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Dan Walsh’s sixth novel ‘The Reunion’ is bound to inspire you. The endearing character of Vietnam war veteran Aaron Miller is already a hit with readers who received advanced copies. A down-and-out whose faith in God has saved him from addiction, but not loneliness, Aaron’s humility and perseverance make him a quietly heroic figure.
This new novel from Walsh is likely to follow its predecessors in achieving critical acclaim, reader appreciation and great sales. Though a romance story, it’s a novel for anyone who appreciates good writing.
The Reunion by Dan Walsh was published by Baker in October 2012 and is our 44927th best seller. The ISBN for The Reunion is 9780800721213.
The Reunion is a beautifully gentle novel with a considered pace and flowing words that really takes you along in this story ultimately about love and redemption, but also including loss, change, doubt, heroism and above all quiet lives of unexpected worth. How much do we know our neighbours, how do we really see ourselves, how easy is it to lose yourself or indeed to find yourself? To me, this gentle novel brought all these questions and thoughts to mind.
It's the story of Aaron, a Vietnam veteran, profoundly affected by war, and now in his 60s a simple handyman at a trailer park. It's also about his daughter who never really knew her father, and a journalist whose father died in the Vietnam war and all the other people who intersect with these lives. The story has its base in war, but more importantly it's a story of what happens after a war and the longer term consequences.
“I just finished reading Dan Walsh’s new book THE REUNION. OHMYGOSH!! I have happy tears running down my face…I never expected the ending to this amazing heartfelt story. It was off the charts satisfying!… I highly recommend it… I LOVED reading this book. It touched me deeply!!” – Nora St. Laurent, CEO, The Book Club Network.
“THE REUNION, by Dan Walsh, has taken up residence on my Top Ten of 2012 List, but that’s not all. It sparked a new list. My Top Ten All Time Favorites, and it’s earned a spot there. Exquisitely drawn characters, a heartrending plot, and a deceptively simple delivery make THE REUNION one of the best books I’ve ever read. This book has to be made into a movie, and I’m delighted to say it’s been optioned. Novel Rocket and I give it our very highest recommendation. It’s a 5-star must read.” — Ane Mulligan, Sr Editor, Novel Rocket Blog.
“How can you find the words to thank someone for saving your life? Walsh addresses this in his latest — a tribute to military veterans for making the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Walsh is so gifted that the reader becomes a part of his stories. Vivid descriptions and touching, heartfelt scenes pave the way for a powerful tribute to Vietnam veterans.” — RT Book Reviews Magazine.
“THE REUNION is a moving story of loss and restoration, of faithfulness in things both significant and mundane, and of courage and doing the next right thing in the face of personal danger. Walsh’s sixth novel doesn’t disappoint, and will appeal to Nicholas Sparks fans. Fair warning: if this is the first Dan Walsh novel you read, you’ll most likely feel compelled to read the other five. Highly recommended.” — CBA Retailers & Resource Magazine (Official magazine of CBA).
‘This is a tale sure to please, written with heart, and tinges of humour. The main character, Aaron Miller was a true hero in every sense of the word, and I just loved him. There's romance, family, long-lost relationships, in Dan Walsh's newest release. This is not a book to be missed! I can't wait to see what Mr. Walsh comes up with next!’ - Faye.
‘It's Walsh's distinctive conclusions that set him apart from the also-authors. It takes a long time to wrap up the threads of one of his books, so many lives coming into one focus, and then the Walsh `ah-ha' ending. Because I read so many, few books create literal emotion for me. Before "The Reunion" ended, I wept - physical tears. Now that's fine fiction.’ - Harold Wolf.
‘This book is a beautiful story of one man willing to give up his life for others who lives a life that most wouldn't notice.’ - Donald Douglas
‘This story really touched me. I was really drawn into this story and hoped that there would be a happy ending. It was easy to see the author put a lot of research into the story, the historical detail was wonderfully done. The topic of Vietnam war vets is one that doesn't get enough attention, these men served our county unfailingly often to come home to less than stellar welcomes. The author's notes at the end of the story reveals that this book is based on real life events, and has me wanting to read more about the people he mentioned.’ - Brenda Casto.
‘Christianity is a big part of all the main characters' lives, but there is no preaching here, just very down to earth people who find support in their belief in God and the support of their churches. The Reunion shows Christians the way they should be if they really follow Christ's teachings, ie kind, forgiving and generous.’ - Tahlia Newland.
‘I am a tremendously huge fan of Dan Walsh! His newest book took me by surprise. Not because I expected more or less, but what these pages held was far beyond what the back cover gave away. I love that, don't you? I love the unexpected and getting wrapped in a book, penned so beautifully, that your heart is moved as you close the last page.’ - Robin Prater.
‘Dan Walsh has been compared to Nicholas Sparks. I read one Sparks novel, and thought it very sad, and most of his look sad. Maybe I am judging the books wrong, but it does appear Dan is similar, only his stories are Christian and filled with hope, not sadness. The Reunion is also a romance story, but guys don't let that scare you away. It is definitely worth reading, as any of his books are.’ - Mark A. Buzard.
Often I find that Christian Fiction is written for women or children. I’m going to have to tread carefully here in terms of stereotyping - please forgive/ignore any generalisations I make that don’t apply to you. At the same time - read on! - I think I make a fair point about Christian Fiction as a genre.
Dominated by books on romance that play out like a romantic-comedy film, I can see parallels between Christian fiction and the toiletry brand ‘Dove’ - traditionally, Dove deodorants, soaps and shampoos are used by women. Granted, ‘Dove for Men’ has recently been released, but can I envisage any man taking his ‘Dove’ products down to the local swimming pool or football changing room? NO WAY.
So how did this come about? Is it that - like with most consumer products (e.g. clothes) - the demand is dominated by women, so writers are just (sensibly) targeting the largest audience? I think this is true to a large extent - each day I consistently find that a large proportion of reviews for Christian fiction novels are written by women. We might conclude that women read Christian fiction much more than men - the specific reasons for this could be: that reading features higher in women's interests, that the stories appeal much more strongly to an audience of women, or - in the case of children especially - that Christian fiction is written for those with more free time?
So what’s the problem? ‘So what?’ I hear you say, ‘Why should the situation be any different?’ Well, I believe that there’s a danger that Christian fiction could ultimately appeal so exclusively to a target market of women and children that if men were to seek out Christian fiction that they would enjoy reading, they would be stuck for options.
Thankfully, I think Dan Walsh is part of the solution to this. While reading reviews for his work, I was struck by the dramatically increased proportion of male reviewers - though still not the majority - who report that they have enjoyed his books. Perhaps this is a ‘Dove for Men’ equivalent - it exists, but it isn’t widely used or massively popular.
The reality is, however, that unless word gets out about the value of Dan Walsh’s novels to readership of both genders, it’s likely that the lack of male readers of Christian fiction will be a continuing trend. ‘Dove for Men’ is probably a perfectly good product range, but - like Dan Walsh’s novels - it’s unlikely to meet with great success unless there is a change in the wider perception of the brand.
I believe that Christian fiction should have value for readers of every age, gender or social strata - Dan Walsh’s books are special in that their appeal is much wider than many other novels. Please consider the state of Christian fiction in the context of its appeal to a male readership - if you are a reader then spread the news of books like this! And if you are a writer, perhaps you could be part of a change that re-brands Christian fiction as universally, rather than exclusively, appealing.
Dan Walsh takes time to craft a truly memorable story - just over 300 pages in fact. This is potentially problematic - as evidenced in some of endorsements and reviews above, ‘The Reunion’ is a gripping read. For your typical 150-180 page-turner you can sit down and spend an afternoon reading through it before reflecting on it in the evening. But be warned - if you start this one after dinner then you could well be in for an all-nighter.
The story centres around three veterans of the Vietnam war, in particular, Aaron Miller. The Christian value of this book is found especially in this character’s testimony - one of drink, drugs and family estrangement following his return from the jungle. After finding Jesus, Aaron is a changed man - he abandons his addictions and begins to live a life of humility. However, despite his best efforts, he is yet to find reconciliation with his wife and two children.
Really rather a lonely figure, it is Aaron’s faith that sustains him as he works for a Trailer Park as a handyman. The author clearly shows us that a life-changing relationship with God does not always mean immediate happiness.
A quietly heroic character that any reader would find themselves rooting for, Aaron Miller’s experiences - as crafted by Walsh - are riveting.
"Enter the world of Aaron Miller, Vietnam War veteran and trailer park handyman. It’s a broken world, without family or friends, but it’s a world sustained by a strong faith in Christ. But this world keeps on turning, and it won’t be stuck in the same old cycle for much longer... Appreciate Dan Walsh’s fantastic writer’s craft as Aaron Miller’s world slowly starts to change."
|Author / Artist||Dan Walsh|
|Publisher||Baker (October 2012)|
|Number of Pages||304|
|Page last updated||10th April 2017|