My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fighting Redemption by Kate McCarthy
Like with all great books , writing a review for them is tricky. I want to make sure I at least attempt to give an accurate account of my reading journey. I have concluded that whatever I write here will never really do this book justice. This book deserves more respect than just "wow" and "omg". So with that in mind I will try and convey how incredibly profound this story is.
Ryan Kendall is broken. He understands pain. He knows the hand of violence and the ache of loss. He knows what it means to fail those who need you. Being broken doesn’t stop him wanting the one thing he can’t have; Finlay Tanner. Her smile is sweet and her future bright. She’s the girl he grew up with, the girl he loves, the girl he protects from the world, and from himself.
At nineteen, Ryan leaves to join the Australian Army. After years of training he becomes an elite SAS soldier and deploys to the Afghanistan war. His patrol undertakes the most dangerous missions a soldier can face. But no matter how far he runs, or how hard he fights, his need for Finlay won’t let go.
Returning home after six years, one look is all it takes to know he can’t live without her. But sometimes love isn’t enough to heal what hurts. Sometimes people like him can’t be fixed, and sometimes people like Finlay deserve more than what’s left.
This is a story about war and the cost of sacrifice. Where bonds are formed, and friendships found. Where those who are strong, fall hard. Where love is let go, heartache is born, and heroes are made. Where one man learns that the hardest fight of all, is the fight to save himself.
While I've always appreciated and respected what the defence force does in war torn countries on a daily basis, I'm ashamed to confess that I've always been slightly detached from it all. I guess its normal to a degree to not fully understand what people in that situation are going through, especially when you have no frame of reference for it. Kate McCarthy, with her beautifully woven story, gave me that frame of reference and as I read it I felt my detachment waning , my eyes and my heart were being opened and melted.
The story follows the lives of Ryan Kendal, Jake Tanner & Finlay Tanner. Ryan has carried the burden of guilt for most of his young life, when he flees his abusive father the Tanners take him in as one of their own and he and Jake bond like brothers. Ryan meets Finlay, Jake's sister, and feels an instant connection with her and a need to protect her. She feels it too and the seeds of their love are planted. Sadly however, their lives take them on different paths,and it seems that they are destined to live parallel lives; running side by side forever but never meeting, and so their love for each other remains without closure... quietly simmering and as hard as they try neither one can truly let go of the other.
you've always been mine even if I never get to keep you, you'll always be mine
Fin convinces herself that she and Ryan are an impossible dream, until their lives are thrust into turmoil and the events that take place violently pull the rug out from under them, forcing them to finally address what's always been there between them. The path to redemption for Ryan is finally attained when he recognises his mistakes and accepts the things he cannot change.
I really don't want to divulge any more of the plot but I will say this book is one of those rare books that touches the deepest part of your soul and you cannot help but be permanently affected by it. After reading this book I Googled the Australian defence force and perused the hopeful faces of so many young soldiers who sacrifice so much. No longer will I take for granted these brave young men and women.
This is a powerful story of sacrifice, human resilience and Love. A thought provoking read that will remain among my all time favourite books.
*****I gave this 10+ emotionally charged, beautiful Stars *****
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