Monday, July 25, 2011

A Trusted Reader's Response to GRACE AT WAR!

...These people (no longer just characters to me) have such intense spirits and they roped me in.  I want to have a beer with Spider and I don't even like beer! ...I was not prepared to see him as the hero second only to Grace.  And Cloud?  She is a gem to this story although I'm worried about her future...but not really I guess because she's more savy than she feels safe to let on.  
The issues that Mason, Doc, Diver,Worth and Spider (and all the others in the demonstrations)... carry around really give the reader a sampling of PTSD... 

This novel doesn't just say war is bad and people suffer.  It tells us about the 2nd, 3rd of 4th levels of suffering.  It educates us about the manners in which people (soldiers, family, community) try to survive through addiction, charity, hostility, denial and devotion.  The book lets you think for doesn't make you hate the "enemy" just makes you want to stop the bleeding.  
Worth...breaks my heart...I want him to be okay and I think he will but he'll never "get over it"..impossible.  That's how it is with PTSD, but it looks like he might find a way to co-exist with it.  I'm glad you ended it with him drifting but being loosely in touch.  It gives us hope but doesn't undermine all of the incredible depth you've given us with a fairy-tale ending.    

There are also lessons about helping, loving a person through trauma.  The book shows us to take them exactly where they are, provide safety within the framework of whatever it is they need to do, be ready to listen, give reality checks in strong direct language (commands, if necessary) give unconditional love and expect little because they can't be about giving yet...and then at some point healing begins and they give you the Merc.  

Thank you Susan.  An honor and a pleasure.  These folks will be with me for a long time.  

P.S. Just one more comment for now, this book NEEDS to be published.