Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Friday, September 14, 2012

The Reunion by Dan Walsh (Book Review)

Title: The Reunion
Author: Dan Walsh
Publisher: Baker

Expert storyteller Dan Walsh pens a new tale filled with the things his fans have come to love – forgiveness, redemption, love and that certain bittersweet quality that few authors ever truly master. Fans old and new will find themselves drawn into this latest story about restoration for the broken and ignored.

Walsh brilliantly weaves together two stories of men embroiled in turmoil – Aaron Miller a Vietnam vet who returned from war only to lose everything and of Dave Russo, a writer unable to love again. The Reunion opens with Aaron, 40 years after the war, slowly putting his life back together. Dave uncovers his heroic actions during the war, leading both men to find a second chance in life and love if they’re willing to take a risk.

Walsh captures genuine emotion in his writing, and according to RT Book Reviews, he “demonstrates that, like Nicholas Sparks, men are capable of writing romantic fiction.”

Walsh has mastered telling stories set in separate time periods. The Reunion is a contemporary story with flashbacks to Vietnam. When Walsh was young, he hated history until he discovered a few non-fiction history books that read like page-turning novels. “They made history come alive,” says Walsh. “Reading became a joy. That’s my goal now, to create that same experience for my readers. I hope they get inspired and thoroughly enjoy themselves.”

Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Dan Walsh is the award-winning author of The Unfinished Gift, The Homecoming, The Deepest Waters and Remembering Christmas. He lives with his family in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel. Visit www.danwalshbooks.com for more information. 

My thoughts: Dan Walsh continues to make my list of favorite books.  This one started out like any other book - you know what I mean - just starting to get to know the players, seeing if the storyline was one that was going to grab you, wondering if it was going to keep your attention - and boom - I was hooked and already half-way through.  

I loved Aaron Miller.  He was this unassuming older man who was just living his life trying to make other's lives a little easier.  He was a Vietnam War Vet where he had won the Congressional Medal of Honor, but because of how his life fell apart after the war, he didn't feel like he was deserving of it and never spoke of it.  Like many Vietnam Vets, he came home from the war with lots of psychological/emotional baggage as well as physical wounds that left him hooked on painkillers. All this made him unbearable to live with so his wife sent him packing.

Years later, after he had cleaned up his act, he tried to reconnect with his kids, but his wife shut the door on that idea and told him to just move along.  For twenty years he has lived with the regret that he has never been able to have a relationship or even know anything about his kids.  He finally got away from living on the streets, but his housing now is just a handyman's shed at a trailer park/campground.  From his little shed though, he does what he can to make the lives of the residents a little easier, a little safer, a little less lonely.

Dave Russo is a reporter writing a book to honor his father, who was killed in Vietnam.  He was just recently reunited with his son, Jake, because of the death of his ex-wife. He has realized that he had been valuing the wrong things in life and has vowed to spend more time with Jake.  While interviewing a Vietnam Vet for his research, he is set out on a journey to find Aaron Miller.  Little does he know how far, yet how near, this journey will take him.

I recommend having a box of Kleenex for the last third of this book.  I kept expecting my son to ask me why I was crying, but I guess he is used to seeing Mom cry while reading!  I have also read and reviewed Remembering Christmas and The Deepest Waters

~I received a complimentary copy of this book from Baker Publishing in exchange for my unbiased review.~

The Reunion
Publisher/Publication Date: Baker, Sept 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2121-3
304 pages

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