Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Shadows in the Mind's Eye by Janyre Tromp Blog Tour

About the book:

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?

My Review:

This is quite a novel about how one family struggled when the husband returned from WW II, suffering from PTSD. The narrative mostly follows the adjustments and missteps made by Annie, the wife, and Sam, the husband, as they try to understand how to live with the changes in their marriage. There was much bickering between characters, something I had difficulty finding engaging.

The narrative flows at a methodical pace with lots of character reflection and remembering childhood events. The plot seemed a bit repetitive to me as misunderstandings occurred and were then dealt with. It was not until near the end of the novel that there was a good deal of action and suspense.

We follow the narrative from the alternating first person accounts of Annie and Sam. That is a technique hard to pull off and I would have preferred all third person for consistency in reading. It is hard to determine the character development, especially for Sam as we really have no idea of what Sam was like before the war.

Much is revealed near the end regarding what Sam was really experiencing upon his return. The explanation is quite involved, showing how complex the situation was. While I am not sure everything fit neatly in the end, I did appreciate an exploration of a man returning from the war and having to face adversity and criminal activity. 

My rating: 4/5 stars.

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 InstagramTwitterFacebook, and her website, www.JanyreTromp.com (where you can grab a free copy of her novella Wide Open).

Kregel Publications, 288 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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