A Time to Heal

by Rose Verde

Synopsis

A Time to Heal: Raven Jamison, a young woman from a broken home now sharing a home with her grandmother, welcomes her brother Alex and his friend, Landon, for Thanksgiving. Landon, a former Marine, lost a leg, and his dog, in an IED explosion. Landon is both physically and psychologically wounded; Raven recognizes this and wants to help him. When Landon agrees to spend the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas with Raven and her family, the attraction between the two grows deeper.

At the same time, Raven’s estranged father comes to reconcile with his children and to explain why he and their mother divorced.

Despite their growing closeness, Landon’s physical and emotional pain drives him to end his relationship with Raven. Fearing that she would never be happy with a handicapped husband, Landon moves away determined to cut Raven from his life.

A final meeting with his doctor confirms that Landon’s physical problems can be overcome; the doctor arranges for a job interview for Landon; it seems that all will be well in the end.

Theme of the Book

A Time to Heal is a book about love and faith. The characters trust in their faith in God and in each other to overcome seemingly insuperable problems.

What I liked about the story

Landon provides the author a path to examine the aftereffects of war, injury, and self-doubt. Using the character of a wounded Marine as a protagonist allows an examination of PTSD, and the searing results of injury to both the body and the mind. Landon is somewhat typical of a romantic hero. He is handsome but imperfect and his physical imperfections result in the damage typical of a main character in a romance. However, in this book, the damage does not result from the usual trite unhappy relationship or broken family. The author has chosen a unique form of romantic hero.

Basing the action and results on religious faith is also a strong point of this novel. Without preaching, the author manages to underline the strong belief system that supports each character. All four of the main characters, Raven, Alex, Grams, and Landon, have strong faith that God will provide healing and support.

What I Didn’t Like About The Story

There is a very short section of the story that includes the father of Raven and Alex. He has been estranged from both children for many years. Amazingly, they manage to reconcile over the Christmas holidays. While this is lovely for Raven and Alex, it adds nothing to the story. Readers may be understandably confused at how quickly and easily Raven especially is reconciled to the father she has neither seen nor heard from since the divorce. The episode does not add anything essential to Raven’s character. It does explain a bit of backstory but the novel would work perfectly well without this explanation.

The version of the book that I received to review was written in a terrible font that tended to run words together making it rather hard to read what the author had written. I hope that the author will reconsider this font in the final version of her book.

Final Say

A very Christian, fairly typical romance, A Time to Heal is a quick and easy read (disregarding the horrible font). I read it in a couple of hours. For a romance, it has its good points but is completely predictable. Romance fans looking for something to read on a short plane flight will appreciate the book. Anyone looking for a well-developed novel with a complex plot and intriguing characters are advised to look elsewhere.

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