Book Review of A Reason to Live (Forrester Brothers, Bk 1)

A Reason to Live (Forrester Brothers, Bk 1)
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Civil War Nurse Laurel Covey is a poster child for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. From reading this book, it is easy to understand why so many doctors committed suicide and/or became terminal drunks after the Civil War. Through Maureen McKades words, the reader can feel Laurel Coveys anguish.

Although not physically injured in the war, Laurel Covey carries terrific grief; she was a triage nurse for the Confederacy (triage nurses decide who can be saved and who is too far gone). She suffers because she feels that she has been forced to act as God and determine the fates of the men who come to her hospital.

Laurel still suffers for her beliefs; her Massachusetts parents disowned her for marrying a Virginia man, who died at Gettysburg. Laurel's husband (Roberts) family wants nothing to do with her. As a way to cope with the constant death around her, Laurel writes down the final words of the soldiers in her care. She promises to deliver their final words (and mementos) to their loved ones.

After the war ends, Laurel begins her solitary travels to share the notes in her journal to the bereaved family members. Along the way, two starving Confederate ex-soldiers accost her and threaten to rob and assault her. While they are pulling her from her wagon, an ex-bounty hunter, Creede Forrester comes upon the scene and saves her.

He received notice that his son had been wounded in the war and has ridden from Texas to take his son back home. While in Virginia, he finds that his son died and the last one to talk with him was Laurel Covey. He has been looking for her to find out what she knows.

Forrester thinks he has nothing to live for because both his wife and son are dead. When he talks with Laurel, he realizes that this spunky nurse could meet trouble again and decides to join her. Laurel thinks she has nothing to live for because neither family wants her and she is alone.

The varying responses to Laurels information are so surprising, but appropriate to the people and the difficult time in the South after the war. Laurel is often staggered by the anger some families vent on her. Although she was angry with Forrester for joining her, she begins to rely on his reliability and concern for her.

The author captures the emotional turmoil Laurel and Creede are feeling. This is an emotional story that will stay with me for a long time.

Forrester Brothers
1. A Reason to Live (2006)
2. A Reason to Believe (2007)
3. A Reason to Sin (2008)