Saturday, January 3, 2015

{Review} GOOSEBERRY ISLAND by Steven Manchester

File Size: 1022 KB
Page Count: 300
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: The Story Plant

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

They met at the worst possible moment...or maybe it was just in time. David McClain was about to go to war and Lindsey Wood was there at his going-away party, capturing his heart when falling for a woman was the last thing on his mind. While David was serving his country, he stayed in close contact with Lindsey. But war changes a person, and when he came home very little had the same meaning that it had before – including the romance that had sustained him. Was love truly unconquerable, or would it prove to be just another battlefield casualty?

Mandy's Review:

Steven Manchester is familiar with how it feels to go overseas for a war and the difficulties of re-entering "normal" society, so he is more than qualified to write a novel with this story line.

Gooseberry Island stays true to Steven's signature style; the plot time jumps forward throughout the novel in order to cover a large amount of time without bogging down the story. In the beginning, the reader sees David with a shallow girl that he has no interest in furthering a relationship with after that night. By the end, David has gone to Afghanistan and come back suffering the effects of PTSD.

Lindsey, the girl David met after his shallow ex dumped him, lives at home with her dad who is a war vet. After returning from the war, Lindsey's dad didn't want to seek help for his PTSD and would physically abuse Lindsey during his flashbacks. Lindsey knows he doesn't mean it and stays in his house to help him whenever he needs it.

As a couple, Lindsey and David talk, email, and Skype as much as they can while David's overseas. Several incidents happen overseas that changes David's outlook on life. He stops communicating with Lindsey as much and doesn't tell her when he's due to arrive back in the States. When Lindsey finally finds out David's returned, she realizes that he's suffering and is trying his best to distance himself from her. Can their relationship survive David's new personality? Will David seek the help he so desperately needs to move past what happened in Afghanistan? Will Lindsey wait around for David or will she give up and begin dating someone else?

Reading David's story took me back to my childhood when I lived with my maternal grandfather. While I never witnessed him in an actual flashback, I do know that he never liked to hear gum popping because he said it reminded him of the gunfire in Korea. I never realized that he may have suffered from a slight form of PTSD until I was somewhat older.

While fictional, Gooseberry Island does help the reader to recognize some of the signs of a soldier suffering from depression and PTSD. It was a quick read that I enjoyed.

*An ebook was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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