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It wasn’t the homecoming Nathan Henson had envisioned… a quick flight back to “the World” on a freedom bird to some west coast airport where one could hopefully slip back into the heartland unnoticed by hostile demonstrators. Forty-eight hours from the jungle to the streets. Welcome home.

For Corporal Henson, the war may be over, but the battle has just begun. Suffering from PTSD, he struggles to adjust back to civilian life, haunted by memories from the battlefield, and of his fellow soldiers who lost their lives there.

In search of healing, he joins a group with other veterans where they recount their tales and experiences, forming a deep bond of brotherhood. The road to recovery is difficult- the war has taken its toll on all of them, though they each have different ways of dealing with it. Some better than others.

For Nathan, his saving grace comes in the form of a beautiful young woman, giving him a second chance at a love that he thought he would never feel again. And yet, the scars remain- and the more he struggles to come to terms with his past, and to help his brother soldiers, the more he fears he will lose everything all over again.

Yet another fantastic book from author E. Michael Helms, The Private War is honest and real, offering the reader a glimpse into the everyday realities of our veterans. To me, this book had a much different feel than the other works I have read by Helms, written with a raw emotion and almost desperate sincerity, though it certainly kept all the key marks I have come to expect from this author- complex characters, true romance, and the ultimate struggle of good over evil. Written as a semi-autobiographical fictional sequel to “The Proud Bastards”, Helms draws upon his own experiences during the Vietnam war to shape this powerful story of human emotion and struggle. Highly recommended!

Rating: 5 stars

I have received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

About the author:

E. Michael Helms is a USMC combat veteran. His memoir of the Vietnam War, “The Proud Bastards,” has been called “As powerful and compelling a battlefield memoir as any ever written … a modern military classic,” and has been in print for most of the past 20 years.
His work has also appeared in the books: “Semper Fi: Stories of U.S. Marines from Boot Camp to Battle” (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003); “Soldier’s Heart: Survivors’ Views of Combat Trauma” (The Sidran Press, 1995); and “Two Score and Ten: The Third Marine Division History” (Turner Publishing, 1992).
Book One of his two-part historical saga, “Of Blood and Brothers,” was released September 2013. Book Two followed in March 2014.
The first novel of his Mac McClellan Mystery series, “Deadly Catch,” was published in November 2013 and was Library Journal’s “Debut Mystery of the Month.” The second Mac McClellan Mystery, “Deadly Ruse,” is scheduled for Fall 2014.
“The Private War of Corporal Henson,” a semi-autobiographical fictional sequel to “The Proud Bastards,” will be published in June 2014.
Helms lives with his wife in the Upstate region of South Carolina in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, and continues to work on his mystery series.

To read more reviews of this book on Goodreads.com, click HERE.

To purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.com, buy HERE.

 


My sincerest and truest heartfelt thanks to all of our brave soldiers- both those who came home, and those who did not -for all of the blood, sweat, and tears you have shed for our freedom. You are the true reason our nation is great. Thank you.

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