From Preacher to WWII medic, Craig Lewis returns from the war, now a lab technician suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He makes one bad decision after another until his life unravels. Turning to the bottle instead of toward God, Lewis spirals downward, pulling everyone in his life down with him. Langston has readers enraptured by her good storytelling and excellent character development. Lewis's life path, beginning as a compassionate, churchgoing community member, then husband, father, and provider, quickly crumbles after the war as Lewis drinks and drowns himself in self-pity, and with skillful writing, readers sway between sympathy and rage toward him.
Eventually, when Lewis loses his family, he is temporarily out of the picture. His two daughters, passed from one relative to another, both cope and manage, but later develop severe depression and PTSD from the time spent with their abusive father. As youngest daughter Susan grows up, will she ever fully remember her past and reconcile with it? Foreshadowing leaves readers full of foreboding about what is to become of Susan. "She is learning her own way to think, creating others in her own mind that 'help' her, will not be, in her mind, anything she can comprehend for many years. For now though, she is in the beginning stages of becoming a very fractured little girl."
The novel takes readers through the lives of Lewis's daughters as they seek therapy to crawl back through the horrid memories and come out the other side whole. Langston keeps readers in suspense, especially about the mental health of youngest daughter, Susan, until almost the last page. With several plot twists, the novel is ever-suspenseful. Ultimately, readers are intended to feel hopeful that with faith and support, anyone can heal from a torturous past.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review