The man she loves was in one of the rooms of this enormous pale brick building, but she didn’t know which one” begins the story of young Jane Morrow -from Ann Tatlock’s Traveler’s Rest- an engaged young woman about to come face to face with the shattering of her “happily ever after dreams” as she is about to see her fiancé who has been wounded in Iraq. This wasn’t how her story was supposed to play out and yet here she is faced with all sorts of questions as to what the future holds. Fortunately, she knows who holds her future and prays God will show her what that looks like. Her answers may not be exactly what she thought they would be, however.
Anne Tatlock in her masterful way once again writes a lovely character driven novel with character’s that you feel like you have met at sometime in your life. From her poor wounded fiancé Seth Ballantine struggling with lots of anger towards God for his injuries, to the character of Truman, a retired Dr. still hanging around the VA hospital to help as needed and encourage the patients. The back stories of these characters unfold and intertwine as skillfully as a lovely symphony hitting all the right notes and creating a lovely story where relationships and forgiveness are key. I really enjoy the strong nostalgia that is present in this book. Like I said the characters just feel familiar and I believe we all struggle in our lives at one time or another with the basic themes of the book- needing forgiveness, seeking a new purpose in life after the old one is gone, anger at God, etc. It is rich with moments to make you think.
I believe this book takes a turn that you don’t expect when you initially start reading, but it really makes sense as the story progresses. I don’t want to give anything away in this story but believing that God has a purpose and a plan in all things, even the bad stuff, is very present and very encouraging in this novel.
I am a fan of Ann Tatlock’s writing and this is just another of her stories that I very much enjoyed. As the book concludes you just wish that you could hang out with these characters, drink some chocolate milk with Truman and find out what happens next for them in their lives. Travelers Rest proved to be another Tatlock treasure that I am sure you will enjoy.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
I was given Travelers Rest by Bethany House Publishers to read and review. I loved this book!!! Very thought provoking, and a good reminder what you take for granted and enjoy everyday someone else is fighting for. A good reminder to enjoy the little things in life. Even the not so fun days. Ann Tatlock hit the nail on the head with this book. It's one you won't want to put down!! After reading this book I now can say I'm a huge Ann Tatlock fan!! Look forward to reading more books of hers!
Travelers Rest is beautifully and tenderly written with several heartbreaking stories but... there is hope in the end.
Jane is engaged to Seth, the man she has loved since childhood & a talented carpenter. His National Guard unit is then deployed to Iraq seven months later. He comes back broken in body and spirit, but she will not give up on him. Truman Rockaway, a veteran and retired doctor, helps out at the hospital. He is a great encouragement to Jane, and Jane is surprisingly able to help him settle a question of forgiveness in his past. Jon-Paul Pearcy is a lawyer who plays the piano at the hospital a few days a week. He is blind and tries to give hope to both Seth and Jane that adjustments can be made and life (though different) can go on. Oh, and I have to introduce you to Hoboken and Sausalito - they are the comic relief of this novel! These are nicknames for two cousins from Uganda who are working part-time at the hospital while they go to nursing school. You will really enjoy them!
This is my second book of Ann Tatlock that’s I’ve read, but my favorite so far. The way she writes just draws you in and allows you to really see settings and feel the emotions of the characters. I definitely would recommend it and look forward to reading more from Mrs. Tatlock.
**Bethany House has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
Recently I read and reviewed "Johnny's War" which told the story of an severely injured vet through the eyes of the vet. "Travelers Rest" by Ann Tatlock is the flipside of the "Johnny's" novel. It tells the story of a severely injured vet through the eyes of the girlfriend. Only in "Travelers" the girl doesn't leave him, she sticks around. "Travelers Rest" tell the story of Jane, who is engaged to be married to Seth. He has returned from Iraq as a quadriplegic. He wants her to leave, he wants to die. She stays. Interestingly, I kept comparing the two books. Where one was angry and hard to read, the other was sad and hopeful. Having read, "Johnny's" I never truly hoped for Seth's recovery. I didn't feel sad at the end so much as I felt relief. This is a really good book; not sure how I would have felt about it had I not read the other first, but the two together make for a very interesting experience. I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers.
Making promises is worthless unless you also keep them. In Traveler’s Rest, Jane made a promise to her fiancé that he doesn’t want her to keep, but that she is determined to honor. As he recovers from serious injuries received as a soldier, she does her best to stay by him, and keep her promise – even when Seth rejects her completely. Ann Tatlock writes a beautiful story of redemption, loss, and finding what is most needed – in God’s timing. The characters are true and deep, the plot is interesting, and the resolutions are not as expected. I enjoyed reading her tale. It is not a typical romance novel, but it has elements of one, while still being unique. Since I have a husband who has been through a lot of medical stuff, I could relate to the desperate moments, the times when it seemed as though there was nothing left, and I could understand Jane’s devotion to one who wasn’t the same as what she committed to, and the way in which she interacted with the various people she met along the way. When you spend a lot of time in a hospital or rehab facility, your life starts to be centered around what you encounter there – people who need connection and whose hurts may be bigger than your own. I committed my life to Christ after experiencing some really tough moments, and I know how much His love means, how beautiful it is to rejoice in His gifts even as you weep for the treasure you thought you wanted. I’m grateful for His touch, for His love, that transcends my desires, my hopes, and my wishes. His plan, His outcomes may be different than what I thought I wanted, but they are always better, richer, and much more in tune with my needs than anything I could have pursued on my own. That a story could bring that joy to mind is one reason I enjoyed Ann’s book. The tale resonates and entertains. I recommend it to anyone who is going through a trial or knows someone going through one – you will likely recognize your own struggle in Jane’s. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
This is a story of lives intertwined in unusual ways and the interactions and emotional turmoil of shattered lives, gut wrenching decisions, social injustices, tragedies of war, and journey to faith. It is a story of coping with severe handicaps and facing the emotion and physical toil those handicaps place on the individual as well as those in their emotional circle.
Seth and Jane are the young couple about which this story is basically written. But the journey they are taking is not the one which they had planned so excitedly prior to Seth's deployment to the battlefield. He has returned home physically and emotionally a broken man. Jane is determined to marry him as planned and care for him. Seth, realistically, says, "No."
Other players on the stage of this journey-play, are Truman, a retired doctor who grew up in the old Jim Crow South as a black man; and John Paul, who is a young attorney who plays the piano beautifully and who faces his difficulties with grace. (Watch out for the piano player!)
There are really three stories being played out here; and as I said, they are tightly intertwined. But understanding the title requires getting into the story a bit - Travelers Rest. You see, they are all journeying through life and it is a true journey. When you travel you must rest. But rest is hard to come by sometimes.
In the book Travelers Rest is actually a town. The characters have connections to the town and to each other that are revealed as the story progresses. Let's just say, that rest for the travelers is ultimately found in Travelers Rest
This is a first read for me of Ann Tatlock's works. I found it enjoyable in writing style and plot. I did find it somewhat emotionally draining because of the heavy burdens the characters faced and no hope of recourse. But I did find rest in the composure and grace of Truman and John Paul.
I encourage you to get a copy and read Travelers Rest.
About the author: Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy Award-winning novel All the Way Home. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina. Visit www.anntatlock.com READ AN EXCERPT FROM TRAVELERS REST - http://www.scribd.com/doc/84550401
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Travelers Rest by Bethany House a Division of Baker Publishing Group on behalf of the author, Ann Tatlock, in order to render my honest review. I was under no obligation to give a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
This is a powerful novel about the impact of war on the lives of soldiers and their families. Jane and Seth were childhood sweethearts with beautiful plans for marriage and a “happily ever after” life together. Jane was excitedly preparing for their wedding and awaiting Seth’s return from serving in Iraq. Their lives were turned upside down when he returns paralyzed. He is no longer the man she knew, physically or emotionally. Seth struggles with depression and a myriad of emotions at being robbed of his vibrant life and future. Jane still deeply loves him but battles between her loyalty to the man she fell in love with and questioning her ability to commit to a lifetime of caring for a paraplegic. The author did an amazing job of drawing the reader into the painful challenges each one faces. While I found this very intense, it gave me a greater understanding of the realities military couples encounter when a loved one returns injured. Jane finds strong support in two people she meets while Seth is in the V.A. hospital. One is Truman, an elderly retired doctor who has overcome a very painful past. The other is John Paul, a young attorney facing an overwhelming daily challenge. In spite of these hardships, both men have learned to live their live with purpose and joy. While I cannot begin to imagine the suffering and difficulties those who serve our country face, this story gave me a small idea of what it is like to walk in their shoes. I have always had compassion toward those that pay such a high price for our freedom, but Travelers Rest gave me an even greater understanding and empathy. I was inspired by each of the characters and their ability to surmount very different problems with courage and perseverance. It made me ashamed for whining at the small frustrations I face. There are some pleasant surprises along the way and an unexpected ending! I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
Everyone should read this book and learn how to deal with PTSD. The VA Hospitals are not doing enough for the veterans. There is a new word in the book. MRSA is an infection that patients can get in the hospital. All patients should be told about this. A very informative book.
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... (from the back cover)
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How does life go on when your fiance returns home from fighting in Iraq as a quadraplegic? Do you stand by your man no matter what... uphold your wedding vows not yet taken? Where is the silver lining?
Ann Tatlock has beautifully written a heartwarming story of love, loss, forgiveness, and hope for the future. Each of the characters is well-developed so that they easily become your friends throughout the book. Many of their character traits are ones I could easily identify with - questioning God, understanding your past, desire to uphold commitments, and more.
With all the wounded soldiers returning from the Middle East, this wonderful story gives us an insight into the problems faced by the veterans. Their slow and steady recuperation does not always mean a whole body... the one they had before defending our blessings. Travelers Rest has challenged me as to how I can help our returning veterans and their families.
I received a complimentary copy of Travelers Rest from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.
I fell in love with the characters in this book. The author did a superb job of interweaving the lives of so many from various backgrounds and ages. She touched on so many subjects in this book, commitment in spite of a difficult circumstance and standing by that commitment when others say or encourage Jane to walk away. The author tackles hard subjects of racial issues, guilt, searching for forgiveness and finally receiving it in a seemingly impossible way. The author also gives hope and encouragement to those in the story who have disabilities and how they can still lead a productive and happy life, even helping others, in spite of the disability. By the end of the book, I felt I knew each character in the book personally and was sad to see it end. This is a super book and highly recommended to be on your list of "must reads!". I am already searching out other books by this author, and will be sure to have my eye out for future releases. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for submission of my review.
Isn't the book cover gorgeous? I could not wait for this book to arrive! Ann Tatlock has been on my list of favorite authors for a very long time and this book is just another flawless example of why I love her writing so much.
Travelers Rest is about the past, present and future. The characters are very easy to relate to and this is a story that shows the sacrifice our beloved servicemen and women sometimes face. My heart broke for Jane, who desperately wants to do the right thing. The love of her life lays wounded in a hospital bed and pushes her away emotionally and physically. Jane's entire future is wrapped up in Seth's recovery and she tries to keep both hope and love alive.
This is a wonderful vacation novel, and I would strongly recommend that you get it, especially if you've never read one of Ann's books. It's so hard for me to choose a favorite - so I suggest you read ALL of her books!
As I've stated before in previous reviews, Ann writes to the heart and soul of her readers, pulling them into complex stories rich with emotion and drama. Every book of Ann’s that I read ends up becoming my “favorite”. Her stories resonate with me long after the book is finished. You cannot read an Ann Tatlock novel and NOT be affected!
This is a 'hard to put down' novel current in today's headline/news we see every night. Military men coming home injured beyond repair unless a miracle happens. As I read this book, my heart ached, and I wondered how the author would pull it all together and end it realistically. I won't spoil it by telling how she does it, but she did it very wisely; you won't be disappointed.
I think it would be great made into a 'for TV' movie, and Morgan Freeman would be excellent as the Dr Rockaway; I could also see the blind computer whiz on Covert Affairs TV series, playing the role of the volunteer pianist at the VA in the story, Jon-Paul.
Every reader will appreciate the VA ministry and all the volunteers and workers they need, as well-described in this book. I highly recommend it as reading for all.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers with no obligation to give a possitive review. The book warrants one! Enjoy.
Jane Morrow has found true love. Seth~ has promised that they would marry when he returns home from Iraq. Only he has been wounded in the war and returns home a different man. He refuses to let Jane commit to a lifetime of caring for him.
Jane ~ who does not have a strong faith in God learns through the bitter taste of war and a Veteran's Hospital that God is in control and has a plan. She discovers that when she prays ~ God hears her.
This book has many twist and turns and is not a happy ever after book but ends in a way that makes one stop and think and realize that God can bring peace in the most difficult of circumstances. Jane learns as we all must that we can trust God and sometimes in sorrow is where we grow the most.
Traveler's Rest... a town with historical purpose has long played host to weary travelers, offering a relaxing place to rest their hats and their hearts.
Jane is willing to do whatever it takes to keep life the same and the surroundings familiar and comfortable. Will her heart lead her to where she has been searching for all along?
Seth, fiance of Jane, is injured in IRAQ while serving in the armed forces. His promises may not know of the future but his heart remains constant.
Truman, physician, is always running from the past, but will he be able to find a place where he can be free?
An unforgettable story of loss, heartache and tenderness this novel willingly held my attention throughout and quickly became impossible to put down. This very well written novel offers well rounded and personable characters, realistic dialogue and impeccable scenery guaranteed to captivate and stimulate the reader and one that kept me up reading through the night. A faith inspiring keeper book, one that I will come back to again and reread at a later time, the storyline flowed well containing absolutely no dull parts, and is a book that I will highly recommend to others. Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for my complimentary copy for this review.
Life had so much promise for Jane Morrow who was engaged to a man she’d loved since second grade. They grew up together. Jane noticed Seth but all the while he didn’t know she existed. Then in high school things changed. He finally he noticed her in a big way! It only took fifteen years. The happiest day of her life was when Seth asked her to marry him. Then Seth signed up to be in the reserves and then is called to duty. They planned on getting married when he came back. But nothing prepared them for what would happen next.
Seth Ballantine was back from Iraq with a purple heart, changed and missing a few things. He tells Jane to stay away from him. He doesn’t want her to see what happened to him in battle. He wasn’t the man he used to be. She deserved more in life. She didn’t care how different he was. They’d make it work; come up with a new normal to their relationship. She wouldn’t stay away.
The realities of Seth’s medical condition and who he had become were staggering! She found it hard to catch glimpses of the old Seth she fell in love with and grew up with. Could she love this man she hardly recognized – personality wise and wishes he died in battle?
A friend says to Jane, “…when he beginning to take inventory of what he has left – rather than thinking about what he’s lost. That’s the beginning….He can’t do what he once wanted to do with his life, but he can do something, and that’s what matters.”
Would Seth ever change his thinking? Seth and Jane are weary. They pray, “Oh, God I’m tired please hear our prayers.”
“We take everything for granted, until we don’t have it anymore.” Jane hears from a friend.
Jane gets to know Truman, a retired doctor who makes it his mission to help the soldiers adjust to their new normal, try to make sense of a life they never expected to have. Is there life after their world was turned up-side down? He listens, encourages them and cheers them up daily. They look forward to his visits.
Jane repeats a saying her nanny said and she’d lived by, “Well child, as mamma always said, life’s gearshift’s got no reverse, so you have to just keep moving forward!” Funny and so true!
Ann Tatlock gives the reader a glimpse into one couples reality as they try to make sense of their new normal! Could they love each other enough to make it work? Would Jane move onto another relationship like Seth and her friends wanted her to do? Or would she know without a shadow of a doubt she was meant to stay by Seth’s side no matter what? How would she find answers to these questions?
This author shows one soldier’s heart break and how his family reacts to him in his new physical state. Also how they all struggle to deal with the question “Where do we go from here?”
There are no easy answers as Ann Tatlock’s endearing characters struggle to hear from God,’ to do the right thing, and learn how to thrive in the after math of war! This author shows there can be hope, healing and forgiveness in the middle of horrific times!
Nora St.Laurent The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org
Ann Tatlock is an author who has never shied away from dealing with difficult issues of grief and loss and pain, and yet she does so in a way that is uplifting and ultimately entertaining as well. Her ninth book to date, Travelers Rest, is another winner that again satisfies on many levels, a book that is utterly moving and is written with skill and artful prose. The characters are beautifully developed, and they are ones readers will easily connect with. I especially enjoyed the character of Jane Morrow and the struggles that she faces, interwoven with the story of the retired African-American doctor, Truman, and his own difficult past. I loved the vision/dream that Jane experiences near the end of the book, and while I don't want to give away details for fear of providing spoilers, I loved how it pointed so clearly to what Jesus accomplished for each of us, experiencing brokenness in His own body so that we might be healed. The conclusion is poignant, true to life in that everything is not tied up in a neat knot, and yet providing an ending that left me truly satisfied with how things end up even better than the characters could have hoped or dreamed of! That, itself, is a testimony to how God has so many blessings up His sleeve, blessings that may not always be apparent when we are down in the valley experiencing pain and uncertainty.
Travelers Rest is a book that is sure to delight fans of Ann Tatlock's previous novels, and equally sure to inspire new fans to pick up one of her books and savour the delightful words therein. I highly recommend this book and award it 5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
What a dilemma! Jane Morrow, the protagonist, engaged to a victim of the Iraq war finds herself in the middle of a complex problem. Seth Ballantine, once an able-bodied man, but now a quadraplegic, decides that the only solution is for Jane to stay away; after all, he is no longer the man she knew. Stay away or remain at Seth's side?
The character of Jane is compelling; despite Seth's efforts to discourage her, she plugs away, hoping somehow it will all work out. Jane questions her future life with Seth and wavers. She wishes that somehow she could be confident in her choice.
The storyline is believable and unfortunately, quite timely. Even though the topic is depressing, the plot is not. Props to Ann Tatlock for keeping the balance.
One character provides an ongoing theme: “Life’s gearshift’s got no reverse, so you have to just keep moving forward.” Readers watch as Jane moves forward. This is a book that will challenge the reader to think about life's choices.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Bethany House Publishers for my copy.
Jane Morrow is finding her future a difficult road ahead. What she had planned for isn't what lies in front of her. So many decisions and not sure which way to go, she searches in vain for the answer. Seth Ballentine has returned home from the war in Iraq and she couldn't be more happier. When he left, all she ever wanted was for him to return home even though she never wanted him to leave. Asking her to marry him before he left gave her something to hope for along with a promise he'd come back to her.
Now that he has, he doesn't want to see her. Asks her not to come visit or see him. Yet Jane's still in love with Seth and can't understand how his feelings have changed for her until she makes a trip to visit him. She steps into the lobby of the Asheville Veterans Administration Medical Center complex and asks for directions to his room. On the fifth floor, she enters his room and finds him looking so much worse than she ever expected. Losing much of the weight he had before, she braced herself for his reaction. When he looked up at her, she expected to see love in his eyes, but now only anger appeared there. He was mad she had gone against his wishes and come to see him.
He tells Jane that he wants her to forget about him, to take the engagement ring she's still wearing and sell it. Take a trip, go on a cruise. He's not here for her anymore. Only Jane thinks she has prepared herself in the last six months to deal with Seth. After everything she has read, she still has hope that they can still be married, she still is in love with him and wants to be his wife. As much as he tries to discourage her, Jane insists they can make this work. Seth is now completely paralyzed after being shot in the neck. The only thing he wishes is that he had died like he believed God had planned instead of being brought back as less than a man.
In the latest novel by Ann Tatlock, Travelers Rest, brings the readers into a difficult time for both Jane and Seth. Jane's trying to maintain hope that they can still make their relationship work while Seth is trying to find hope to keep on living in his current state, despite how much he may recover some of his movement. He knows he will never be the same and tries in vain to discourage Jane in anyway he can. Will they find a way to make their love survive despite difficult circumstances or will they each go their separate ways and realize that love alone may not solve their problems?
I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and was immediately captivated by this enchanting story. It's understandable to feel things for both Seth's circumstance of dealing with a war injury and Jane's for trying to keep the hope and faith of love alive despite their struggles. Along the way, Jane meets Truman Rockaway, an elderly man who has served time in the Korean war and is a retired black doctor now residing at the Medical Center. He reminded me while I was reading about his character in the book of Morgan Freeman and he quiet strength provide healing to Jane's troubled soul. I really enjoyed this book and found myself drawn into the characters as each one has shared a troubled past along the way to arrive where they are today. I highly recommend this one and rate it a 5 out of 5 stars. Once you pick it up, you won't be able to put it down.
Ann Tatlock always takes her readers on an emotional journey with an ending that provides immense satisfaction. In Travelers Rest, she tackles a tough subject with compassion and truth. I loved the characters and the story. It's a novel I'll keep and read again. Novel Rocket and I give it a very high recommendation. It's a must read!