Back to You: Book 1 of the Coming Home Series
Review by Cynthia Cline
Imagine reading a book that grabs your attention immediately to the point that you finish it in less than 2 days. And not just any book, but a story that covers what it’s like to be a military service member and a military spouse. Very few books are able to capture the essence of military life in this decade, yet, this is exactly what Jessica Scott was able to accomplish in her Coming Home Series. Jessica Scott is not only a best-selling author of approximately 20 books, she is an Iraqi war veteran and active-duty Army officer, wife, and mom. In these books, she uses her personal experiences to share a fictional account of soldiers returning home from Iraq. Her goal was to share stories of normal soldiers, not special forces that most novels and movies center around.
The Coming Home Series
The Coming Home Series takes us to Fort Hood and introduces us to characters like Sergeant First Class Garrison, the protagonist of “Because of You” or his old buddy Capt Trent Davila the protagonist of “Back to You”.Sergeant Garrison’s personal life is a wreck so he devotes all of his time to work, but right before he is set to deploy, he meets Jen St James and something about her changes him. As Garrison navigates a tough deployment, he isn’t prepared for what coming home will look like. In the end, “Because of You” shares the story of Garrison’s journey home and the healing power of love. I know it sounds cheesy, but there is something fun about cheesy. Marriages fall apart every day in the military. Servicemen and women thrust themselves into the mission and forget about everything else. Garrison’s character was all too real for me. I may not have walked in his shoes, but I have seen my fellow brothers and sisters in arms walk very similar paths.
Service To Our Country Is What We Do Not Who We Are
When I began reading this book, I was upset that the protagonist was a man and there was no mention of a woman in service, but after finishing the first novel I realized I resonated with the ladies in the story just as much. And it makes sense because we are women first. Wives, mothers, friends. Service to our country is what we do not who we are. It also helps that Ms. Scott has other novels that feature women in the military such as “Come Home to Me.”
As I read the book, I was able to reflect on my own experiences. Experiences of deploying and coming home. Experiences of losing someone we worked with or navigating suicide within the ranks. This book covered brought a lot of memories for me to reflect on and identify where I went wrong or what I did right. Self-reflection is a powerful tool, so when a fictional story helps you do that, you keep reading.
Not For The Faint of Heart
This series is nothing like the coming home videos you may have seen circulating on social media. If you’re a sucker for coming home videos like I am, then you will enjoy these novels. But fair warning, these novels are not for the faint of heart as some of the imagery can be a bit risque. But chances are, if you can handle wearing the uniform, you can also handle these books. Military life is not glitz and glam. There’s a much darker side that no one likes to talk about. But when you can read about it in a fictional storyline, it’s easier to digest.
These stories may be fictional, but they show us what it’s like to deploy to the middle east and return home with physical and emotional wounds. Not everyone who serves our country gets to experience this kind of war zone. We get an inside look at how it feels to lose so much overseas and what it’s like to be a military spouse left in the dark. Even if you haven’t encountered trials within military service, you will gain an appreciation for the career and opportunities you have had
So, if you’re curious what this life actually looks like, or you need a book you can relate to as a service member who’s gone through some traumatic things, then these books are for you.
Find Jessica Scott on FB https://www.facebook.com/JessicaScottAuthor
Cynthia Cline is a veteran of the U.S. Military, a Military Spouse, and a momma to two. She has a passion for books, coffee, and Jesus, and a desire to share her story to encourage women. You can read more from her on her blog, A Faithful Step, where she encourages and equips women in the area of Motherhood, Relationships, Military life, and Christian Spirituality. You can also connect with Cynthia on Facebook or Instagram.