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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Keep Forever is a work of fiction written for adults in the historical genre by author Alexa Kingaard. Inspired by real events surrounding the conflict in Vietnam, this heartfelt tale of loss, grief and the ways in which we heal from tragedy focuses on the lives of three youngsters growing up during the war. Paul and Sam bond during their service time as young men out in Vietnam, scarred by PTSD and the tragedy of their childhoods. When Paul comes home and meets Sam’s sister, Elizabeth, so begins a lifetime of shared pain, but also finding the path towards healing and true happiness.
Bittersweet, emotionally accurate and never over-sensationalized, author Alexa Kingaard has created a beautiful work of interpersonal drama set during one of the most harrowing periods of recent world history. The anguish that the soldiers returning from Vietnam feel, and the scars that plague them for the rest of their lives, is portrayed artfully through vivid descriptions, and dialogue and internal narrative that brings us close to the hearts and minds of the central characters. The story is multi-layered with themes of romance, grief, loss, mental illness following trauma, and a true sense of authentic history that takes us back and rips the nostalgic film away from the past. For fans of historical fiction which also has plenty of heart and realism, Keep Forever is sure to be a novel that will be read and re-read for a long time to come. A highly recommended read.