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Shadows in the Mind’s Eye by Janyre Tromp

Theme Chatter

Post-traumatic stress disorder was a main theme in the early chapters of this book (it likely was through the whole book, but I only made it to twenty percent). While I have not been diagnosed with PTSD, I have experienced it. A tough thing, that. It has wild symptoms and is disruptive to thought processes and can be debilitating in other ways as well.

Yet, it does not have to hold us back from experiencing a full and joyous life. With God, all things are possible (see Philippians 4:13), and I believe dealing with post-traumatic stress is included in “all things.”

In fact, the verses just prior to that particular one speak about learning to be content whether we have little or much, and I like to think this also includes whether we have our full mental strength or are dealing with emotional and mental health issues (which, of course, can include PTSD). The neat thing about those verses is that they tell us that we are not alone in the struggle to deal with whatever trials we face. Paul went through the journey of learning contentment, so that voyage is not new in our generation. Also, Jesus and God are right there with us through the whole thing, as evidenced in verse 13 as well as numerous other places in the Bible.

Which Bible verses encourage you to keep hold of hope?

Book Review

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. These are my honest thoughts.

I really wanted to like this book. The back-cover copy was so intriguing, with a premise that sounded right up my alley. I didn’t understand how the cover was connected to the blurb, but I was willing to overlook that in order to see the story unfold.

Unfortunately, I only made it to the twenty-percent mark of this book. Within the first three or four chapters, there were five profanities. The fact that even one profane word was published by a Christian publisher is disappointing; to have five pop up in such a short amount of time was downright alarming.

The pace of the story was really slow to me. Granted, that could just be my personal taste. Still, the opening scene had immediately set an interesting tone and pace, but the next several seemed to slow things to a crawl and were less interesting. Of course, that could have been due to the fact that it sounded like the leading lady was willing to cheat on her absentee (due to military service) husband. That sort of “love triangle” subplot is not my cup of tea. Melodrama! (and not the good kind).

The leading lady’s accent and dialect were charming—until she claimed to be “a city girl born and bred.” Um, no. She sounded like a hillbilly, mountain woman, or country bumpkin, all of which made sense, considering she was living in the mountains of Arkansas, and had apparently spent lots of time there as a child (as one flashback early on told me). I don’t think city girls speak like this gal did, so I struggled with that. However, I was willing to deal with the inaccuracy to finish the story.

The final straw for me was the graphic violence and imagery that suddenly popped up in a flashback at the twenty-percent mark was enough to nauseate me and trigger my vertigo. I’m not normally super squeamish, I know my limits, and this surpassed it in about half a page of a particular flashback the leading man was having. That, in combination with the profanities and slow pace, made it impossible for me to continue reading this book.

Through that first twenty percent, I did not understand the cover any better than when I’d first scene it. Hopefully the rest of the book explains it better.

The highlights for me were little Rosie, who was an adorable girl getting to know her daddy for the first time; her kitty cat “Bailey baby,” who very much acted like a real kitten; and the budding father-daughter relationship between Sam and Rosie. I think their storyline would have been my favorite part had I been able to finish this story. It was shaping up to be something really special.

The premise of a soldier coming home and navigating PTSD while figuring out how to once again be the husband (and now, father) he ought to be was intriguing. I do wish I could have enjoyed this book to see how things turned out for Sam.

Content: profanity (excessive in first twenty percent), replacement expletives, drugs mentioned, marital affairs mentioned, claim that a little girl was “a gift from the god of war,” graphic war violence/imagery


There is a giveaway associated with this Read with Audra book tour. For details, please visit Audra’s website.


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