Writing that is realistic, vividly detailed, and emotionally insightful.
By Nancy Hartney ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 24, 2021
Reid Holcombe, an American soldier returning from Vietnam, is struggling to adjust to civilian life. On the flight home, he is surrounded by fellow Marines celebrating the end of their tours. Reid is eager to return to his family’s South Carolina tobacco farm, but finds that things have changed in his absence. His father has passed away, his sister Angela is running the farm, and his wife Ellie had an affair with a local consultant. Reid, too, had an affair with a Vietnamese medic while deployed. Rather than trying to reconcile with his wife, he chooses to live with his sister and battle his inner demons.
The novel also follows Joe Terrell, a Black soldier who returns to rural South Carolina and is met with racism. Reid asks Joe and his father to work on the farm, and their relationship highlights their differences as well as their shared struggles. Hartney’s writing is descriptive and cleverly contrasts rural stillness with the soldiers’ psychological turmoil. He effectively captures the anger of men who return from war only to be treated as second-class citizens. Joe’s words are particularly powerful, and Ellie’s words are a reminder of how much Reid and her have changed.
Though there are some slightly repetitive passages, this ambitious novel does not disappoint. It addresses issues of PTSD and racial injustice with believable characterization, making it a powerful read.
Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2021
Page Count: 282
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Review Posted Online: yesterday