November 16, 2012

Retro Friday Review: Wounded Healer by Donna Fleisher

{Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted @ Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at anytime!}

Wounded HealerWounded Healer (Homeland Heroes, Book 1)

About the Book:

Surrounded by the oppressive sand, heat, and tension of Operation Desert Storm, soldiers Erin Grayson and Christina McIntyre shared a special bond. But when an ugly secret from Chris' past shattered their close friendship, they went their separate ways without even a goodbye. Four years have gone by since that day in the desert, but Chris has spent her entire life running from the past, hiding her deepest secrets from those who care for her most. And now tragedy has ripped apart her life. She sees no hope in tomorrow.It's a good day to die. . . .Overcoming her own anger and doubt, Erin rushes to Chris' Colorado cabin. When Chris' fear of God and Erin's faith in Him collide, they are involved in a different kind of war that only one of them can win. As Chris wrestles with grief, fear, and ghosts from the past, Erin fights to pull her from the brink of self-destruction. She will not lose Chris again.Chris' life is at stake . . . as well as her soul.

My Thoughts:

I remember when this one first came out. I saw it in the store and didn't think it looked like something I would enjoy. Oh how wrong I was! But I didn't find out how wrong until book number three came out, at which point I decided I'd better read the first two books. Yes, there are four books in this series and they are all fabulous! But this isn't about the series, it's about book one. And what a story it is! Chris has issues, lots and lots of issues. But somehow Erin, along with you the reader, looks past those issues and into the heart of Chris. Chris has a very tender heart (which makes her a sympathetic character and very likeable, even when she's stubborn), but it is buried beneath layer upon layer of hurt and fear and all kinds of emotions that refuse to go away. It takes persistence and love and never, ever giving up on Erin's part, for Chris to finally let her in a little. But only a little, mind you. I think what originally turned me off was that I thought this was going to be a story with war featuring prominently. And it is there, but ultimately this is a story of people. Flawed people who have been through so much, especially Chris, and yet find strength to get up and go on living even when they'd prefer to die. It takes an extremely strong person to do that. The thing is, this isn't a pleasant, happy, fluffy book. It does have it's lighthearted moments, but this is Chris and Erin's story, mainly Chris', and it's not an easy one to tell. Ms. Fleisher is a great writer, she mixes in the current happenings with flashbacks and memories from the past. Which is needed, because Chris' past shaped who she is presently. And her past is pretty ugly and has left some awful scars. 

These two women share this bond of surviving together during Operation Desert Storm. This bond goes deep, which is why Chris allows Erin into her cabin after Chris' boyfriend dies (not a spoiler, this happens in the first chapter). Chris desperately wants to be loved, but at the same time she is absolutely terrified of it. Erin has lots of love to give and refuses to not love Chris. Despite the fact that they haven't seen each other for five years at the beginning, Erin runs to Chris' side when she needs her. Steadfastly refusing to give up on Chris, even when her husband wants her to. Then convincing Chris to come home with her and trying to get her to tell her story so she can find peace. Because that's the other thing Chris needs desperately, peace. Real peace. Erin truly wants to help Chris through this, but Chris doesn't make it easy at all. So this is their journey, at least part of it. A story of friendship and honor and a love that will not be ignored. Just a small warning, reading this will make you want to find out what happens next. Thank goodness all the books have been out a while, huh? :)

A passage for you:
"Erin sat there for a full minute, trying to decide what to do. She wanted to stay but didn't want to push it. She should probably go and let Chris sleep. Still, she decided to ask. "Do you want me to stay a little while? Until you fall back asleep?"
Of Course. What did you expect? She hasn't changed. Erin slowly started to get up. She's all right. She'll sleep-She stopped and quickly turned around.
Chris had reached up and grabbed the back of Erin's sweatshirt. 
The pause was filled with tension. Erin waited, standing now, by the bed.
She sad back down.
Chris closed her eyes. And reached out again.
Erin took Chris's hand. And squeezed it."

 Toodle-loo kangaroos! Happy reading!


  1. Aww, somehow the description reminds me a little of China Beach, this old show on tv about a bunch of people in Vietnam.

    Sounds good, though! I'm glad you enjoyed it and that it surprised you.

    1. I've heard of China Beach but don't know anything about it. Hmm, I'll have to check it out. Makes me wonder if the author likes it or not?

      It's always fun when a book surprises me! :)


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