This is one of those books.
I received this book right before I stopped blogging last year due to my pregnancy. I wanted to read this book. I have read one other Ann Tatlock novel, All the Way Home. I LOVED that book. Why I haven't picked up more of Tatlock's works is a mystery. Travelers Rest is proof that I need to.
The novel starts out with Jane Morrow entering the VA (Vertran's Administration) hospital in Ashville, NC. Her fiance, Seth Ballantine, is a patient there after being shot in Iraq. His injury left him a quadriplegic and giving up on life. Jane is there trying to move forward with the plans for their lives. Seth is looking at his future as if there isn't one.
At first I cringed at the fact that this storyline involved the military. I assumed, wrongly, that perhaps Ms. Tatlock was using this military/Iraq war to gain readers. And honestly, I don't want to read military-related stories. (If anyone ho-hums about this, I am prior-service military. I'm not military bashing. I plainly do not want to read about the military!) So it took me awhile to get through the first few chapters. I'd read a half a page to a page before setting it back down. But I'm so happy that I stormed through like a good trooper. I was rewarded with a lovely story of hope and carrying on--all of which I needed to hear at the time of reading. This book spoke to me, not only with the story being told, but in such a way that it gave me a new perspective on what was going on in my life.
Tatlock also uses the story the remind us that people are placed in our lives for a reason. Jane is befriended by a retired doctor, Truman. He is someone who helps guide Jane through the life-changing injury for both Seth and herself. As much as he helps Jane, Jane helps Truman receive forgiveness in a decades-old event that resulted in life-long consequences for him.
The story is one that helps us understand that there is a reason we go through what we do, and there is significance in everyone we meet and share experiences with. Ann Tatlock seems to do this effortlessly with fully developed characters, making me fall in love with them all. I cannot recommend this book enough.
From the publisher:
A YOUNG WOMAN determined to honor her commitment...
AN INJURED SOLDIER convinced life is no longer worth living...A RETIRED DOCTOR certain it's too late to be forgiven...Jane Morrow has a dilemma, and love alone may not solve it. Her faith has never been strong, yet somehow she hopes God will answer her prayers and tell her what to do. The answer she finds may not be at all what she expected...
Title: Travelers Rest
Author: Ann Tatlock
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Received from Publisher