Monday, June 14, 2010

The Homecoming

Today ended my exile from the world. My van broke down almost two weeks ago. I had planned on using Doogie's car, but then he was in a car accident three days later, so that took out that option. Jesse is gone with his car every day from 7 am until 6 pm, so it's too late for me to run errands when he gets home. Molly did take me to the thrift store last Thursday (yay!) and I went to Wal-Mart with Jesse on Saturday, but this was my first trip out where I could drive and not have to worry about someone else's schedule. My in-laws are loaning me their truck until the van is fixed, which will hopefully be either tonight or Wednesday. Mia started soccer today at Memorial Field. She's been so excited about starting since I signed her up back in April, and I was so upset at the thought of not being able to take her. It felt so good to be out and about again! Chatting at the librarian, catching up with my cousin who works at the pharmacy, it was nice to be out of the house.

When I first became ill, I would often isolate myself from the world for days, even weeks at a time. I was so depressed from the pain that I didn't want to talk to or see anyone. Now, after nearly six years of this, I realize that I have to take advantage of every good day I have. Life is too short for me to hide away from the world all the time. I even took time today while waiting for Mia at the soccer field to listen to the sounds of summer: lawn mowers, the creaking of the chains on the swing set, children's laughter. I miss too much of God's blessings when I lock myself away in my room.

The Homecoming by Dan Walsh is the sequel to his novella, The Unfinished Gift. Shawn Collins has returned from World War II, a decorated pilot with a compelling story of escaping Nazi hands after his plane was shot down over the Channel and saving most of his crew. But his wife, Elizabeth, isn't waiting for him when he gets home. She was killed in a car accident shortly before Christmas, leaving their son Patrick with Shawn's father Ian. Ian and Shawn have had a rocky relationship over the years, but Patrick has brought them back together. When the army decides to send Shawn on a War Bond tour, he has to leave Patrick again, so he asks former social worker, Katherine Townsend, to work as a nanny. Katherine and Patrick had bonded after the death of Elizabeth. Katherine has fallen head over heels with Patrick, and she soon finds herself doing the same for his brave and handsome father, but Shawn is struggling with guilt over Elizabeth's death. Walsh does a wonderful job of recreating wartime America with its passion for stars and heroes, and the deep sacrifices everyone was willing to make for the soldiers. His description of the dogfight is harrowing and incredibly real; I could see the action happening as the planes dodged and shot each other. That scene alone makes the book fascinating, but the sweet romance between Katherine and Shawn and their shared faith make the book a must read.

Thank you to Revell for providing me with a copy of this book for review. Available June 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of the Baker Publishing Group.


Dan Walsh said...


Thanks for the wonderful review, so glad you enjoyed the book. And so glad you're able to get out of the house again.

I'm not sure what your sickness is, but it's clear God is teaching you wonderful things, even through your suffering. Thanks for continuing to be such a blessing to others, especially your family.

Hope your repairs to the van don't cost much. Have a great week!

Dan Walsh