MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Revenants by Scott Kauffman

Revenants: The Odyssey Home
ISBN: 9781637327811
Publisher's Synopsis:
A grief-stricken candy-striper serving in a VA hospital following her brother's death in Viet Nam struggles to return home an anonymous veteran of the Great War against the skullduggery of a congressman who not only controls the hospital as part of his small-town fiefdom but knows the name of her veteran. A name if revealed would end his political ambitions and his fifty-year marriage. In its retelling of Odysseus' journey, Revenants casts a flickering candle upon the charon toll exacted not only from the families of those who fail to return home but of those who do.
"We would want someone trying to get him home to us."
MrsK's Review:
Are you looking for a story that will take you beyond your troubles. A story that will leave a mark upon your heart. A story in which someone's life is "calling out" for a listening ear?

In December of 1973, Betsy would be struggling with so many memories about her brother Nathan. They would be attending his services tomorrow and nothing in her life felt normal. When her choices begin spiraling, her father encourages her to volunteer at the VA hospital. At first the pain and suffering is beyond what Betsy wants to deal with, yet with the supportive wisdom of her father, Betsy realizes that her brother could have ended up in a VA ward.

At some point in our lives, we have had one of those forks in the road, one in which we must choose "grit" as our vehicle down a road not normally traveled. For Betsy, Ward 7 will be that road. As each of the veteran's stories begins to weave a bond within Betsy's heart, she begins having dreams in which her brother tells her something. What is he trying to share?

"Sometimes your patriotic duty is not to stand up but to scream, No!"
Why is there a floor upstairs that no one is allowed to enter? Who is receiving medical attention so closely guarded that no one is willing to discuss him with Betsy? With the help of Filbert, Betsy will begin a quest to uncover the truth about this veteran. Doesn't he have family? Wouldn't someone want to know where he is or that he is still alive? Could Bartholomew help this aging, sightless, veteran tell his story by using Morse code?

Betsy finds herself trapped in a race against time. Not only will she need to discover the identity of the veteran, but she will be facing opposition from Congressman Hanna.

When a story touches your heart in a way that it quivers, you know it's a story to be shared,
"You will learn soon enough, young lady, that everyone has their price.
Anyone can be bought. Anyone."
Uniquely written, mysteriously woven, and heart-touching!
Meet the Author:
Scott  Kauffman    Scott claims his fiction career began with a in-class book report written in Mrs. Baer's eighth-grade English class when, due to a conflict of priorities, he failed to read the book. An exercise of imagination was required. Scott snagged a B, better than the C he received on his last report when he actually read the book. Thus began his life-long apprenticeship as a teller of tales and, some would snidely suggest, as a lawyer as well, but they would be cynics, a race Oscar Wilde warned us knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. Scott is the author of the legal-suspense novel, In Deepest Consequences, and a recipient of the 2011 Mighty River Short Story Contest and the 2010 Hackney Literary Award. His short fiction has been appeared in Big Muddy, Adelaide Magazine, and Lascaux Review. He is now at work on two novel manuscripts and a collection of short stories. He is an attorney in Irvine, California, where his practice focuses upon white-collar crime and tax litigation with his clients providing him endless story fodder. He graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and in the upper ten percent of his class from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, where he was a member of the Environmental Law Review and received the American Jurisprudence Award in Conflict of Laws.

"I received this book for free for this review"

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