Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review: Revenants: The Odyssey Home

Author: Scott Kauffman
Started reading: June 26th 2017
Finished the book: July 2nd 2017
Pages: 306
Genres: Historical, War
Published: December 15th 2015
Source: Got a physical copy from the author
Goodreads score: 3.85
My score:
A grief-stricken candy-striper serving in a VA hospital following her brother's death in Viet Nam struggles to return home an anonymous veteran of the Great War against the skullduggery of a congressman who not only controls the hospital as part of his small-town fiefdom but knows the name of her veteran. A name if revealed would end his political ambitions and his fifty-year marriage. In its retelling of Odysseus' journey, Revenants casts a flickering candle upon the charon toll exacted not only from the families of those who fail to return home but of those who do.

My thoughts
I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book. I knew it had something to do with war, but the mystery surrounding this book was a surprise. I loved to be thrown back in time, to read about the life of the stranger who has no identity. This book is not romanticized at all and I can appreciate the rawness and the real feel of this book.

  • Beautifully written: This book feels like reading liquid language. It feel like I want to drink it, or bathe in it. It's beautifully written, the choice of words, the way sentences are build and the story all together. This is the strongest part of the book for me.
  • Want to know who he is: The mystery surrounding the stranger in this book is well done. I wanted to know who he was, so bad! You get snippets of his history and finally finding out who he was, was very satisfying. It also broke my heart a bit, but that's what life is like during wartime.. People losing sight of those they love..
  • Historical information: War is a very intriguing and interesting subject for me. I also like to watch documentaries about it and I love teaching history and I like to teach the kids what certain events can do to people. You can learn so much about the mistakes others made before you. This subjects makes for a very raw and real feel to a book and I can appreciate facts being provided about this dark time in history.
  • Couldn't keep my attention: I felt myself slipping and drifting from this book despite the beautiful choice of words, the mystery and the historical input. I can't put my finger on the sore spot, but I hate to lose my attention while reading. I just want to be captivated by a book and totally lose myself in it and it sadly didn't happen for this book.
  • A lot of different characters: There are a lot of different characters in this book and I didn't really know who was who at some point. I knew I had read some of the names in the book earlier on, but I just forgot who they were. The main characters where not hard for me to remember, but there were also a lot of side characters who did not appear much, but did have an important part in the story.
If you are interested in war stories with a good bit of historical information, this is a book for you. It's beautifully written, involves mystery and the ending just leaves you raw. You realise what war can do to people and there are actually only losers in war and never winners. The ending was very strong and it kinda made me sad, so there you also have your feels!

Other opinions about this book
"Kauffman writes with a divinely inspired descriptive power that draws you in and leaves an image in the reader's mind to muse upon long afterwards."
- John H. Byk, Writers Alive.

"Beautifully written... An intriguing story which will linger in the reader's mind far after the final page has been turned."
- Florentine, Readiculously Peachy Blog

What's your opinion on books about war? Is this a subject for you?