To The Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden brings out some notable themes: Forgiveness, betrayal, and complicated relationships not so easily solved by a few glib words.
Jenny sees Ryan and rehashes in her mind the hurt of his abrupt break up letter. Trust is broken, but she still loves him. She is compelled in spite of her reluctance to seek out answers to his long absence and his sudden loss of interest in her. What she discovers is a little Japanese girl and bitterness suppresses every ounce of compassion when she learns that he not only went to serve overseas, but found a wife and had a daughter. It’s not just a present hurt that keeps her from seeing clearly, but a secret from her past she can’t forgive.
Jenny is a complicated woman—A nurse during World War II who prides herself on running a tight ship as a nurse helping wounded warriors. She struggles with a distrust that goes back to her childhood, built on a foundation of guilt. What’s interesting are the secrets Ryan keeps as he attempts to restore the relationship.
People, in order to protect others, tend to hide pertinent information. We do the worst harm avoiding the uncomfortable to keep others from distress. Ryan’s attempt to avoid reality nearly gets him killed and sends Jenny away again. Jenny’s resentment towards Ryan’s small daughter causes the reader to get momentarily angry at Jenny. To The Farthest Shores is yet another example by Elizabeth Camden how one can write realistic characters in fiction to deviate from the predictable cookie cutter personalities found in some fiction.
*Book given by publisher to review