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Friday, November 11, 2011

Letters From War

The soldier wrestles to write words he knows will be his last. He searches his heart, trying to find what he wants to say. After so many letters, this one needs to count. This one needs to last. There is no one definitive sentence or theme he needs to write. Yet he wants his family to know that he will always be there, that he will always love them. Just because he is gone doesn't mean he has left them. There is so much he wants to say. Things to share. About the places he's seen, the journey he's been on, the road he's headed toward. The pride in his heart for serving his country.

He knows the world is full of bad places filled with bad men. He remembers his father telling him that. He remembers that was one of the reasons he decided to join the army. Yet even in a world like this, there is hope. Hope is not confined to Tennessee or the United States of America. Hope can be found in the darkest of spots, in the prisons of people's souls. He thinks of her face and smiles. He loves her and wants the best for her. He can only imagine how many times she's prayed for his safety, a safety that won't hold. Maybe God one day will tell her the reasons why. Maybe God will fill her with renewed hope once he's gone. He starts writing. In a world full of endless rhetoric, he tries to convey a simple and elegant truth.

I'm not writing to say good-bye. I'm writing to make a promise. So he does.

In the novel Letters From War by Mark Schultz and Travis Thrasher, we experience what its like to have not only a son in the war, but following in his father's footsteps as well. We experience a letter writing session between Beth Thompson and her only son, James who is serving in Afghanistan and then is reported missing. After two long years, friends and even family have tried to convince Beth that he will not be found and to cease the daily letters she writes faithfully to James, all the while believing in the power of her prayers, ones she believes hold more power because they come from a mother.

This is the most moving book I have had the opportunity to read and review from both the perspective of the mother who sits waiting endlessly for some final word on her son, and the son who is serving his country faithfully. Her only comfort is with her daily visits to see her grandson, whom James has never met and his wife, Britt. Her daughter, Emily can't stand to spend one more day waiting around like her mother does and has moved on with her life. Only the daily letters that Beth writes sharing the day to day events with James keeps her moving from one day to the next never knowing if she ever know what happened to James.

I received this book compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster publishers for my honest review and thought today, Veteran's Day would be the perfect time to review this book and share my thoughts. I rate this one hands down a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. For more information on this book, the authors and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

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