I have the distinct feeling that Ms. Caldwell is young and married early.
Why? Because Drake in this book, despite being tormented, said things that just didn't fit into his characterization. The attempt to paint him as a tortured hero is not a complete failure but his "realization" that Emmaline is so very important to him and what he said just sounds like a teenage girl's fantasy. I imagine that a writer who writes like this is drawing more on her imagination than personal observation, experience or understanding of the depth of anguish when one is confronted in love.
I find it really interesting though, how the story managed to be interesting enough for me to want to give it a 3 stars. The writing is not impressive, plots are disconnected, characterization is poor, but Ms. Caldwell really had a good premise. The veteran post trauma theme is very touching. I wish it was examined more in depth.
The problem with chracterization: for Drake the problem was that it just did not fit. I could almost buy it if he had double personalities and I could also buy it if that was attributed to his PTSD. But somehow he just went around saying things. Some sound like him and some just sound like they came from a besotted 16-year-old boy. With Emmaline the problem is bigger. I cannot picture her. Is she pretty or not? Is she a wallflower or not? Sometimes she sounds childish, sometimes she sounds smart, sometimes she sounds spoiled, sometimes she sounds dumb.
I am no writer and for the life of me can never write a book. So I feel awfully out of place to criticize one's writing. I have the utmost respect for writers like Ms. Caldwell. That being said, this really wasn't a great love story. Too shallow in its characterization and depiction of love, emotions and anguish. And Emmaline being a ninny going after Drake is just pathetic...............