Friday, May 8, 2020

Blog Tour + Review + #Giveaway: Keep Forever by Alexa Kingaard @AlexaKingaard @XpressoTours

Keep Forever
Alexa Kingaard
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: March 28th 2020
Genres: Historical Romance, Women’s Fiction

“Unlike some war stories that focus on intense, harsh and graphic depictions of post-combat trauma, this tale unfolds gently, like an Edna Ferber novel, spread across many decades, detailing the impact this soldier’s illness has on an entire family, including children and grandchildren. KEEP FOREVER is a wonderful, emotionally satisfying read that I highly recommend. ”
GARY SEIGEL, author of “Haskell Himself”

Paul O’Brien’s idyllic childhood in Southern California comes to a halt when his mother dies in the summer before his senior year of high school and a very different persona of his father emerges – isolating himself inside the house, turning to alcohol for comfort, and barely noticing his only child. Simultaneously, the war in Vietnam is sending shock waves around the world and young men from one coast to the other are being called upon to serve. Paul enlists in the Marines before receiving his draft notice.

Elizabeth Sutton is eager to gain some independence from her father’s old fashioned notions and looking forward to her first year in high school. At fifteen years old, tragedy strikes with the loss of both parents in an auto accident, turning her childhood into one of responsibility and worry overnight. The four siblings are scattered when her nine-year-old twin sisters are sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle on Nantucket Island, and Elizabeth is left behind in Boston with their grandmother. Her older brother, Sam, enlists in the Marines, eager to join the conflict a world away as opposed to dealing with the one unfolding at home.

A bond develops between Paul and Sam in Vietnam, and both are injured in a bloody battle that costs Sam his right hand and sets the stage for a lifetime of nightmares and sleepless nights for Paul. Matched by similar tragedies at a young age, Elizabeth and Paul’s first introduction by Sam upon their return from Vietnam is the beginning of friendship and love that survives five decades.

After marrying, welcoming their first child, and inheriting a small beach house, the couple adapts to their new surroundings, but distant memories of Vietnam continue to haunt Paul. In an era when veterans refuse to speak of their pain and the government denies that thousands of soldiers are coming home irreparably damaged, he is left to deal with the challenge of caring for his loved ones amidst his his erratic flashback episodes and moods. As their lives unravel from the lingering effects of PTSD, Elizabeth learns to accept the burden that Paul brought home, and together they make their own memories to keep forever.

A True Story

My Review:

Keep Forever is a heart wrenching story that really touched my heart. I found myself in tears on more than one occasion throughout the whole book. Keep Forever tells the story of how two families were brought together by the Vietnam War.

Keep Forever shares the story of how two families dealt with the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Not only did the ones that came back from the war have to deal with it but so did their families by watching and loving them and helping them to deal with it in the only way they knew how.

Four siblings Elizabeth, Sam, and twins Laura and Tina's, lives are ripped a part by a tragic car accident that kills both of their parents. Elizabeth comes up with a plan that Sam will become their guardian. He will get a job and Elizabeth will get a part time job to help out.

Imagine Elizabeth's heart ache when Sam informs her that he has joined the Marines and will be going to Vietnam. Elizabeth is torn that her brother is leaving them but she is more afraid that he will not come back.

Elizabeth thinks that her and the twins can go live with their uncle but is broken again when she learns that her aunt and uncle are only able to take in the twins and that she is to live with their Nana. Elizabeth is torn by this information but she is one tough girl and can deal with it.

Keep Forever not only tells Elizabeth's story but it also tells of how Sam meets Paul in Vietnam and they become close friends. Sam and Paul are both injured in Vietnam and are sent home. Elizabeth and Paul hit it off from the very beginning and after a few years they marry and have a family of their own. Sam meets and falls in love with Linda, they marry and start a family of their own.

Keep Forever goes from generation to generation telling how Paul, Elizabeth and their children live with and deal with PTSD. Keep Forever tells the horrors of Vietnam through the eyes, heart and lives of Paul and his family. It shows the love that Paul and Elizabeth have for each other and how that love kept them together.

Keep Forever will stay with me for many years to come and I know I will always be on the lookout for another book/story like this one but I don't think that will happen well not with the story. Keep Forever was so beautifully written. I can't wait to check out more of this author's work.

I highly recommend Keep Forever to anyone looking for a great story. I highly recommend you one click your copy today!

Author Bio:

ALEXA KINGAARD, a California native, currently resides in Carlsbad and is the mother of a son and daughter who continue to be her biggest fans and cheerleaders..

October 13, 2011, was the day that changed her life forever when her ex-husband, a Vietnam veteran, took his life during a PTSD flashback episode. Inspired to share this tragedy that continues to rob husbands and wives of their spouses, children of their parents, mothers of their children, brothers and sisters of their siblings, and comrades of their friends, Kingaard relied on her own experiences to shed light on this crisis. The burden brought home is not partial to Vietnam, but is an insidious aftershock endured by combat veterans of all conflicts.

Kingaard continues to pursue her literary career, writing about nostalgia and the human condition, the common denominator of our lives.



Giselle said...

This sounds like an emotional roller coaster! Great review! :)

Daniel M said...

sounds like a fun one