bookstore

Willow Grove, PA, Barnes & Noble (signed)


Book Excerpt


NOTE: As this is a later-year project for the author the book chapters include samples of writing skills & styles for G. J. House's many years of writing experience. And it might be considered a collection of Americana stories within an overall story. Truly, it captures the spirit of the early twentieth century.

(C2) "..."Athletics" and their "Hundred Thousand Dollar Infield..." (C4) "...manning our mills, and making our clothes, can be children..." (C7) "...operatic voice signing the "Star Spangled Banner" ...Maria Lanza..." (C12) "...John left off -- with the playing of "Garryowen"..." (C15) " ..."messing about" with musical instruments by people who brought theirs', and "yarn" telling..." (C19) "...the "Grand Guard" that bravely recaptured their supplies at Gouzeaucourt..." (C23) " ..."RIVET" yelled a kid, and "SWISH" went a hurling hot bolt like a mini fireball to the top of a ship. Then a bucket boy caught it as it made the familiar "CLANG"!..." (C25) "...fishing and swimming area -- Neshaminy Creek..." (C27) "...she could make out their wooden propellers..." (C30) "...acres of ship building materials and debris were piled like mini-sky-scrappers in some semblance of order. And newly emerging supply and troop ships were observed in slip after slip..."


About the Author

G. J. House


G. J. House is fond of her early years in Southeast Pennsylvania. A DAR member, House was fostered by a granddad's love of history, and her mom's & brother's family stories. The author's 4.5-years of writing & research, resulted in "Spirit of Philadelphia", published Dec. 24. Born near Philly, In earlier years, a non-traditional student of journalism & public relations, a decade of news and creative writing while married and raising children; next, about two decades of administrative work with newsletters and volunteering; last decade --artistic pursuits and helping with family care.


Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/gjhousespiritphila

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WWIbookphilly/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7bmlxPDGlE&t=293s (WWI Hog Island 40-min. audio/visual; author's experience is mostly as a writer; author gave talk mid-afternoon following a long drive & a few surprises -- the YouTube is meant for educational purposes & is the author's 1st attempt in decades at a longer presentation.)

~ THE MYSTERY MESSAGE ANSWER: Discerning the underlying message of "Spirit of Philadelphia"? To formulate and confirm it, you'll find clues in the text of the novel.