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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Today We Go Home by Kelli Estes

My knowledge of American history is scant. I think this was a good one for me. Set in 1861 and present day times, we deal with women (and to a lesser degree men) involved in the military not in a supporting role of nurses and carers but both front line soldiers.

We have Emily who after the death of her father and brother, joins hands with her surviving brother Ben to join the Army to fight not as a woman, but disguised as a man. She goes through several skirmishes, and when she is found out she is demoralised to see that her achievements as a soldier are not taken into account - only the fact that she disguised herself as a man. The story of "Jesse" and her brother Ben in the heart of the Civil War fights and how the only survivor was Jesse is remarkable. Because she maintained a diary which was found by Sarah who was one of her descendants and this in turn came into the hands of Larkin, our present day soldier.

Larkin has her own devils to contend with. A survivor from Afghanistan, she carries the overwhelming guilt that she was directly responsible for the death of Sarah, her best friend and Anahita a girl she befriended in Afghanistan. Suffering from PTSD and unwilling to seek counselling or therapy Larkin is battling it alone, with just the help of her grandmother and her cousins.
Till Larkin comes to peace in her own mind with Sarah's death, she knows she will have no solace at all in her life.

What must be a common problem amongst many soldiers, unable to bear the overwhelming guilt of death - whether to friend or foe is dealt with, with  empathy in this story. The personal lives of both Larkin and Emily and how they cope with their worlds is handled delicately. The history of both periods are also detailed well and gives one an inside view of life on the ground in both situations.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Sourcebooks, Landmark.


Mary (Bookfan) said...

Sounds like a good read - an unexpected dual timeline too. Thanks for sharing because I hadn't heard of this!

bermudaonion said...

I like that this includes women in the military but have to admit that I'm a little tired of the dual storyline thing.

Kathryn T said...

Sounds good, this kind of book appeals to me, and I hadn't come across this one either. It is an interesting way of linking up the two women.

shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

I like the sound of this, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Literary Feline said...

This sounds like something I would really like. I enjoy dual narratives, and the two different threads about the women interest me quite a bit.