I received an advanced copy of the book, Full Measure, by prolific author, T. Jefferson Parker.
I don’t do many book reviews, but this one appealed to me because it is a family saga that captures a man’s complicated journey from military life back to the real world. I’ve heard so many of these stories in real life, I was curious to read a piece of fiction bringing a story to life.
Inspired by the troops returning to Camp Pendleton, which is located near the author’s hometown of Fallbrook, CA, Parker interviewed them about their experiences upon their return from Afghanistan. These interviews helped Parker create the character of Patrick, the book’s returning veteran. So impressed with the troops during their conversations, Parker also began holding writing workshops for them at the base. Parker talks about his experiences with the troops in the accompanying author Q&A.
I appreciate the authenticity Parker’s interviews brought to the story’s well developed characters.
Patrick Norris has seen the worst that Afghanistan has to offer—excruciating heat, bitter cold, and death waiting behind every rock as comrades are blown to pieces by bombs and snipers. He returns home exhilarated by his new freedom and eager to realize his dream of a sport fishing business. But he is shocked to learn that the avocado ranch his family has owned for generations in the foothills of San Diego has been destroyed by a massive wildfire and the parents he loves are facing ruin.
Ted Norris worships his brother and yearns for his approval. Gentle by nature, but tormented by strange fixations with a dark undercurrent, Ted is drawn into a circle of violent, criminal misfits. His urgent quest to prove himself threatens to put those he loves in peril.
Patrick puts his own plans on hold to save the family’s home and falls in love with Iris, a beautiful and unusual woman, when disaster strikes. When Ted’s plan for redemption goes terribly wrong, he tries to disappear. Desperate to find his brother and salvage what remains of his family, Patrick must make an agonizing choice.
The story kept my interest and I cared about the outcome of the characters and how it would all come together. Full Measure is a good, solid read. Entertaining and insightful. I recommend it to military families and civilian families alike.