Letters from War – Travis Thrasher & Mark Schultz

Letters from War Travis Thrasher Mark Schultz
Letters from War by Mark Schultz, Travis Thrasher
Published by Howard Books on September 6, 2011
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Romance
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four-stars

Platinum-selling Christian music artist Mark Schultz pens a novella based on his award-winning song “Letters from War,” about a mother’s unwavering hope, courage, and steadfast prayers.Every night, Natalie leaves the front porch light on. Just in case. It’s been two years since her son, James, went missing while saving the life of a fellow paratrooper in his division. Natalie’s faith has sustained her while she awaits word on her son’s whereabouts. Well-meaning friends encourages Natalie to move on, but Natalie continues to hope.

Missing In Action – It has got to be one of the most dreaded acronyms any military family can hear. KIA—killed in action—hits swift and hard. Certainly difficult, incredibly difficult, but also certain. MIA shreds hope until nothing but a single strand remains. And with each passing day that thread grows thinner and thinner. This is the world in which James Thompson’s family has lived for the past two years. Barely holding on. Wondering if each phone call will bring great or dreadful news. Unsure if moving on means giving up. Stuck.

It’s been two years since James Thompson went missing in Afghanistan. He left behind his mother, Elizabeth; a sister, Emily; a young wife, Britt; and a son he’s never seen. He also left behind a slew of letters…Letters from War…that express his love and devotion for both family and country. The story primarily comes from the perspective of mother and son—Beth providing the context for the present storyline while we get James’s perspective of the past in flashbacks. Letters, of course, play a dominant feature in the novel and help express the character’s emotions even while providing context for the past. The result is an intricately woven tapestry that is both beautiful and complex, taking the reader on a heartfelt journey through a saga of a mother-son relationship. Secondary characters are not ignored, as Schultz and Thrasher also explore the heart of a wife who must raise her son unknowing if he’ll ever meet his father. It is the touching personal relationships, drawn out in this story especially through the letters, which give the novel its emotional intensity and prepare the reader for a tear-jerking—if not unexpected—conclusion.

Dove Award-winning singer/songwriter Mark Schultz gets top billing here and the story’s plot is based upon Schultz’s song of the same name, but author Travis Thrasher should not be neglected either. Thrasher brings Schultz’s song to life, fleshing it out and lending his distinctive voice to the novel. Thrasher’s novels have long been infused with music, so this marriage of prose and lyric flows flawlessly. Fans of Schultz will be ecstatic that his powerful song has found a new home in a novel while fans of Thrasher will be reminded that writes well in whatever genre he’s handed.

An infusion of hope and warmth to all who read, Letters from War is sure to leave an imprint upon your heart. May God bless our military and their families for doing what they do in order to make the world a better place. To those who have been through the trials of having a loved one at war, I salute you for your strength and courage. To all my friends and colleagues who find themselves a part of the military—from Iraq to Afghanistan, from West Point to the Air Force Academy—I thank you for making the world a better place through your sacrifice. Let us never give up hope.

four-stars

About Travis Thrasher

Travis Thrasher

Bestselling author Travis Thrasher has written over 50 books, spanning genres in fiction, nonfiction and children’s literature. His inspirational stories have included collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, athletes, celebrities and pastors.

With the childhood goal of pursuing a writing career starting in third grade, Thrasher worked for 13 years at Tyndale House Publishers after graduating college. His experience working with as Author Relations Manager allowed him to understand the writing life as well as training him to work with a variety of personalities. This experience has proven to be invaluable with varied writing projects in the decade he’s been a full-time writer.

His novels are as diverse as the people he’s worked with, ranging from love stories to supernatural thrillers. Publishers Weekly said “Sara and Ethan are two of the most real and sensitive lovers to grace the genre” when reviewing his first novel, The Promise Remains. They also stated “Thrasher demonstrates a considerable talent for the horror genre” in a review for Isolation years later. His readers have enjoyed the unpredictability of his novels, whether it’s due to a unique style such as second person or a twist they never saw coming.

Thrasher’s storytelling ability has also allowed him to work with others on their books, from musicians like country musician Scotty McCreery and Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain to the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty. He has also penned novels based on songs such as Paper Angels with Jimmy Wayne and novelizations for films including Do You Believe? and God’s Not Dead 2. Upcoming projects continue to expand his talents, with projects including The Black Auxiliary about the lives of the 17 American black athletes who competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, and Baby Don’t Hurt Me about comedian Chris Kattan’s life and time on Saturday Night Live.

Travis lives with his wife and three young daughters in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

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