T. Jefferson Parker, known for his crime novels, delivers an emotional and gut-wrenching literary departure that’s miles away from what his fans and readers would expect in “Full Measure.”
Patrick Norris returns home after a military tour in Afghanistan. He has been forever changed by the horrors he faced, the people he was forced to kill and the friends he watched die. Patrick is happy to see his family and start a small sport-fishing business. But an arsonist has destroyed the majority of the trees on his parents’ avocado farm. They’re close to financial ruin, and they ask Patrick for help, which forces him to put aside his dreams.
The challenge to rebuild the business, along with secrets that threaten to tear the family apart, takes away the hope he had when he first returned. Patrick has left the battlefield of Afghanistan to enter another war, this time on the home front.
Parker captures the experience of what it means for a soldier to return home. The economic struggle of Patrick’s family showcases the plight of the working farmer. The family dynamic and the elements of small-town life are also in abundance.
Parker has a gift for storytelling, and “Full Measure” is realistic on every level.
Jeff Ayers is a staff writer for the Associated Press.