Author: Elizabeth Marro
Publish Date: February 2, 2016 (Today!)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Some come back whole. Some come back broken. Some just never come back...
As an executive for one of the most successful military defense
contractors in the country, Ruth Nolan should have been thrilled when
her troubled son, Robbie, chose to join the marines. But she wasn’t. She
So, when he returns home to San Diego after
his second tour in Iraq, apparently unscathed, it feels like a chance to
start over and make things right—until a scandal at work tears her away
from their reunion. By the next morning, Robbie is gone. A note arrives
for Ruth in the mail a few days later saying, “I’m sorry for
everything. It’s not your fault. I love you.”
backward glance, Ruth packs up Robbie’s ashes and drives east, heading
away from her guilt and regret. But the closer she gets to the coast she
was born on, the more evident it becomes that she won’t outrun her
demons—eventually, she’ll have to face them and confront the painful
truth about her past, her choices, the war, and her son."
My Two Cents:
Ruth is deeply affected by her son's death. He was a soldier who comes back home incredibly depressed and suffering deeply from PTSD. Ruth is trying to keep her business out of hot water (she happens to work for a company that sends contractors over to war zones (think a Blackwater type company). She isn't mentally present for her son when he comes home and he commits suicide. Ruth is thrown into a tailspin and goes on a road trip to both find her footing and come to terms with her son's death.
The book tackles a lot of really important, timely topics. PTSD is a huge issue with our veterans coming home. It's an issue that not only affects individuals but their families as well. The book sheds light on how difficult it can be to first, recognize PTSD and second, how difficult it can be for families to handle it. This book is incredibly emotional and made me think about what it would be like to be in Ruth's situation.
The book sometimes seemed a little unrealistic, especially when it comes to the road trip. Ruth meets Casey, a Desert Storm veteran who suffered the loss of his legs in war. They are each on their own journey: Ruth is mourning her son and Casey is trying to get back in touch with his teenage daughter. Their journey takes some wild turns that did not always seem to fit with the seriousness of the subject matter.
Overall, this is a story of family and figuring out how to mourn and put the pieces back together. It would be a good pick for those that like their stories with a good deal of emotion.