A Reason To Live

A Reason To Live

by Maureen McKade

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Reason to Live 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
During the Civil War Nurse Laurel Covey provides solace to dying soldiers though no one offers comfort to her. Her Massachusetts parents disowned her after forcing her to choose between them and her Virginian spouse, who died at Gettysburg. His family wants nothing to do with a New Englander. Though watching the young die torches her soul, she writes down their last words promising them she would deliver their final message to loved ones. --- In 1865 though bone wary from the war, she begins her odyssey to bring comfort to the grieving family members of those she watched die. When two scraggily hooligans assault her, bounty hunter Creede Forrester rescues her. The Texan has come east to find his estranged son, who fought for the Confederacy. She informs him that his son died. Anger joins his feelings of guilt as he never obtained the chance to reconcile with his offspring. He joins her quest out of remorse for failing his late spouse and son. As they venture from one grieving family to another, they turn to each other for solace love blossoms, but both has major psyche hurts that make neither able to show how they feel. --- Though a historical, A REASON TO LIVE is a deep poignant tale that clearly would apply today as Laurel makes the difficult rounds to provide grieving individuals and families with the last words of their deceased loved ones. The lead couple is a enchant pair who care about others for different reasons. The romance enhances the story one, but this Post Civil War drama belongs to those suffering from the loss of a loved one perhaps if the presumptive first strike believers had to visit the surviving family members to tell them their loved one died in combat they would take a harder look at the war only option. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read several of her books many years ago. We both used to work for B.Dalton Bookseller in North Dakota. The bookstore crowd is still very proud of our Nodak girl!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I stayed up all night reading this book. I was fasinated by the plot. The story could have been set in any time period from 1862 to today. Wonderful, thoughtful story. Not your usual romance novel. This isn't your usual damsel in distress or beautiful woman on the run novel. This is fiction at it's best.
lynnm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While an excellent - and unique - depiction of a woman suffering from PTSD after serving as a nurse in the Civil War, I found this book to be a tad bit underwhelming. The conflicts keeping heroine Laurel and hero Creede apart were forced. Creede was supposed to be a reformed gun-for-hire who'd decided to come out of retirement yet I never saw him in action so his angst over this was hollow. Too, the resolution and "solution" to the problems came very suddenly at the end of the book, almost like a light switch had been flipped. I give it props for the unique premise but the characters never became real for me, especially Creede.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Reason to Live is the story of two lost souls finding each other and... a reason to live. It's aptly named.Laurel Covey is a Civil War widow and nurse. Now that the war is over, she's traveling around the country on a mission to deliver the last words from soldiers who died in her care.Creede Forrester is a widower whose only son had reportedly been injured in the war, and he's tracked down Laurel to find out what happened to him.They meet unexpectedly when he rescues her from outlaws, and despite her objections, Creede's conscience won't allow him to let her continue her journey alone. But Laurel has a secret--she's trying to deliver all the messages before her sanity finally deserts her. Contemporary readers will recognize she's suffering from PTSD.Up until this point, A Reason to Live was an intensely emotional, 5-star read, but it lost steam as the pair traveled from town to town delivering the messages and having brief adventures--rescuing a kitten, finding a family for a young ex-slave, treating a bullet wound, etc. It's a very realistic-feeling if optimistic portrait of America immediately after the Civil War, and it touches on some interesting issues, but I lost the thread of the story in the side trips.Still, there's a twist or two near the end, and the way their growing relationship gave meaning to lives they felt were over brought tears to my eyes a few times, and I'm glad I read it.
reneebooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a nurse for the Confederacy, Laurel Covey kept a journal in which she recorded all the deathbed messages of the soldiers who died in her care. Now that the war between the states is over she feels obligated to contact each family to relay those messages and keepsakes.Laurel is one of the strongest characters I have ever read. She sets out alone across the post Civil War South with no thought to her own safety to contact each family. The reader quickly realizes that she doesn't care what happens to herself. The horrible memories of attending a battlefield hospital continue to haunt her. She experiences flashbacks during the day of the blood, sounds, smells, and ghosts of the men who died and vivid nightmares visit her nightly. She thinks she is going crazy and hopes to finish her quest before she is committed to a mental hospital. But today we recognize these symptoms as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was impressed with how realistically McKade portrayed her condition. The doctor's suggested treatment of a hysterectomy as a cure for her mental state seemed barbaric but realistic for that time period.Creede Forrester is an ex-gunslinger whose son, Austin, has died in the War. He travels from Texas to Virginia hoping to find out more about his son's death. A doctor tells him that Laurel may know something more, so he seeks her out and comes across her as she is being robbed and rescues her. He finds out that Laurel was there when his son died but unfortunately Austin was dead when he arrived at the field hospital so left no last words for his father. Creede is crushed but insists upon riding along with Laurel against her wishes on her journey to keep her safe.As they journey through the ruined South, Laurel and Creede meet all kinds of human and animal characters that were excellently portrayed. If you're a cat lover, you'll fall in love with the stray cat who adopts Laurel on her journey. They meet a little black boy and some former slaves that tore my heart out. In fact they meet lots of people, some good, some bad, and McKade portrays them without Southern character stereotyping. Each family member had a different reaction to the message she passed on from their loved one. Some were grateful, some devastated, some angry, some with no emotion at all. These scenes were often painful to read.Laurel and Creede are both very wounded people and are drawn to each other. As they travel from Virginia to Texas finding all the families they develop a growing bond and start to open up to each other. Love blossoms slowly culminating in some intense love scenes.Although post-Civil War America is a very depressing, painful time in history, Laurel and Creede's story is a powerful one of hope and healing. And the book's title.... absolutely perfect. (Grade: A-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful look into post civil war. A long journey of love and sacrifice. A well written book. Could have happened today. I recommend this book. O me of the best I have read in a while.
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