I came across a fiction book that I was curious to read. The summary said was the story of a soldier who'd returned home with a spine injury and of the woman he'd loved. I was curious to see how the author handled the issues injured soldiers and their families face.
The book was titled Travelers Rest. The author is Ann Tatlock.
Jane is in Asheville, North Carolina for the summer. She's a teacher and is on summer break. Her fiancee, Seth, has been transferred to the VA rehabilitation hospital there. She isn't sure what's ahead for them.
Seth feels hopeless. He was a carpenter before he went to fight. Now he cannot use his hands let alone his feet. He does believe in God, but he doesn't know what the meaning of all of this is.
And then there's Truman. He's a resident at the hospital who helps out since he's a retired doctor.
This story is a story of the journey back to hope and healing. That healing doesn't always turn out the way we hope it will, but healing nonetheless. I loved how Ms. Tatlock intertwined the stories of these three characters and the people who come into their lives. It was an easy book to read. It had a satisfying ending. And of course there were a few twists and turns as the characters tackle and heal from the pain in their lives.
Some readers might find the twists a bit unrealistic, but I am often reminded of how big God is and how he works. I remember coming across someone at a church in Maryland who knew an old boyfriend of mine from Colorado. The story she told me helped me be very thankful for God's plan for my life and not what I had wanted at the time. God does things like that. He orchestrates the meetings of people and events in so many ways that we don't understand. I wanted to share that story because some may think that the way this story goes may be unrealistic or even contrived. But, I've seen God work in real life the way the events work out in this fictional story.
As for how the author handled veterans and the issues they face, I felt she handled them well. She was compassionate, but not sappy.
If you're looking for a good book to sit down with a cup of iced tea with for a few hours, I'd definitely recommend this book. It is, like many Christian fiction books, like a made for tv movie--but a good one. And I like those.
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing for review.