Hamilton Press

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By Mark A Gibson

IR Rating:
A heartwarming and frequently heartbreaking tale of a young man's life, Mark A. Gibson's A SONG THAT NEVER ENDS carries a message of hope and persistence in the face of great tragedy.
IR Approved
Book One in The Hamilton series tells the life story of James Hamilton, a brilliant young man who, despite family tragedy in youth and the catastrophe that was Vietnam, managed to find enough joy and love to make life worthwhile.

James Hamilton, the second son born late in life to Walter and Maggie Hamilton, lost his home and the place in his family due to a horrific accident. Finding refuge with an uncle who nurtured his brilliant intelligence and good heart, he grew to become a responsible, kind, honorable young man who won the heart of the girl of his dreams—only to be sent to Vietnam to serve as a medic.

Woven around his narrative are the stories of his mother, a once joyous and lively young woman embittered by tragedy, his spoiled and selfish older brother, his supportive and caring uncle, and the woman he loved more than anything. Mark A. Gibson’s A SONG THAT NEVER ENDS (book one in The Hamilton series) does not shy away from tragedy; there are horrific moments that will leave even the most callous reader heartbroken. Yet, amidst all of the tears, there’s always a sense of hope for a better future—or at least the idea that a life lived with love, joy, honor, and compassion is worth it. The book is more personal than political, focusing less on the national politics of war than on its effect on individuals and families, who either live through the hell and pain of battle or wait anxiously at home for a loved one’s return (perhaps permanently altered or damaged by what they’ve been through). But there’s room for exploration here, as well as joy, finding new experiences and growing through tragedy to better places. There’s also no sugarcoating, but giving in to bitterness, resentment, and apathy isn’t the right answer either. There’s space in between for learning to accept and grieve for the pain and suffering of life while moving through it to make the world, or at least one’s own personal world, a better, stronger, and healthier place.

Despite the pain, there’s a touch of sweetness to the story: a sense that Jimmy as a character is worthy of love and respect because of the love and respect he shows to others, even in his darkest times, and because of the way he’s able to find his way through the darkness. It’s a heartwarming story and an engaging book for any reader who enjoys coming-of-age stories with likeable heroes.

A heartwarming and frequently heartbreaking tale of a young man’s life, Mark A. Gibson’s A SONG THAT NEVER ENDS carries a message of hope and persistence in the face of great tragedy.

~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader

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