Shiloh Renewal is a gripping and oftentimes gut-wrenching story of a young girl left brain damaged in the car accident that killed her older sister. She cannot recognize her own mirrored reflection or pronounce words so that people around her can understand. She thinks her sister went to college and does not understand she is dead. Through her recovery period, she sees Civil War soldiers, nurses, horses heading for a battle at Shiloh. They are even more real to her than her own existence - they communicate with her, and she with them, for they understand her words/thoughts. A journey of confusion, doubt, hope, and courage as she grows to know and accept who she is.
Very touching, intense and thought-provoking novel written from a very interesting point of view. Includes lots of vivid imagery and accurate Civil War scenes and references. I am puzzled as to why it is categorized as 'young adult.' I'm certain most young adults lack the life experiences or emotional maturity to fully understand or appreciate this book.
I read the author's newest, Ghost in the Rainbow, first. It deals with addictions, internal strife, and external failure very well; you begin to feel this woman's suffering. Should be a requirement in any substance abuse program. I was compelled to then read Neighbors. Funny, endearing, and such upbeat characters. Finally I read Shiloh Renewal. I almost didn't because I thought it was a young adult book. Believe me, this is a very mature story. If you ever loved someone and lost them, you've got to read this book. Absolutely wrenching.