A Change of Heart by Barbara Longley (Perfect, Indiana #3)
Rating: * * * *
Cory, battling PTSD, broke, unable to access veterans benefits, living in a trailer home with her mother, somewhat reluctantly accepts the push to start over with a new job in a new town, surrounded by other veterans dealing with PTSD. Although she learns to trust all those she works with, her strongest bond is with Ted, the only non-veteran in the bunch, a man struggling with his own identity issues, being seen as a kid and feeling like an outsider in the business he dreamed up and co-founded.
For every bit of progress Cory makes, she also experiences horrifying nightmares. Although she recognizes the progress, she also notes that “one notch above miserable can feel like relief.” I recently saw an episode of Star Trek: DS9 that sums up what Cory finally understands: “Running may help for a little while, but sooner or later the pain catches up with you, and the only way to get rid of it is to stand your ground and face it.” And so Cory faces it.
This book brims with hope. And pain, yes, but always the hope that a better, fuller life is possible and that the characters can achieve that by facing down their pain. Periods of hopelessness do not equal giving up. And that is why I will read this book again and again.
I received an advance reader copy through NetGalley.