Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Things a Brother Knows

Things a Brother Knows
Guest Blogger Brad M.

I recently read Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhard. It's a pretty good book, and it's also a fiction novel. The book tends to revolve around Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which many of the marines suffer from when they come back from the war. 

It's about a young man named Levi who is 18 and his older brother whose name is Boaz, and who is just coming back from the war after being overseas for 3 years. Boaz comes back messed up, and he stays in his room and won't come out much and hardly ever talks to his family anymore. Then Boaz goes on a trip. He is supposedly hiking the Appalachian Trail, but he is really going somewhere else, and that is just an excuse. The day that he goes off, he leaves Levi a map full of addresses of the places he will be staying at. It's a hint saying come with me if you want, and Levi goes with him.  They bond together over the trip, and the two brothers get to Washington, DC at the end where their whole family meets up, and even people they have met along the trip are in DC with them.

The book was good; it was well written and detailed. However, I feel it was a little too long. In my opinion they could have come to the conclusion that Boaz needed help earlier. The book is interesting, but the end is a buzz kill. The book seems to draw you closer with every turn of the page, but the ending is a cliff hanger. The book talks a lot about PTSD.  That's what Boaz has, and he is just coming back from the war; he was enlisted for three years. I feel the book skips out on what PTSD really is, and I also feel they should talk about the steps of recovery. 

The book affected me in a couple of ways. I learned a little more about what PTSD is. However, it did not change my thoughts about the war. I feel we should have pulled out after we got Bin Laden. I also don't feel that the war is pointless, and I feel we should respect every person that enlisted in the army. This book does a good job of depicting struggles of veterans and their families.

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