For many Americans, a soldier’s homecoming is a time for celebration. But for the returning soldiers, being home doesn’t necessarily mean that they are finished with their service. Many are still on duty for their country. This is the premise behind Come with the Wind.
In this fictional account, Catherine is a military wife, welcoming home her husband, Bill, a captain in the Marine Corps, who is returning from his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. While Catherine is thrilled that Bill’s newest assignment allows him to stay home, all that he can tell her about his new duties is that they involve a degree of danger. Catherine is troubled when she notices a change in her husband, who has been spending time with Robert, a fellow Marine. As Catherine unravels the nature of Bill’s new assignment and realizes the extent of danger that she and her family face, she begins to wonder how far Bill’s commitment to duty, honor, and country will take him.
Eddy Guerrier crafts a complex tale with sympathetic characters. In Catherine, Guerrier provides a genuine bellwether for the reader; her confusion, hurt, anger, and courage in the face of fear make her likeable and credible. Upon finding a copy of the Marines’ code of ethics among her husband’s belongings, Catherine reflects that “their marriage vows should have included a version of what she just read…. These words resounded, in her mind, like those of a rival. She knew that, for a Marine, there is always a war to be fought.”
The only significant downside to the story is that Guerrier packs too much action into a relatively short book. The rapid unfolding of a terrorist plot, a murder and subsequent trial, a kidnapping, and a plot to blow up Bill’s military base require Guerrier to gloss over some scenes. For instance, after Robert and Catherine discover the plot to blow up the base, they turn to a drug dealer, Joaquin, for help: “He did not speak to Robert at first, but this man was a real gentleman in his own way. He told Catherine that her husband was a brave man who had gotten involved with the wrong kind of people. Joaquin decided to get involved in this matter, he said, though it had nothing to do with his kind of business.” Such a scene has potential for dramatic tension, but the summarized conversation leaves the reader feeling unfulfilled.
Guerrier might have done well to focus on one plot point—a military family trying to find equilibrium after war. Even without the spy and war games, there’s more than enough drama in the family’s effort to find its new normal. Nonetheless, Come with the Wind is a story that thriller fans may enjoy, and military families may find that it hits close to home.
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