Saturday, May 18, 2013

G85 Book Review of In His Stead by Judith Sanders

Name of Book: In His Stead

Author: Judith Sanders

ISBN: 978-1-938573-83-5

Publisher: Ironwood Press

Type of book: War, army life, substituting for a child, Civil War law, 2000s, positive male role model

Year it was published: 2012



Retired Army Ranger Thomas Lane once burned for the taste of gunpowder and the thrill of the battle. But as he struggles to cope with his own PTSD and the death of his eldest son, killed by an IED in Afghanistan, Lane learns that the price of war is far too dear.

When the National Guard calls up Lane’s youngest son to serve, Lane knows he will do anything to save his child—even if it means going in his place, a pursuit unheard of since the Civil War when slaves were sent to war in place of their masters.

In His Stead, Judith Sander's second novel, follows Thomas Lane's crusade against the United States Army, its JAG corps, a vengeful officer, the very son he is desperate to save, and his own wife, who has the Solomon-like choice of losing either a husband or a son.

Capturing the essence of family life in wartime—the good, the bad, and the hopeful—In His Stead explores what it means to be a father and a man.


The character that the book is mostly focused on is Tom, thus the readers sees everything through his eyes. I would guess that Tom does change throughout the book; other characters such as his family and his best friend are only given brief appearances thus I have no idea what changes they underwent through while Tom was gone. Tom first started doing this just so his son wouldn't have to go through what he went through, but later he grew to regard other people there as also children and he ended up helping and caring for them during the time.


There are positive male role models


This is written in third person narrative completely from Tom Lane's point of view. Although the book and characters are wonderfully detailed, I am disappointed that I'm only given snippets of their pasts. I also would have liked to see the war perspective from Tom's family instead of only just Tom. What was it like after Tom left for the war? How did Donnie, Chrissy and Christine handle life without Tom?

Author Information:

in Somerville, New Jersey, The United States September 05



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Historical Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy

My father, William Shakespeare, Frank Herbert, Khalil Gibran

member since
June 2011

About this author
I am a Jersey girl; born and raised in a rural town near the PA border. After starting a family I pursued my passion for nursing, received my BS degree from Graceland College, and worked as a registered nurse for many years, including serving the military as a nurse in Maryland. Writing is now my full time career and I divide my time between homes in New Hampshire and North Carolina. My first novel, Crescent Veil, is a reality fiction novel about a hunt for terrorists. With my second novel, In His Stead I honors the memories of those fallen in war.
While the subjects & characters of my writing touch emotional & sensitive issues, remember, it's just fiction, and no animals or people were harmed in the creation of these novels.


I couldn't relate to this book, but despite that, its a really valuable novel that portrays an incredibly positive male role model towards today's men and boys. The book is all about war, survival and doing the best one could in the given circumstances no matter the circumstances. I enjoy stories with romance and whatnot. While this story does have romance between Tom and his wife, at least in staying together, there aren't a lot of flashbacks on how the two met and so forth. I also would have liked more of Tom's history and more of how and why he decided to join the army (if I might have missed, my apologies.) The story is also gritty and describes life in the army and what its like when one leaves family and life behind. There is also slight faith in there, in terms of Tom praying to G-d. Although not my style, it is well written and I do highly recommend it.

Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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