Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam, went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on--responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who's come back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam's experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand--but that everyone is learning to fear.
Tongues start wagging after Sam nearly kills his own brother. Now when he claims to have seen men on the mountain when no one else has seen them, Annie isn't the only one questioning his sanity and her safety. If there were criminals haunting the hills, there should be evidence beyond his claims. Is he really seeing what he says, or is his war-tortured mind conjuring ghosts?
Annie desperately wants to believe her husband. But between his irrational choices and his nightmares leaking into the daytime, she's terrified he's going mad. Can she trust God to heal Sam's mental wounds--or will sticking by him mean keeping her marriage at the cost of her own life?
Debut novelist Janyre Tromp delivers a deliciously eerie, Hitchcockian story filled with love and suspense. Readers of psychological thrillers and historical fiction by Jaime Jo Wright and Sarah Sundin will add Tromp to their favorite authors list.
This was such an engrossing and interesting read that I had a very hard time putting it down as the story continued to pull me deeper into the characters and the conflict. The atmosphere was both filled with hope and sunshine and dread and darkness.
I have read many stories that take place during WW2- in many places, on land, sea, and air- but what I really liked was that this one told a story about what happens when a soldier returns home. A soldier that is obviously dealing with PTSD. And that soldier is coming to a home that on the surface doesn't look like much changed, but digging deeper down, it has.
Sam is a husband and a father who just wants to get home, sleep, and forget his demons. But how can he when he is having trouble keeping his demons under control? Not only that, but they seem to be manifesting in real life. It seems no one believes him. Not even Annnie his wife, who always was on his side. Throw in his best friend who seems to want what Sam has, and his brother who also came back from the war changed but is looking at him a bit warily.
We get both Sam's and Annie's viewpoints. They don't live in a quite mountain town like the surface seems, but much seediness is going on in the darkness. Annie's family history can attest to that. I really enjoyed this story and the back-and-forth viewpoints as both characters are trying to find their way out of the darkness, the past, and into a bright future with a once upon a time wish for a happily ever after. I look forward to more that this new to me author has to offer.
I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
About the Author:
Janyre Tromp is a historical novelist whose loves spinning tales that, at their core, hunt for beauty, even when it isn’t pretty. She’s the author of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye and coauthor of It’s a Wonderful Christmas.
She’s also a book editor, published children’s book author, and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her family, two crazy cats, and a slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog. And if you ever meet in person, you pronounce that first name Jan-ear.
You can find her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and her website, www.JanyreTromp.com (where you can grab a free copy of her novella Wide Open).
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