Title: The Second Half
Author: Lauraine Snelling
My rating is 4 stars.
I would have to say that this novel was somewhat hard to get through, but not because of the poor writing. I think it was the emotionally impacted story of grandparents who looked forward to retirement and other adventures whose lives were turned upside down when their son who is a single parent is deployed. On top of being deployed, some time later the parents were informed of him being listed as MIA.
The novel seemed realistic and it gripped my heart to read the rollercoaster of a ride the parents, son and his kids go through, especially after being MIA. I thought it brought home the cost most families don’t see even the impact on their day-to-day lives. Plus the tension in the novel was climbing with each trial or testing the family was going through, learning how to walk through the season of not knowing about their son.
The novel also shows pretty unashamedly how depression can turn lives upside down and inside out, how those around them may feel about having to live with someone who struggles with it and learning how to handle one day at a time sometimes a moment at a time. For awhile it seemed like a real downer of a story to read until I realized it could be many folks’ reality. I became more thankful for the families who serve and the grandparents or significant others who shoulder such burdens and wrestle with their faith like human beings do.
The ending of the novel was precious for sure; yet, there are points along the way that remind us of what a true legacy looks like and it might not be what is expected. I thought also about how the characters had to adjust their lives to care for young children and put off some of their dreams or desires to care for their grandchildren. The novel certainly gives perspective to readers who aren’t impacted by a deployed family member, depression or having retirement plans radically altered.
While it was a tough story to read, I am thankful to have read it and perhaps reminded of what really matters and what doesn’t!
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