Halfway to Someday by Layla Dorine
NineStar Press (ISBN 978-1-951880-31-6 )
So what happens when two PTSD victims converge in a lonely cabin during a Colorado blizzard?
That’s the setup for Halfway to Someday, a psychologically engaging novel by Osage, Iowa, author Layla Dorine.
Rocker Jesse Winters, who suffers from the aftereffects of a past relationship from a man who still stalks him, meets up with Ryker, a former Army Ranger who is trying to overcome survivor guilt and his own wounds and trauma brought on by eight tours in Afghanistan.
At first, Ryker finds his attempts to reach Jesse thwarted by the other man’s fear and shame from physical self-abuse. However, when both men work to fight off Jesse’s stalker Troy, they find common ground. Even more important, though, they heal themselves by helping each other.
Above all, Ryker’s openness and honesty are exactly what Jesse needs.
“Whatever you say stays between us. I don’t judge you, and I won’t yell. You have my word, but it really looks to me like not sharing is tearing you up inside. So please, before either one of us takes an accidental trip off the deep end, let’s help each other.”
And that’s exactly what the pair do. By helping Jesse, Ryker comes to terms with his own war wounds. And by helping Ryker overcome his demons, Jesse opens up and rediscovers his own humanity.
Ryker also hears an objective assessment of his relationship from his uncle Desmond.
“I think you two might be good for each other. I’ve known Jesse for most of his life. He hasn’t had an easy time of things, but then neither have you. Maybe together, you can help each other move past the pain you’re struggling with.”
Ryker also intercedes on Jesse’s behalf to explain to his cousin Kyle, Jesse’s fellow band member, the turmoil Jesse is experiencing, a key to getting Jesse back on his feet and rejoining the band. Jesse and Ryker also start to form a close personal relationship.
While Jesse starts to heal internally, he remains in danger as Ryker calls in former fellow Rangers to help protect him from Troy.
Dorine does a great job of exploring the depths of PTSD in both characters, a great service to victims of domestic violence and the aftereffects of war. The novel does contain mature content and violent situations.
(Michael Tidemann writes from Estherville, Iowa. His author page is amazon.com/author/michaeltidemann.)
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