Publisher's Note:  

An engrossing epic tale with a cast of characters that will hijack your heart.

Cam Attling, having lost an arm, is the only one from his town of Kayforl to return after twelve years of war. All his fellow soldiers were slain, and suspicion surrounds him. When his betrothal to Graceful Fenister is called off and his role in the community questioned, Cam leaves to find the lord who maimed him but spared his life, seeking answers and a new place in the world.

But this is not just Cam's story, it's about all those whose fates entwine with his. Set in a medieval world that is entirely the author's creation, this is an ingenious, exquisite story about what happens after the battle. When sisters, sons, friends, parents, and lovers are left to deal with the subtle aftermaths and unimagined repercussions of war.

The Returning

by Christine Hinwood

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Overall Review:  

The Returning by Christine Hinwood was a curious book.  Stylistically, she deliberately uses truncated prose to create the setting and mood of the story.  Hinwood jumps, seemingly randomly, from character to character, providing different viewpoints of the story.  Furthermore, the narrative skips around in time, forward and back, and most of the time without any indication of the amount of time passed.  These techniques keep the reader on their toes as they try to figure out where the story is going, but it also tended to affect the momentum of the story.  A few of the character perspectives weren't particular relevant to the main thread of the story and probably could have been omitted.  And, the storyline in this particular case, is a thread, not a powerful rush of a rising action to a climax.  The strength of this book is its theme--the world and reality of a vetean returning from war.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity:  2 mild obscenities; 5 scatalogical terms; 1 F-word derivative.


Violence:/Gore:  Report of a man being killed; brief description of a battle scene in which a character loses an arm; a dog is shot with an arrow; a character is slapped in the face; a character is shoved; reports of men dying in war and how they died; a character is punished with a switch; a adolescent boy shoots and injuried man and kills him; men are hung for deserting the army; there is a report of a rape and a retaliating killing; general battle scene; a father hits a son a couple of times; rocks are thrown at a boy; a chicken is killed by thrown rocks; a characters are hit in different situations; report of a husband beating his wife; the bodies of some men are laid out.


Sex/Nudity:  A character notices a barmaids breasts; slang reference to male anatomy; a couple of references to brothels and to taking girls "out back of public houses"; implications that a character has had sex forced upon her by soldiers and other men; a character propositions another character and he notices her breasts; a few instances of characters kissing; a reference to a mistress; a chapter focuses on a girl's first menstrual period and the the rite of passage in the community associated with it; characters has sex (no details); characters have sex with brief explicit details; a chapter of the book focuses on a character and his homosexual thoughts and desires for another character with implied masturbation.

Mature Subject Matter:  

War, veterans, families, loyalty.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Book is in a medieval world so characters often drink beer or alchohol.  Characters often visit taverns.  One character visits a tavern often in particular to drink and escape.

Reviewed By Cindy
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