Memorial Day Review
Title: Memorial Day
Author: Bryan Serwatka
Published: May 2012
The Central Texas military community has always known the painful sacrifice of losing loved ones at war, but America remembers the area for its harrowing tragedies: the 1991 Luby’s Cafeteria massacre in Killeen, the failed ATF Waco siege in 1993, and the 2009 mass shooting on the Fort Hood military base. At the end of another school year and the beginning of another long Texas summer, three individuals find their fates entwined as each desperately tries to break the patterns of their pasts.
Young high school teacher Tom Woodbine meets a recent divorcée named Andy in a chance online encounter that will forever change him. Nearby, one of Tom’s former students, Susan Ortega, finds herself held captive by a life of burden and devastating loss. A tale interwoven with dreams, déja vu, and reminiscence, Memorial Day follows a week in the lives of Tom, Andy, and Susan as they freely surrender to the possibilities of the present.
I have a couple of issues with this book.
First, I didn’t feel all that attached to the characters. I don’t know why, I just couldn’t feel much for them. I wanted them to be happy, definitely, but I didn’t feel much else. Not even in Susan’s flashbacks.
Second, I’m not sure if the dreams that were in the story were relevant to the story itself. The only one that was was the final one that Andy had at the end. I feel like there was something significant there, but it was very confusing.
Third, the ending was really confusing. I’m not even sure I understand what happened at all. Was Andy dreaming of killing his ex-wife and then living his life with Tom? Or… what? Did his dad end up caring?
Fourth, how did they fall in love so quickly? They’re instantly spending 24-7 together, and it’s so unrealistic.
I did enjoy it, for the most part, though. With a bit of expanding, it has a lot of potential.
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