Sunday, December 28, 2014

Book review: Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline

A year or two ago, I borrowed a friend's copy of Lisa Scottoline's book "Look Again" and was hooked by the end of the first chapter. It was the story of an adoptive mom who got one of those "Have you seen me?" missing child postcards in the mail. She had seen the child.  It was her son!  The story digs into the moral question of what you would do if you were in her shoes.  Would you seek out the biological parents and try to return your adopted child?  Would you pretend you never saw the card?  The story was a MAJOR page-turner and had several twists that I never saw coming.  What a great book!

When another friend offered some books she had finished on facebook a couple months ago, I saw this one in her list of books & knew I had to get it.  If it was anything like the intensity of the first Lisa Scottoline book I read, I knew it would be good!  And you know what?  It didn't disappoint!

Don't Go is the story of Dr. Mike Scanlon, a military doctor who is called away from his young wife and baby daughter to serve in Afghanistan.  He doesn't want to leave, but goes to serve his country.  While he is gone, his wife dies in a household accident.  He is called home to deal with the aftermath of her death, to bury her and take care of the details of the estate and his daughter.  Fortunately his sister and brother in law live nearby and they offer to care for his baby until he can get home.

Upon his return home, he realizes that he barely knows his child, that there are secrets about his wife's death, that there were giant issues at home while he was gone.  After the initial visit to bury his wife, he must go back to complete his deployment.  Shortly after arriving back at his duty station, he is basically ordered to extend his deployment by 1 year.  He fights against the system to get out of this, but ends up having to agree to do it.  He is very worried about how this will affect his daughter who already seems like a stranger to him.

Some things happen (I don't want to give away too much!) but he ends up being able to go home early.  Sorting through the rubble of his life and trying to learn how to live as a civilian again is a very hard process.  He suffers with PTSD, flashbacks, physical/emotional pain and that's just what is going on inside of Dr. Scanlon.  The outside world is throwing some serious darts at him as well.

This book is such a great depiction of what happens in so many soldiers' lives both in the war and back home afterward.  Perhaps the details of the story are a little different for each soldier, but the message is powerful.

I highly recommend the book!

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