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This is a very well written novel about a young boy whose father is a Navy SEAL. The author, Andy Symonds, is the son of a Navy veteran. He wrote this book with the input of a retired Navy SEAL. You can be assured with this type of inside knowledge from both the author and the retired Navy SEAL that the book will be true to the lives of a military family. This book has been endorsed by the Special Operations community.
Nate is only 13 years old when his beloved father, a Navy SEAL, is killed in action. His father’s fellow SEALs step up to be there for Nate and his mother and younger sister and help them as they grieve and struggle to go on. The book fluctuates between Nate’s life from age 13 to adulthood and also memories of past days that Nate and his father had spent together. Parts of the book are narrated by Nate’s father during combat, those parts being truly heart wrenching.
The author very movingly writes about the strain and worry that are daily parts of the lives of a SEAL’s family. They dread the ringing of a doorbell and what news it will bring. They live every day with the knowledge that their loved one may not make it through that day. And once that dreaded doorbell does ring, the family members must pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. It was truly beautiful to watch as the other SEALs became family members and did their best to fill the empty space their friend had left in his loved one’s hearts and lives. I often had to remind myself that this is a novel and not a memoir as it’s so realistic.
The book not only highlights the sacrifices made by SEALs and their families but also talks about PTSD and survivor’s guilt. While the general public may feel they know how hard it is on these men and their families, this book will open many people’s eyes to what the defense of this country costs these men and their loved ones.
I was given a copy of this book by the publicist in return for an honest review.
Author’s website: www.andysymonds.com