3 out of 4 stars
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After returning from the Vietnam War, Michael Walsh lives a seemingly purposeless life, indulging in drugs, sex, and alcohol. This is his way of dealing with Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder (PTSD), which is part of the effects the Vietnam War has on him. He falls in love with Terry, who tries to bring a change to his life. But is Terry enough to make him change his ways for the better?
Limestone Waters by John McMahon (American Author) will transport you into Michael's world. You will experience how drugs can complicate one's life. The book is both educative and informative.
Limestone Waters was a book that got me absorbed into its rich, fascinating plot. From the narrative, we get plunged into Michael's life as was brilliantly painted by McMahon. It was brilliant in the sense that Michael's life could resonate with real-life situations. We've seen how most soldiers get so traumatized by their war experiences that they rely on drugs or attempt suicide (sometimes successfully) to escape the pain. Knowing this realistic setting, I got to understand Michael's situation better.
Beyond being realistic, the story also contained a life lesson: no matter your situation, you could rise again with determination. I saw the limestone waters described in the book as symbolic. I wouldn't go into detail to avoid spoilers, but I believe that Michael's contact with the limestone waters was the point of realization that things could get better for him. It also showed that the starting point of fixing a problem would be to figure out how to move forward.
Another attribute I found commendable in the book was its near-perfect editing. I noticed only three minor errors in the book. I commend the editors for doing a good job.
Although I found Limestone Waters a great read, I had two issues. One was the apparent lack of suspense in the book. A fictional story lacking tension could be likened to a meal lacking salt. I didn't feel the anticipation of wanting to know what would happen next. The lack of suspense created a hole in the exciting and realistic plot of this book.
The second issue I noticed was the lack of surprising events in the book. Though the author tried creating one surprising event using the DEA investigation, it didn't pan out well. The two characters involved weren't significant and weren't mentioned much in the book. Many events in the book were predictable. For instance, it wasn't hard to correctly guess Michael and Terry's fate right from when they became familiar with each other.
Although the plot setting of the book and its execution was tremendous and made reading enjoyable, the lack of suspense and surprising events in the book reduced the way I felt about the book a notch. Therefore, I would rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it to young adults and people who fancy romance, as it was a coming-of-age story, showing the challenges some young people go through. The book isn't suitable for readers younger than 16, as it contained sex scenes and strong profane words.
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