22 October 2013

Review of Tamera Kraft's Debut Release "Soldier's Heart" by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Soldier's Heart by Tamera Lynn Kraft


Blurb: Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm. 
But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them? 
150 years ago the history of America changed forever. Live 1863 through the stories of some of our finest writers – the passion, the romance, the tragedy, and the triumph.

My review: Parents should be aware that this would be more of a PG rating or even a PG-13 dependent upon how conservative a parent you are.  However, that being said, this is a realistic look at how Post Traumatic Stress disorder can affect someone.  In this case, Tamera Lynn Kraft is addressing specifically "Soldier's Heart" or PTSD caused by military service and surviving terrible combat situations. This is a historical not a historical romance as Noah and Molly were married when she was only 16 and he 20.  Now three years later, he has finished his commission as Sargent  and returned home to Ohio.  

The young couple tries to begin their lives together while he is overcoming the terror brought on by losing his men in an ambush. This is a fairly quick read--I read it in one night.  But it is not a light read. This is a 25,000 word novella but the reader can quickly lose herself in the read--like I did!

Scriptural elements are brought in about a quarter of the way into the story and I think that was a good strategy because we are at first immersed into Noah's reaction to being home from war. And his spiritual arc requires him recapturing, and growing in, his faith.

Lots of nice historical details or "jewels" we history geeks like to say! You'll be nicely grounded into Noah's and Molly's world in Civil War era Ohio.  

Bibliotherapy: This story could be used for bibliotherapy for family members of soldiers who've seen combat duty or for the military members themselves.  This is one of the most thorough coverages I've seen in fiction.

Giveaway: Kindle copy of Tammy's novella to one of our commenters.  Do you have a loved one who has seen combat?

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for this wonderful review Carrie! I have this on my Kindle and will be reading it soon. Sounds like a great story to read in helping to gain a better understanding of PTSD and how it affects people. I'm looking forward to reading about Noah and Molly.

    My husband's brother-in-law was over there for the Vietnam War for 12 months but won't ever talk about it. After he had come back, he had nightmares and once jumped out a window. Hard to comprehend just how terrible things were that they saw and heard..

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    1. Ohmygoonessgracious about the window! What floor was he on? My neighbor used to scream at night in his sleep after he came back from Vietnam, and we'd hear him because back then you just had the windows open with the screens on. No A/C.

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    2. Naola, I think Vietnam vets had it the worst because nobody honored their service when they returned.

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    3. That's so true Tamera, and so sad for those who served in that terrible war..
      Carrie, thankfully it was only a single story home! Hearing someone scream out in the night like that would give you chills..

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  2. I always love reading your insightful reviews, CARRIE. Are you a history geek? Never mind...don't answer that redundant question. lol My dad fought in WWll and was never the same. He turned into an alcoholic and suffered tremendously, as did our whole family because of it. I have other family members and friends who suffer fron PTSD....so sad. Thanks for the great review, CARRIE!

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    1. You know we've discussed my dad being a PTSD WWII wounded vet, too, Diana. He had been the inspiration for my Guidepost Book's story but then we ended up taking that aspect out of the story, so the hero became a different kind of character. Anyway, Kathy does a great job of showing PTSD.

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    2. My dad also served in WWII, Diana. He was in the Philippines. I know it effected greatly.

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  3. Our family loves history especially info about the Civil War.

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    1. Bonnie, you will love this book, then. Has a women's fiction "feel" to it, too! Blessings!

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    2. I hope you enjoy this one, Bonnie. The main character is from the Ohio Seventh, considered by many historians to be the most heroic Union Regiment.

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  4. I do not have a loved one that has seen combat, but I studied PTSD in college many years ago, when it was just becoming known. So very glad that there are more resources available now than we had then, but wish there were more!
    Thanks for the great review - I have not purchased this one, and would love to win it.
    Betti
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. My very first private practice job as a psychologist was working with people with PTSD, Betti. You're right, things have come a long ways (that was 30 years ago!)

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    2. Betti, soldiers suffered PTSD in every war. I think it was probably worse in the Civil War because of the horrific battles and because there was so little info on how to treat it.

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  5. Carrie, thank you so much for your wonderful review. It blew me away, both because you are a "history geek" and because you're a psychologist. I tried to make it as accurate to real life PTSD as I could.

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  6. Great review! This sounds like a wonderful story. I have a brother who has been on a couple tours, but nothing too serious - he is a firefighter. I can't imagine having a family member with PTSD.
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

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    1. It would be hard, Susan. I'm praying for the safety of your brother.

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  7. I had 2 family members who saw combat I know how hard it is for them.
    God bless you for writing this
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

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    1. I agree. It was hard for everyone who faced combat, Chris.

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  8. My oldest brother was in WW ll along with 2 brother-in-laws, cousins, and many friends. I know what they went through was horrible, but don't remember any of them having this PTSD. Don't know about the cousins as we weren't near them. My dad's younger brother was in the service back then, but he was way younger than my dad and I never really knew him. He made a career of the army and mostly lived in the Phillipeins. My middle brother was serving during the Viet Nam war, for he made a career of the Army also. Never heard him talk about it. My youngest brother was in the service too, but no war during this time. later my Step-son served during the time we were helping get IRAN out of IRAQ. So many men who came home had children who were deformed and our boy never had any children. We think it was the gas reaching them from the gas raids from the enemy. Our son was at the back of the lines in communication group. It was all horrible. One of my great-grands died in the Civil war. Probably other family members, but don't know much from back then. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Maxie, thank you for sharing how your family served.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Carrie! This sounds like a stirring story. I can't imagine the things that those in the military have to see and do and endure. I am very thankful for their service!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. I'm thankful too. What these men have to go through is something we civilians could never understand.

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