Jonathan Beecher, a middle-aged widower and small-town store owner, has never asked for much. But lately, all too much is being asked of him. The bombing of Pearl Harbor plunges America into World War II and deeply fractures Jonathan's own family. His eldest son, a civilian contractor, is trapped on a Japanese-occupied island in the Pacific. Jonathan's feckless younger son ignores his father's pleas to stay home and joins the army. And his bright, devoted daughter, who Jonathan hoped would go to college, elopes with a brutally abusive man instead.
Jonathan has always met adversity with quiet faith, but as his emotional and financial losses accumulate, so do his doubts. In the midst of his pain, Sarah, a widow herself, emerges as a kind, compelling friend. Powerfully drawn to Sarah, Jonathan struggles to remain true to his late wife.
James D. Shipman's tender, wise novel examines the paradox of human suffering: how irrevocable loss, if we are willing to let it, begets spiritual gain.
©2016 James D. Shipman. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Sara on 03-01-18

WWII Homefront Struggles

I'm of two minds about this book. On one hand I think the author captured the rigid, dire and harsh realities of loss, war and grief. This story had all of the elements needed to portray WWII homefront life with historic accuracy. The blend of religiosity, domestic violence, and the paternalistic approach was probably how many people actually lived at the time. Grim but true.

On the other hand, the characters seemed so one dimensional and undeveloped. I never felt that I understood what motivated the actions and behaviors of these unlikable and almost card board cutout beings. There were places in the book where I really hated the story. I dreaded the predictable interaction between several of the family members.

To make this book work the author needed to find a way to breathe life into the characters. Instead it became just like the joke about the people we all know who love to regale you with what I call the litany of disaster. You know the stuff--and then his right leg fell off, and then the dog died and then the house burned down--and then...and so on.

In the end, while this was probably an accurate portrayal of life during WWII for some people, I had trouble feeling empathy and connection with the characters and the story.

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14 of 16 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By MoonBeamDreamZ on 16-01-18

Don’t waste your time

I thought this was a terrible book. I am a spiritual person, but this really leaned too hard on the God issue. It jumped back and forth from the fathers life and his issues, to his children’s lives. There was no real gripping substance with the story. Not even the narrator could pull me in. Depressing. blehhhhh

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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