Story of the Sand
Mark B. Pickering
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Story of the Sand
Mark B. Pickering
226 pages
December 2007
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Sampson Roy returns home from Iraq a changed man. Unable to cope with society, he leaves his old life behind and disappears into the woods to live alone, the bottle his only companion. As he suffers in solitude, the ghost of soldier David “Grouchy” Tree appears. Grouchy has yet to pass on to the other side and has come to bring Sam some news he hopes will pull his friend out of despair: Sam’s wife is pregnant.

The desire to meet his child forces Sam out of the woods and into the VA hospital for help. But, upon release, his self-destructive nature brings him straight to a local bar. He tries to reach out to his wife, Mary, but she doesn’t want him near their child. While the world shuns him, Sampson struggles to regain footing and somehow get back a portion of who he once was. How far must he fall before he can get back up?

Author Mark B. Pickering demonstrates the psychological effects of the hell of war. Story of the Sand is the fictional account of one such affected soldier. In real life, thousands of young men and women return home unable to ease back into their old lives. While many of us claim to support our troops during their tour of duty, there is not a lot allotted them after their return. It doesn’t matter your belief in war. It doesn’t matter your view on politics. What matters here is the fragile essence of the human condition.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Niki Schoenfeldt, 2008

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