In Book 2 of the Riverbend Series, Marcia Meara, author of Wake-Robin Ridge, A Boy Named Rabbit, and Harbinger, takes a look at the devastating effects of a family torn apart by a horrific tragedy, pitting brother against brother, and focusing on battling PTSD with the redemptive power of unwavering love and support.
Before, I never thought about taking a life.
Now, the thought fills my mind day and night,
and I wonder how I’ll hide that terrible need,
As an old car swings to the shoulder,
~ Traveling Man ~
Hunter Painter’s darkest fears have shaped his offbeat personality since he was a child, crippling him in ways invisible to those unable to see past his quiet exterior. In a sleepy Florida town known for its eccentric inhabitants, he’s always been a mystery to most.
Only one person sees beyond Hunter’s quirky facade. Willow Greene, the new age herbalist who owns the local candle and potpourri shop, has secretly loved him since they were in high school. When, sixteen years later, she discovers Hunter has loved her just as long, Willow hopes her dreams are finally coming true.
Willow soon learns that Hunter fears happiness at her side isn’t in the cards for him. With her natural optimism and courage, she almost convinces him he’s wrong—that they can really have that life together they both long for—but even Willow can’t stop what Hunter knows is coming.
One by one, his worst nightmares become reality, culminating in an unthinkable tragedy, which devastates everyone it touches. Willow’s battle begins in earnest as Hunter is plunged into a bleak, guilt-ridden despair, threatening to destroy not only their love, but Hunter, himself.
Finding Hunter is the story of a lost man’s desperate struggle to make his way home again, and one woman’s unshakeable faith in him and the power of their love.
Gut-Wrenching, Heartbreaking, and Soul-Warming
I was looking forward to this book because I enjoyed the first one in the series so much. And now I’m eager to read book three. Marcia Meara has found her groove in the complex-character/Florida-fiction niche.
I love character-driven fiction, and this is the epitome of a character-driven piece. Hunter Painter puts a smile on your face and a tear in your eye from the first page. His story arc had me an emotional wreck, so you can imagine what he and Willow went through. And Willow… so strong, so understanding, so amazing. She is a force to be reckoned with.
These characters and the supporting cast kept me on the edge of my seat. This book depicts the horrors of PTSD from not just the person plagued by it, but also from the POV of the family and friends who so often feel helpless and are relegated to watching their loved one suffer. Meara explored this condition thoroughly and without restraint. It was an eye-opening and heart-wrenching take on the topic.
As I said, I really enjoyed this novel and can’t wait to read the next installment.
If you are interested in more information, visit Marcia Meara’s website for purchase, newsletter, and social media links.