Army ranger David McClain was about to depart for a year-long deployment to Afghanistan when he met Lindsey Wood. It was possibly the worst time to meet the woman of his dreams, but that’s what Lindsey was: a fascinating, beautiful woman that David couldn’t wait to get to know better. Through months of deployment, through patrols and firefights and the horrors of war, it was the burgeoning romance with Lindsey that sustained David. But war changes people, and the man who came home from Afghanistan was not the same man who left Gooseberry Island. As David struggles with anxiety, sleepless nights, and flashbacks, he pushes Lindsey away, believing she deserves better. Is there a future for them?
Author Steven Manchester explores the difficult topic of war and its lingering effects in Gooseberry Island. Readers get to experience a full spectrum of emotions in this novel: beauty, love, and hope through the romance between David and Lindsey; as well as fear, anxiety, and despair through David’s struggle with PTSD. While the basic plot of this book was excellently conceived, and most sections were well-written, much of it felt very rushed; there was not nearly enough time devoted to developing most aspects of the story properly, and the book suffers as a result. This novel just does not live up to its potential.
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