“Gooseberry Island” by Steven Manchester

 photo 21413933_zps6j50zgoi.jpgThey met at the worst possible moment…or maybe it was just in time.

David McClain was about to go to war and Lindsey Wood was there at his going-away party, capturing his heart when falling for a woman was the last thing on his mind.

While David was serving his country, he stayed in close contact with Lindsey. But war changes a person, and when he came home very little had the same meaning that it had before – including the romance that had sustained him.

Was love truly unconquerable, or would it prove to be just another battlefield casualty?

Published January 6, 2015

The Review

Gooseberry Island is the story of a love between Lindsey Wood and David McClain. This is a love that will make you smile, yet also make you cry. It’s a deeply moving story that has love and hate for things you have no control over, joy, tears, forgiveness and most of all growing.

I can’t say enough about this book. I read it TWICE! I cried big Fat ugly tears and laughed, prayed and cheered them on. I had to even take a week to put all my thoughts down, as it was such a moving a story. Up lifting and heart warming, it’s a true look at things some take for granted. A look at what happens when one goes off to war and about those left behind. The struggle to keep each other close, despite the distance and hardships. It also shows some of the things people go through when returning from war. An honest open look and just a few of the things that all go through…both those that went to war and those that had to stay home and wait and pray.

Lindsey Wood is trying to make a life for herself after a break-up, while taking care of her father. Lindsey’s mother left her father and her, many years ago because of her father’s alcohol problem due to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It has been left to Lindsey to take care of him and try to help him. Growing up with a Veteran, Lindsey has a healthy respect and love for those in the military. She is finally able to get her father to go the the VA hospital to get help for his PTSD.  She knows when to give him the space he needs and when to kick him in the butt, so to speak.

She’s a strong woman, who loves with all her heart. Although she hasn’t yet given up hope, she feels like love isn’t in the cards for her.  Then she meets David.

David McClain is a an Army Ranger about to leave for his first tour in Afghanistan. A man wishing to find his one true love, and to prove he is worthy to his father. And himself. He finds himself running on the beach and right into Lindsey, literally landing on his butt at her feet, thanks to the dog she is walking.

There is an instant chemistry between the two. Lindsey gives David her number in the hopes he will call, and call he does! He invites her to a party, yet doesn’t tell her it’s his going away party. The two sit on a bench at the beach talking all night and they just know there is something between the two of them, that they want to continue even though he is leaving that day.

Between Skype, letters and care packages, the two find they have even more in common and with time, a real and true love blossoms between them. But David is seeing and doing things in Afghanistan that change him in ways that make him afraid to let Lindsey in. Will he be able to go to the woman he has fallen in love with and be the man he use to be?

This is their story and all the things they both go through to find and be with that one true love…

I recommend this book to ALL!! It is an honest look at, not only love and how you have to work for it, but also the great men and women who are in the military. They say that fact is more unreal than fiction. This book will inspire you and make you understand that quote. This is a beautifully written book and my first introduction to Steven Manchester and he not only hit that ball, he hit it out of the park!!!! Well done! Thank you for writing about this and shedding some light on things so very rarely talked about! I so look forward to reading more from you!

5 STARS !! 5 PERFECT STARS!!!

~Tamera McIntosh