The Long Walk Back – Rachel Dove

Kate is a surgeon, wanting a challenge she goes to war as an army theatre surgeon. She leaves behind her husband, Neil and her son Jamie.

Captain Thomas Cooper, faces challenges every day – but this is the life he has chosen and the army is his family. Nothing and no one else is going to change that. Until one fateful day.

Cooper and Kate meet.

Cooper knows his own mind. He knows whether he wants to live or to die.

Kate knows her own mind and everyone must live.

But what if you go against someone’s wishes and give them a second chance when they didn’t want it?

Second chances can then lead to more chances, one action causes several reactions.

Will Cooper benefit from the action that Kate took?

This book is hard-hitting from the beginning, if you want to get a close up on war and its devastating effects then you get this with the opening few pages. What is hard to believe is that an author that you know on the whole to have written women’s fiction comes back with a book so far removed from a ‘rosy’ world normally created in such genres. It hits you right between the eyes – and I loved it.

So much is packed into this book, I couldn’t begin to try and unpick it as that would spoil it for anyone else picking it up to read. Character driven with two very pig-headed, stubborn, driven and strong personalities that leapt off the page for me. I thought Cooper was great and I recognised the military ethos that is ingrained in some of our servicemen and women no matter what circumstances they are thrust into.

Kate, I wanted to slap at various times not because of the portrayal of the character but because of it. Well written, I constantly questioned as to whether I was meant to feel sorry for her or not? Was the situation she in unique or did bad luck seem to follow her around? I was not expecting the twist and once the background to an event was filled in, I perhaps felt something else for her. I just couldn’t make my mind up about her and whilst some readers might find that annoying, I enjoyed the uncertainty of it all.

A different read, a bit of an emotional rollercoaster – but worth it to the very end.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. 

The Long Walk Back is out now.