Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ann Tatlock's Travelers Rest ~ Reviewed

By Ann Tatlock
Published by Bethany House

Back Cover: New Contemporary Novel from an Award-Winning Author

Jane Morrow has a dilemma. She's engaged to Seth Ballantine, a member of the National Guard's 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, and he's returned from Iraq severely wounded. Jane hasn't seen him for nearly a year, and with trepidation, she heads to the VA hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, where he is being treated.

Seth isn't happy to see her. He'd asked her not to come. He wants to end the relationship. But Jane loves him, and despite his injury, she's determined to convince him that they can have a life together. Her faith has never been strong, yet she hopes God will answer her prayers and tell her what to do.

Beautifully written,
Travelers Rest takes readers on a journey through pain and tragedy to a place of hope and redemption.

Review: Life had so much promise for Jane Morrow who was engaged to a man she’d loved since second grade. They grew up together. Jane noticed Seth but all the while he didn’t know she existed. Then in high school things changed. He finally he noticed her in a big way! It only took fifteen years. The happiest day of her life was when Seth asked her to marry him. Then Seth signed up to be in the reserves and then is called to duty. They planned on getting married when he came back. But nothing prepared them for what would happen next.

Seth Ballantine was back from Iraq with a purple heart, changed and missing a few things. He tells Jane to stay away from him. He doesn’t want her to see what happened to him in battle. He wasn’t the man he used to be. She deserved more in life. She didn’t care how different he was. They’d make it work; come up with a new normal to their relationship. She wouldn’t stay away.

The realities of Seth’s medical condition and who he had become were staggering! She found it hard to catch glimpses of the old Seth she fell in love with and grew up with. Could she love this man she hardly recognized – personality wise and wishes he died in battle?

A friend says to Jane, “…when he beginning to take inventory of what he has left – rather than thinking about what he’s lost. That’s the beginning….He can’t do what he once wanted to do with his life, but he can do something, and that’s what matters.”

Would Seth ever change his thinking? Seth and Jane are weary. They pray, “Oh, God I’m tired please hear our prayers.”

“We take everything for granted, until we don’t have it anymore.” Jane hears from a friend.

Jane gets to know Truman, a retired doctor who makes it his mission to help the soldiers adjust to their new normal, try to make sense of a life they never expected to have. Is there life after their world was turned up-side down?  He listens, encourages them and cheers them up daily. They look forward to his visits.

Jane repeats a saying her nanny said and she’d lived by, “Well child, as mamma always said, life’s gearshift’s got no reverse, so you have to just keep moving forward!” Funny and so true!

Ann Tatlock gives the reader a glimpse into one couples reality as they try to make sense of their new normal! Could they love each other enough to make it work? Would Jane move onto another relationship like Seth and her friends wanted her to do? Or would she know without a shadow of a doubt she was meant to stay by Seth’s side no matter what? How would she find answers to these questions?

This author shows one soldier’s heart break and how his family reacts to him in his new physical state. Also how they all struggle to deal with the question “Where do we go from here?”

There are no easy answers as Ann Tatlock’s endearing characters struggle to hear from God,’ to do the right thing, and learn how to thrive in the after math of war! This author shows there can be hope, healing and forgiveness in the middle of horrific times!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent

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