Wednesday, February 8, 2017

We Are Called To Rise by Laura McBride

image from LibraryThing
This is not the easiest story to read. It's full of heartache and hope and reality.  Reality means it's not all rainbows and unicorns. Instead, it's a hard and then it's harder and then it's wonderful!

Las Vegas is the backdrop for this story of Bashkin, 8 year old Albanian son of an ice cream truck driver.  And Bashkin's exuberant Aussie teacher decides it would be a good idea to write a letter to a soldier deployed from the nearby base.  That simple act sets in motion unexpected actions that impact all!

Bashkin's letter is filled with innocent questions of a curious and scared boy.  The letter he receives from Specialist Luis is not innocent - instead he describes how he shot a boy in Afghanistan. And Bashkin, poor Bashkin, gets terribly sick with anxiety when he reads it.

This book is not only Bashkin's story though.  It also follows Specialist Luis, recovering from a head injury that seemed to occur right after he sent off that fateful letter.  And we hear from the mother of a newly instated police officer, with her fears for her recently  returned soldier son.  And another woman who seems to be connected with the court system someway.

Each of these characters brings a piece of the story to a final culmination when their separate stories coalesce.  This is a hard story to read if you are connected to the military.  There are scars from war that affect each soldier in a different way.  The families sometimes bear those scars in hidden ways. This is not only the story of American war families - but also those scattered across the world wherever there is violence.

And at the heart of it all is a boy who only wants to fit in and do what is right for his family and himself.

This was a little deep for a beach read - hard to cry with the sun shining down on me!!
Costa Rica book #1

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