The main character, Jolene is in the National Guard and her marriage is on the rocks when she finds out she is being deployed to Iraq. She has a teenage daughter and a preschool age daughter and she feels extremely guilty for serving her country. Her guilt is fueled by the fact that her husband rarely spends any time with the family.
While Jolene is deployed, her husband, an attorney, gets a shocking look inside combat PTSD. A client he represents kills his wife after returning from war.The author did an amazing job of portraying the emotions that go along with preparing for a deployment and the guilt a warrior feels leaving his or her family behind.
I was captured by the book when Jolene described her experiences overseas, flying helicopters with her best friend. She experienced mortar attacks, enemy fire, hero flights, transporting the wounded and seeing horrific injuries. While reading the book I felt my emotions bubbling up in my chest. I kept trying to stuff them down but it was a very accurate portrayal of what our warriors experience in combat and it uncovered some emotions I haven’t felt in a while.
It wasn’t until Jolene and her best friend were severely injured and she lost part of her crew while taking enemy fire that the tears started to flow. It was much like our story. It hit close to home.It was heartbreaking to read how hard it was for Jolene to learn how to walk again, relive her combat experiences through her dreams, reintegrate with her family and grieve her loss. Through this fictional book I understood a little bit more what it was like for my husband to recover from his devastating injuries.
The last few pages were very emotional for me. As it came to a close I started to cry then I felt I should just let the tears flow. I can’t remember the last time that I cried but, it felt good.My husband was asleep on the couch and I woke him up and cried in his arms. I felt I understood more about him by reading the book. Thank you Kristin Hannah for writing about the struggles our wounded warriors face. It was truly an eye-opening book. Thank you for putting into words what my husband might have felt coming back, wounded, so that I could better understand.
I will be giving three copies away to my readers. Comment below on why you would like to read this book and leave your email address so I can contact the winners. If you aren't a lucky winner you can buy the book.
Coming Jan. 31, 2012
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