The themes present in Letters from War by Mark Schultz and Travis Thrasher are every bit as relevant today as they were when Schultz released a song in 2004 by the same name. Protagonist Beth is someone we can all project ourselves onto – the feelings of doubt she has, her unending struggle for faith. Yes, these are issues we all struggle with, and they make the context of the book relational even to those with no military in their family. I’m a wiser person from reading Letters from War, and I believe any reader would be, too.
The book is structured in a very non-conventional, but also very fitting, way. Jumping from letter to narrative, the story is not always sequential but builds emotionally, which really lets the themes of the novel come out – especially in the relationship between Beth and her son James. With an emotional build as genuine as this, it climaxes to an extremely emotional ending, which I won’t do the disservice of spoiling here.
The main character of the novel is Beth, mother of James, a military private presumed to be dead by everyone except Beth, who holds on to the memory of her son with an intense hope for his return. One can’t help but see how this hope is reflective of our own hope for the return of a loved one, Jesus. As it says in Romans 12:12, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” This is how Beth finds hope for son (with letters and her prayers) that is ultimately fulfilled.
There are many interesting characters developed in the novel, but Beth is by far the constant around which all other things unfold. She represents a paragon the readers must be able to test themselves against –never faltering from her belief that her son lives, and always making decisions that are right for her and her family. And though she represents this archetype, she isn’t an unrealistic or unbelievable character, just a character with a mother’s love.
The power of love is the most resonating theme throughout the book, and you will feel it from the moment you crack open the spine until after you turn the last page. I would recommend Letters from War to anyone and everyone, because all will find the message applies. – Lucas Sweitzer, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Platinum-selling Christian music artist Mark Schultz pens a novella based on his award-winning song “Letters from War,” about a mother’s unwavering hope, courage, and steadfast prayers.
Every night, Natalie leaves the front porch light on. Just in case. It’s been two years since her son, James, went missing while saving the life of a fellow paratrooper in his division. Natalie’s faith has sustained her while she awaits word on her son’s whereabouts. Well-meaning friends encourages Natalie to move on, but Natalie continues to hope.