Thursday, July 5, 2012

"legacy road" by graham garrison

About the book (provided by the publisher): Wes Watkins’s journalism career took off when he was asked to eulogize Michael Gavin, a stranger to Wes but a hometown hero to the humble folks of Talking Creek, Georgia. While researching Gavin’s life, Wes was confronted with an estranged relationship of his own that he wasn’t prepared to address, having ignored for years the occasional letters from his imprisoned father Ron. Wes has chosen to focus instead on his growing career and his budding relationship with Emmy. His life is looking up . . . until his marriage proposal to Emmy goes south.

Left to wonder if he can reconcile with Emmy before she is deployed to Afghanistan, Wes can no longer avoid the other reconciliation that troubles him. But when Wes uncovers a painful truth about his parents’ past, patching things up with his father may prove impossible. Wes’s life is close to spiraling out of control. Will Wes learn to forgive? Or will the best year of his life turn into the worst?

Set against the haunting backdrop of several Civil War battlefields, Legacy Road is a grace-full exploration of hidden secrets—and what happens when they are revealed. Th rough the ups and downs of human relationships, of family ties lost and found, southern fi ction fans will ponder the age-old question: How do you forgive others—and release yourself— from a past that threatens to destroy you?

My take:
Legacy Road has lots of good things going for it. The unfolding relationship between Wes and his father and the surprises Wes uncovered regarding his mother were very interesting, as was Emmy's past. My favorite parts of the book, by far, were the sections of Ron's letters to Wes. I was captivated by what I read as Ron's story slowly unfolded.

As I read the book, I couldn't help but think of John Donne's poem "No Man Is An Island." Wes, Emmy, and Wes's parents all tried to be independent for a variety of reasons. And in the end, they all realized they couldn't face life alone. I am someone who can tend toward fierce independence, and this book resonated with me for that reason.

Legacy Road continues the story begun in Hero's Tribute, something I wish I'd known before I read it. Still, I was able to pick up on most of the connections without difficulty, and the heart of the book can definitely be understood without having the background given in Hero's Tribute. For me, the book's only real drawback was that I couldn't connect with Wes. He was my least favorite character, even though he was the main character! 3-1/2 stars.

About the author: Graham Garrison is the author of Hero’s Tribute and has published articles in six newspapers and eight magazines, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, America’s Civil War, Georgia Physician, and Boating World.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Kregel Publications.  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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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