I really enjoyed reading this historical supense book, "Shadow in the Mind's Eye." Janyre Tromp's debut novel is delightfully unpredictable. This review contains my own opinions about the book.
“I told you about when my Herbert came home from the Great War.” Dovie May looped my arm into the crook of hers. “Lord, I missed him something fierce, and I expected everything to end up happy like they do in the storybooks. Was I ever in for a surprise. We think everything eventually goes back to what we want it be. That everything’ll be happy and familiar, the good winning. We never want to travel beyond the point where everybody’s happy. But life’s everything after and the question is, what are you going to do with the truth life drops into your life?”
After three years of being overseas fighting in World War 2, Sam returns home to his Arkansas orchard in the mountains. He left a newlywed and returns as a father to a toddler. That is a happy adjustment, but the changes inside of him feel more dramatic.
Annie is so glad that her husband is finally home. But he is not the man that she married. She alternates between wanting to love him back to health, cover for him and also feeling anger toward him.
Thankfully they both have Dovie May. Sam’s mother adds wisdom to the situation. She also welcomed home her man from war, so she understands.
If this were not challenging enough, Sam starts to see things happening on the farm. Is he imagining things. Or is there something sinister happening?
I would categorize this book as a psychological thriller. I think at one point during the reading of this book, I was frustrated with each one of the characters. (Other than Dovie May perhaps.) This book was intense. My emotions were swinging everywhere. But I actually think this is one reason why I enjoyed this book. The situations forced me to feel, and they were not always happy circumstances.
My grandparents both fought in World War 2. One of them married about a week after returning home. I cannot imagine all of the adjustments my grandmother faced. This book helped me to ponder what life would have been like for veterans who had seen too much.
As for the other suspenseful parts, you will have to read the book to find out more. I do have to say that the cover fits the plot SO very well. Let’s just say that there are definitely some unexpected twists and turns. What a great debut novel!
One last quote that is significant to the plot – the power of memory! This definitely plays an important part in the plot.
“One thing I know for certain is that memory’s a slippery thing. It changes and morphs, solidifying only at the insistence of the most powerful things. It gets so that no one’s ever quite sure what actually happened.”
I was provided a copy of this book as a part of a book tour. I requested to join the tour because I wanted to read and review the book. All opinions are my own.