The following is a guest post written by Judith Sanders, author of the book, “In His Stead: A Father’s War”
In His Stead: A Father’s War by Judith Sanders
The response of readers to In His Stead: A Father’s War has been tremendous. As the author I expected IHS to resonate with the 1% of the American population with military connections. But I am very pleased and surprised by the wonderful broader response from nonmilitary and YA readers. This set me to thinking about what aspect of my novel touched these readers.
I believe the connection my readers make with In His Stead is through the father and son characters. The need to keep our children safe is universal to parents. Generations of parents have asked themselves: What should I do to protect my children? When is it time to let go? How do my own hopes and anxieties affect my children’s safety? How far will I go to defend and protect my family?
The reality is that even good, smart, loving, conscientious parents have bad things happen to their children. And on those horrible days we ask ourselves, how much of that is my responsibility? Thomas Lane, the hero of In His Stead while mourning his eldest son, lost to an IED in Afghanistan, asks himself that question a thousand times a day.
Tom’s answer arrives when the National Guard calls up his last son. Despite the odds Tom remains determined to do everything humanly possible to protect his son. His decision throws him into a battle against the United States Army, his children and wife, the military legal system, and even Tom himself who suffers from PTSD.
This down to earth blue-collar man’s expression of love for his family not only is a code for his children to live life, but allows him to rediscover his own humanity and honor.
In His Stead: a Father’s War is an inspiring story for all parents who would be willing to walk through the fires of hell to keep their children safe. After all isn’t that what PARENTS do?
I have three adult sons and can say I am still emotionally vulnerable to my children. The need to protect them from bad decisions, danger, and to shield them from some of my own mistakes has never lessened. I may not get it (parenting) right but I still keep plugging away because I am motivated to hope for a good life for my children, just like Thomas Lane.
After all, parental love doesn’t stop when a children reaches a certain age. It is a limitless emotion. And because it is limitless we never retire from parenting. And protection is a huge part of that job, from birth til…
I deeply believe in the underlying themes of In His Stead and fully support our sons and daughters in the military through HeartsApart.org. a charity for military families.
In His Stead is now available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/His-Stead-Fathers-War/dp/193857382X