"... a deeply moving novel ... good storytelling ... memorable characters ... compelling narrative ... strong story...." Judge, Writer's Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards.
Smitty Wesson was more akin to the lonely falcon than his war-scarred father until he found a home in the army. When he became "battle-rattled" himself in Iraq, he needed others to "watch his back," including Abby, the girl of his dreams.
The Falcon and the Mourning Dove is a wartime romantic novel with timeless dimensions—gritty, packed with stark realities of war, and edgy human relationships. A sniper and medic form a symbiotic rapport during the Iraq war. The story follows Smitty and Abby through their difficulties going into the army, through training, and deployment to Iraq. An intense year of combat with their National Guard brigade spins their developing relationship into peril under stresses of deep physical and psychological wounds. This story of love in war refreshes Tolstoy's question of whether lives are pre-determined or shaped by responses to events.
Smitty Wesson is a classic bad boy and underachiever raised by his father, an affected Vietnam veteran, after his mother died. He is more invested in guns, motorcycles, and brawling than conforming to societal norms. The army offers redemption and a chance to find his roots. In basic training Smitty discovers he needs friends to "watch his back." But all his human relationships remain tenuous.
Abby Arden enlists as an army medic in her quest to become a physician. She also needs help and find it with a streetwise black girl, the rebel from her hometown, and eventually his recovering father.
Smitty and Abby are sternly tested as they evolve, haunted by stark impressions of combat in wartime Iraq. When their dreams are dashed against hard reality, their lives take radical turns. This emotional roller-coaster of American veterans is at once heartwarming and heartbreaking.
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