2020 New York City Big Book Award Distinguished Favorite
A troubled war veteran battling PTSD returns home to pursue his dream of becoming a police officer. But is he ready?
Experience the life-changing events through the eyes of the main character as he comes to grips with himself, his family, and the community around him.
The night of the ambush changes everything for US Marine Todd Goodson. One moment, he is discussing tactics with his battle-weary squad in Afghanistan and the next he is waking up alone in a military hospital desperate for news of his friends.
Now returning home to pursue his dreams in law enforcement, Todd struggles with a deep sense of guilt over his role in the attack and worries that his prejudiced comments are ultimately what led his team astray. On top of his guilt, he’s battling relentless PTSD nightmares and rising tensions with his girlfriend. To escape his troubles, Todd travels from New York to Tennessee and visits an injured war buddy, eventually taking a temporary job managing a troubled low-income housing community in Nashville.
As Todd faces the challenges of his new job and makes some unexpected friends, he must also confront his deep-seated racism and homophobia. Overwhelmed with moral questions and his future career as a police officer, he starts to spiral out of control.
Is Todd ready to serve and protect the public equally without prejudice?
Crooked Fences is a fiercely honest story of change about a returning war veteran’s battle to overcome the debilitating effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression, before entering the New York State Police Academy. First, he must confront the hatred of racism and homophobia instilled in him by his father while working at a low-income housing project.
This Book Read Like a Memoir.Throughout the entire book, it honestly felt as if I was reading a Marine's memoir. The writing was that good and that convincing. It felt like a memoir because of the struggles this Marine, Todd, was facing shortly after his return to the States. The loss of two of his Marine brothers in his squad, his squad leader losing an arm and leg to an IED, laid heavily on him. The guilt over remaining whole, but suffering from PTSD, is all-consuming. He dreads the nightmares that follow, turning to alcohol in order to sleep through the night.I've read numerous stories such as this one.
As I think on this, it dawns on me that what they seek upon returning to the states, whole or not, PTSD or not, is a sense of purpose. They need this in order to move forward, but unlike in the sandbox where they knew what their mission was about, they face a whole different audience. People who haven't experienced what they did. The need to be around those who understand is exponential. And they miss the the rush they get from a high adrenaline. It's no longer there. They feel as if a completely deflated balloon. Some want to return, especially if they've left their brothers behind. Having been a part of that brotherhood makes them feel complete. On their own, they feel as if adrift in a canoe without a paddle. This is foreign to them; they aren't used to working outside of the unit. But they know they need to re-assimilate. But to do this, they have to have a sense of purpose. Something to bring themselves back into the fold of brotherhood, even as civilians.
I tend to be analytical as I read, certain genres seems to have me doing this. The above paragraph is a conglomerate of my thoughts, and seems to loosely tie in with the author's background. It's as if I am told to write an essay or summary about what I was thinking while reading. What's the lesson? How do I go about understanding those in the military facing what awaits them? Which leads to acceptance by those who never experienced this.
I can relate to PTSD; I've struggled with it for years. With medication and staying away from the triggers, I can function. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the dreams. Thankfully, the nightmares are rare now; the dreams, however, leaves me with a feeling of being adrift. I apologize for including my somewhat personal encounters with PTSD. But it's all too real.Even though this book was merely a novel, it really did feel as if non-fiction. I highly recommend this book for everyone or anyone. And it's one I plan to keep in my Kinde.
Powerful, Moving, Realistic.
I was moved by this book. Being a US Army war veteran of conflicts in Iraq, Somalia, and Haiti. I can relate to the main characters in this book, the effects of PTSD, and having comrades who came home with some of the same life-altering issues. I liked how the author showed that soldiers are normal people who have problems just like anyone else, and how those problems can be magnified with sufferers of PTSD. This is a great book that I highly recommend. I would like to see this made into a movie because it can touch a lot of people.D. Thomas- US Army Sgt. 10th Mountain, HHC. 10th Signal Bn.
This is just one amazing book of how it actually is coming home. It took me a few years to finally transition. Thankfully to my loving fiancé, she has helped me go from being all hard and getting things done the military way to the loving caring one she loves. Which she loves me even on my off days. At the beginning of our relationship, I was still set in ways, and just like Corporal Goodson, I had days where I wasn’t able to think straight. With the help of close family, I was able to make it. From the first weeks to years later I am never had time to but I have now had that support. Thank you so very much for allowing me to read this and allowing me to be able to read what I could not put to paper. I recommend this to anyone who wants to know what it's like to be coming home. Not all scars are visible and not every story is told. You can take the boy out of the Army, but you can’t take the Army out of the Man. It certainly made me grow up. Thank you again