After the Blackness of Midnight,
a Glimmer of Sunrise
by Wanda Hancock Trafford Publishing

"He had never wanted to explain about the flashbacks, because if they ever put you on the post-traumatic disorder, your career, and most of your salary just disappeared."

Lucus has returned from a tour of duty for the Marines in Afghanistan to his home in the Southeast mountains of America. He intends to put the skills he learned in the war to work for the new "First-Responders"—rescue workers who aid the Police, Fire, and Emergency Depts. There he meets two other ex-military veterans just out of tours in Afghanistan; Dave from the Navy and Carl from the Army. All three men struggle to mentally and emotionally come to terms with their battle experience. Fate conspires to bring all three into relationships with loving women, two of whom have lost husbands in Afghanistan. The growing love between the couples provides healing and normalization for the veterans. The woman also find answers to the wounds in their souls – one’s dead soldier husband had denied their marriage when he enlisted, one had suffered abuse at the hands of her now-deceased military spouse, and a third is nearly beaten to death in a robbery stateside.

The author uses simple, straightforward prose to describe the patchwork of relationships that make up the bulk of this novel. Its tenor is very much that of a romance but with an eye open to the psychological states of veterans of the Afghanistan war. She mixes in Native American culture together with Christian sentiments to describe the coping mechanisms her characters use. Her background as a nurse gives us realistic portraits of human suffering. A theme of rebirth and healing gradually comes into view.

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