An Iraqi woman hides in a makeshift camp with her three children and another woman. When she hears an explosion nearby she goes to investigate and stumbles across the body of an injured man – an American. Back in Maryland, a woman has been waiting days for her husband, a photographer assigned to a project in Iraq, to call her back. Instead, she receives news that he is dead.
Suha, a sixty five year old Iraqi woman discovers the body of an injured American near her makeshift camp which is also hiding her friend Samira and her three children. All of them are fleeing their home, the fighting, but also the men who torture and abuse women freely. Suha, who worked as a hospital physician, begins the task of saving the American, Beau Johnson. Meanwhile, back in the United States, Tess Johnson discovers that she is pregnant and then several days later she receives news that her husband was aboard a helicopter that crashed. Though Beau’s body has not yet been recovered, he is presumed dead. Tess must now reconcile her belief that he is still alive with her self –doubt. As Beau’s parents and friends move forward with a memorial service, Tess finds that she too is slowly moving forward with her focus on her pregnancy and new love interest. As fate would have it, just as the desert dust appears to have settled, unexpected events spin everyone’s life into chaos revealing the complexity of love and relationships.
Author Melissa Foster writes a poignant novel that examines the interwoven nature of our fragile lives and how quickly we can Fate can change our roles instantly to turn us from the Rescued to the Rescuer; from the one everyone waited for, to the one who now must sit and wait. Come Back to Me also compares and contrasts Tess’s culture with that of Suha and Samira’s. While Tess is a high powered career woman, in charge of her own business and surrounded with modern technology and worries about contracts, money and what to wear; Suha and Samira worry about saving their children and escaping a life of fear and torture from the Iraqi men who abuse them because women have no rights. But for all the differences between the cultures, both cultures share the fact that while love can sometimes defy all odds, life is tenuous.
Come Back to Me is perceptive and penetrating look at the intricacies of love, respect and relationships. Foster’s characters are solid; her writing style engaging and her story moving.
Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader