This story follows a young girl named Betsy as she tries to navigate her life after losing her brother Nathan in the Vietnam War. After some bad choices Betsy is forced to become a candy striper at the local VA Hospital. Spending time with these war damaged men gives her a purpose. The hospital is also hiding something. Or should I say someone. A mystery patient on the fourth floor. Unable to see, hear or speak, this unidentifiable WWI veteran becomes Betsy’s mission. Discovering who he is so that she can return him to his family becomes her passion.
I will admit the first few chapters of this book were a little slow. Once the story picked up though it was so captivating that I couldn’t stop reading.
This book isn’t just another war story. It is a book about what happens to those left behind. The families and communities of fallen soldiers and the wounded that do return home.
The characters in this book are so easy to connect with. Especially Betsy. Her journey through her grief is palpable. With such strong and believable characters the plot is easy to follow and even easier to get pulled into.
With the mystery of patient x playing out on the pages you just want to keep going. While the patient x storyline is heartbreaking, Betsy’s determination to uncover his secrets is both inspiring and endearing.
Scott Kauffman’s ability to give life and depth to these characters is amazing. This beautiful book is not only well written but expertly crafted.
Scott didn’t string you along with the mystery or flood the story with it. It was definitely an important aspect of the novel, yet the story is essentially about Betsy. Her grief, growth and humanity is what grounds this book.
Now on to the negative. I can really only find one. There are a few errors in the writing. A missing word or letter, or an extra word or letter here and there. It wasn’t a distraction for me because I found the story so captivating.
So all in all, a beautiful story, with strong relatable characters and an amazing plot = a must read book.