Sunday, November 19, 2017
Review: Dark Days of Promise by Shaunna Gonzalez
This book covers the coming together of two very interesting characters. One is a SAH(single)M with the usual three rambunctious kids. The other is a cold-blooded killer who yearns to be gentle now that he's back from the war.
When Vicki receives news of her ex-husband's death, she has to move forward with life and help her two boys and a girl cope with life without Dad. She knows that her unofficial Grandma Janine is related to a military friend of her ex-husband, Kelly. Kelly has returned from the war with an injury and a history in Special Ops. He struggles with having killer instincts and feeling like he no longer is capable of a normal life. You can probably see where this is going. Kelly is the real man her ex-husband and current boyfriend failed to be for Vicki. Vicki teaches him gentleness again. It's not hard to work out where the book ends up.
The book was ambitious in focusing on Kelly's PTSD. I admired that the author had the children be intelligent enough to perceive that there was something different about Kelly and they didn't just let it slide. The were protective of their family and that worked well. I also liked that she wove in the children's different ways of coping badly with the loss in the family.
The main characters had strong personalities behind them and the link between them through her ex-husband. The book sells itself short, literally, though. It's 154 pages and makes a very fast transition from "My kids just lost their Dad. How will I help them?" to "My kids need a dad ASAP." Vicki has been raising them for three years while her husband was deployed at times and home at others, yet she keeps underscoring the fact that she needs someone who can teach her boys to be real men. The PTSD that led me to read this in the first place is addressed, but Kelly admits that he refuses to get treatment because his is not that bad. That gave me some pause.
I'm sure that she spent many days in those three years as a single mom wondering if she was doing a good job, but I feel as though the author wrote a character perfectly capable of teaching her children correct behaviors and attitudes on her own. And the character should have respected herself for it.