From redwood forests to open desert roads to the streets of Kabul Jesse Goolsby casts backward and forward in time to track three soldiers’ life.
Deployed for two years in Afghanistan in a directionless war, Wintric struggles to find his bearings in a place where allies could at any second turn out to be foes. Two career soldiers, Dax and Torres, take Wintric under their wing. Together, these three men face an impossible choice: risk death or commit a harrowing act of war. The aftershocks echo long after each returns home to a transfigured world, where his own children may fear to touch him and his nightmares still hold sway.
I always stay away from books about American veterans. No disrespect, but I just can’t relate to it. A documentary about them is fun, but a novel about soldiers complete with American way of life and stuff? I will instantly be lost.
Jesse Goolsby’s “I’d Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them” is different though. In some way, it’s relatable. It tells of the stories of three career soldiers: Wintric, Dax, and Torres, from their childhood to being deployed in the Middle East, to their post-army life. The scene opens with an exploding bomb scene in Afghanistan but went back to the childhood of the three main characters. They have been given their own chapters for their stories. This part of novel has a bit of a YA vibe but with much more depth. The there’s the short part about their deployment in the army and the latter part of the novel, the majority of it, was devoted to their life after they retire.
I get that Goolsby want to focus on the effects of the war after the soldiers left the army, but the time devoted in narrating their deployment was so short that the result was that the readers do not get much connection with the characters. On what they’ve been through and how it affects their family life afterwards.
Geek Rate: Mortal Worthy (3 out of 5 stars). I like Wintric’s story the most, I felt the author has more success in him in his goal of telling the world that soldiers have their own unique stories to tell. It’s a good effort but the writing was somehow unfocused and unclear. “I’d Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them” explores the individual experiences of three soldiers, in a hope to erase the generalization of military service men.