Publisher and Publication Date: Ballybur Publishing. May 15th 2017.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Format: NetGalley ebook.
Source: I received a complimentary ebook copy from NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of World War I, PTSD, and romance.
Rating: Okay to good.
Series titled, Sweet Wine of Youth #1
Dierdre Brannigan is a nurse at the Charity Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Later, she is a nursing sister for the soldiers fighting in World War I.
A group of boyhood friends enlist in the military during World War I. They are from Newfoundland.
All of the principle characters will suffer to some degree with PTSD. During this time period, there was not enough research or even compassion in the medical community. It was first called Shell-Shock. Later, this mental health condition would be called PTSD.
Themes in the story: death and dying, compassion, loyalty, perseverance, courage, bravery, heroism, fear, guilt, shame, sacrifice, honor, romance, suffering, survival, war, peace, marriage, resistance, addiction, empowerment, grief, hope, and love.
I didn’t enjoy this book as I’d liked. I actually disagree with a few of the choices about the direction of the story.
My reasons for not liking this story as I’d hoped:
1. One of the characters has an opioid addiction. This type of addiction and drug is a well-known cause of sexual disfunction. Nevertheless, the character does not have this problem even though their drug use escalates.
2. The sexual positions the couple uses is not of interest to me. The love-making scenes come across as like a car manual-mechanical. I want to read tenderness and patience and love.
3. The story borders on being too busy with plots. It feels like a heavy meal. War and its aftermath, which is dealing with PTSD and its impact on relationships is heavy enough. But added to the story are other involvements and entanglements.
4. I feel no attachment to Dierdre which is a surprise. I feel more for the men.
What I love about the story:
1. The brotherly and sacrificial love between the young men is memorable.
2. The war scenes are graphic, raw, and well-written.
3. PTSD is a huge part of the story. Those who suffer in varying degrees are a strength for the story. It gives a well-rounded perspective of this condition.
4. I love reading about medical care in our history.
My son is a disabled combat Veteran. He has severe PTSD. I want to mention this because I feel it adds a little background to the things I notice about the story that people who have not personally experienced in this issue.