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Book Review: All The Way Home

Book: All The Way Home

Author: Kim Mills

Genre: Fiction, Romance, New Adult & College Romance, Military Romance

As a military spouse of an active member it didn't occur to me to read a book about being one. I remember a military spouse suggesting I watch the television show 'Army Wives.' According to her all the backstabbing, showcasing, and mean spiritedness was a part of being a military spouse. That had never been my experience and I had no interest in watching something so petty. A Canadian military spouse, Kim Mills, wrote All The Way Home and it was chosen for our book club reading so here I was reading a book I would not necessarily have picked up.

The story starts with the young teenagers and moves through their relationship until they are twenty somethings. It’s a feel good romance filled with the angst of the teenage years and the long, long, long, telephone conversations. Do you remember those? Both characters, Juliette and Tavish, have difficult starts in life. Juliette seems especially broken and Tavish is her knight in shining armor. He watches out for her, picking her up when she’s down, and becomes a steady lifeline in her life. The tables turn a few years later when Tavish returns home from war suffering from a heartbreaking loss and PTSD. The question becomes can Juliette help him pick up the pieces and put his life back in order.

The camaraderie that Tavish experiences within the military is quite believable to me with my limited experience as a military spouse. The same is true of the PTSD issues that plague Tavish when he returns home. What I struggled with in the story was the amount of angst and back and forth between the characters about what the other was thinking or wanted. It seemed overdone. Also, as seventeen year olds I’m not sure that either of my boys would have had the same maturity that Tavish showed, though I would certainly have wished for it!

I would say this is a light story, almost ‘high schoolish’ in the way it’s written. One of the ladies in my book club suggested that because the characters were in high school at the start of the story she found the language appropriate and felt that it matured as the characters did. I had not thought of it that way but I don’t agree that the language changed much over time. I do agree though that Juliette in the story evolves and matures beautifully.

The title, All The Way Home, is clever. When a military member returns home from deployment it takes time for him, or her, to reintegrate into family life and society in general. We can see in the book that Tavish is having that issue.

I’ve not read any other military romance novels but I’m not sure I would recommend this one for an audience of 18+, as the jacket cover suggests. However, it is the first book by this author and from that perspective I think Kim Mills has done good work. It is also part of a series to come so perhaps in the coming books her writing will mature. If you are Canadian it’s a nice change from the many American based stories and if you are interested in the military life I do feel it is a plausible read.

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