“Travelers Rest” by Ann Tatlock (A Bethany Publisher’s Tour)

A Young Woman…An Injured Soldier…A Retired Doctor

Jane Morrow has a dilemma. She’s engaged to Seth Ballantine, a member of the National Guard’s 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, and he’s returned from Iraq severely wounded. Jane hasn’t seen him for nearly a year, and with trepidation, she heads to the VA hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, where he is being treated.

Seth isn’t happy to see her. He’d asked her not to come. He wants to end the relationship. But Jane loves him, and despite his injury, she’s determined to convince him that they can have a life together. Her faith has never been strong, yet she hopes God will answer her prayers and tell her what to do.

Beautifully written, Travelers Rest takes readers on a journey through pain
and tragedy to a place of hope and redemption.

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I knew I wanted to be a writer from the time I tapped out my first stories on my grandfather’s old manual typewriter in the summer of 1973.

I studied English and theology in college and later went on to earn my master’s degree in journalism from Wheaton College Graduate School. I worked as a writer and editor for Decision magazine from 1987-1992, when I left to pursue fiction writing fulltime.

I find great satisfaction in my work, and I especially enjoy hearing from my readers. In addition to writing, I also teach at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and online through the Christian Writers Guild.

Endorsements:

“Ann Tatlock delivers a heartbreaking and heartwarming story that plumbs the depth of the human spirit and the beauty of the divine.” ~ Kate Scott

“Stellar writing sets Tatlock apart from her peers.” –Romantic Times

My Review:

Travelers Rest is an indelible story of  ‘a young woman determined to honor her commitment’ to ‘an injured soldier convinced life is no longer worth living’ and ‘a retired doctor certain it’s too late to be forgiven.’

Ann Tatlock’s Travelers Rest is a heart-wrenching  emotional story that taps into the very depth of your being as you watch Jane Morrow trying to cling to her engagement as Seth’s life seems hopeless and useless when he returns from war.  The depths of emotions draw you into the circumstances, almost drowning you in the pain of the situation and the decisions to be made.  Ann’s writing style is succinct and all-inclusive as she turns out a gritty, difficult situation that Jane has to deal with and brings it full circle.

Though Seth has a strong faith in the Lord, he is tried to the nth degree to live within his confining bed of life.  The author displays the whole gamut of grief as portrayed in his acceptance/rejection of his condition.

The author’s use of humor helps to detract from Seth’s constrictive life as he lay wounded from war, particularly through the characters of Sausalito and Hoboken. They liven up his life with their special brand of bantering with him.

Two other people that the author introduces that caught my attention are Dr. Truman Rockaway, a retired black physician who served in Korea and now lives in the Vet’s Home permanently, and Jon-Paul Pearcy, who is a blind attorney who plays piano when he can at the Home.  Jane and Dr. Rockaway build an intimate relationship that’s one of the mainstays in the story.  Jane gets to know Jon-Paul as she revels in his piano playing.  They, too, build a close relationship, though not as deep as with Dr. Rockaway.

Dr. Rockaway has a haunted background of anger and unforgiveness, which he discloses to Jane.  She becomes instrumental in the healing of his wounds, though she doesn’t know it until it transpires.  The horrors of racial segregation are exposed in Ann’s book that show the terror of the ’60s.

Ann teeters in her faith, hoping God will answer her prayers and tell her what to do, but Dr. Rockaway and Jon-Paul appear to be more settled in theirs, having been tested severely.  The relational faith issue is there, but it’s in the distant background for you to glean from.

This is a story that will stay with me for a long time, as the repercussions of war are sometimes very severe.  But it’s the emotions that are played out by the characters that have endeared me to this book.  They are raw and real, difficult and joyous.  Yes, there is much more to the story, but that will be filled in as you read the story.  It’s one you really shouldn’t miss.

This book was provided free by Noelle Buss of Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was exchanged.

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