Reviewed by Kim
It's hard to put into words how feel after reading this book. Sara Arden has crafted an amazing masterpiece that will rip you to shreds and the put you back together piece by little tiny piece. There are so many things that stand out in this book that it's going to be hard to identify them. Let me start with the realism. This book, while not shoving your face in it, delivers a realistic view of what some of our returning soldiers endure on a daily basis. This is not the fairy tale of the returning hero even if the town wants it to be that way. Jack comes back damaged, emotionally, mentally and of course physically. We walk through a small part of the nightmare that he has to live with each day. We get a glimpse of what our soldiers come home with and how some of them deal with it. I loved that a session at the VA was included in this story and I hope we get to see more as the series progresses. It's so important to be reminded that just because they come home doesn't mean they leave the desert behind, some bring back more than they bargained for. I think it's also important that we get to see what the people around him see so we get a full circle view of Jack. He's good at hiding from most. The depiction of him not being able to taste....that's brilliant....that's truth and it was delivered to us in beautiful, heart-wrenching prose. If you are not affected by this then you just aren't human.
Now to the love....it's all there, every kind of love you can think of and experience is contained between the covers of this amazing tome. We are also assured that no matter the wounds love can maybe not "fix" it but it can give you the strength and courage to at least want to move forward. But...it also shows that accepting that love through all the pain isn't always the easiest thing to do but true love for each other can and does win, if we give it a chance.
Of course, the book would be nothing without Betsy. Sweet, wonderful, damaged Betsy. She suffers from what many of us do. We all believe that the fairy tale will make everything alright, will fix everything but she learns that the tapes that run on repeat in our heads can't be silenced by anyone else, that we have to silence them. She shows what I've always felt, it's so easy to be strong for someone else, it's easy to ignore our own pain and try to make everyone else's pain better, that way we don't have to look at ourselves. She was successful at that with all the people in her life but then we see her growth, her move to wanting to help herself.
There are so many ups and downs, 2 boxes of Kleenex worth for me but they were so worth it. I feel better and stronger for having met these characters and I can't wait to see what's next in Glory.
If you'd like to check out more about this series or other books by Sara, please head over to her website.