Alex and Josh are lost souls for two very different reasons. Josh just returned from Afghanistan minus a leg. The all American boy, good at sports and getting girls, is not quite what he used to be. That’s before you consider the nightmares and how he stiffens when he hears loud noises, such as fireworks.
Alex, on the other hand, lost her father five years earlier and her mother has been on a steady decline ever since. Now, having lost her job, her mother has taken to staying in their trailer and is seeing a total sleazeball who encourages her to drink. Alex is wondering whether she’ll have to be the family’s total support and be forced to turn down her full scholarship to San Francisco State.
Somehow, though, at Josh’s ‘welcome home’ party in July, the two seem to connect. What a contrast, Alex the ‘good girl’ never drinking (because her father died in an auto accident when driving while intoxicated) and Josh, who will chug a beer and crush the can.
In I’ll Meet You There, readers will feel the complexity of Josh and Alex’s relationship and the insecurity each feels. Alex, having never had a boyfriend and Josh, needing to shed his image of chasing everything in a skirt, are unsure both of their feelings and how to act upon them.
Demetrios touches on the PTSD that Josh faces after returning from the war zone. Although it is not the premise of the book, it certainly plays a role in Josh’s (and Alex’s) life. A more pointed and wonderful book dealing with PTSD is Patricia McCormick’s Purple Heart. Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt is also worth reading.
I’ll Meet You There is a poignant story bound to, at different times, bring a tear to your eye and a smile to your face.