Cover Image: Neglect

Neglect

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Member Reviews

I learned a long time ago that something heartbreaking is heartrending, and this definitely fits the bill without splitting hairs. Kim Wozencraft manages to spill blood, sweat, and tears on the page as we follow the plight of Erin, a mother and war veteran, who returns to a broken marriage, a thirst to drown her sorrows in alcohol, and all of the depth of pain that those two situations cause in her life when she finally reaches her breaking point. The writing is beautiful, the characters real. Wozencraft is a new author to me, and as such, the best expression of the impression she left is that I have since gone and ordered several of her earlier books. This is one you should not miss. Highly recommended.
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4.5 stars. 

Neglect by Kim Wozencraft is a heartbreaking novel of a woman broken by poverty and war then finds herself trapped in a bureaucratic nightmare to regain custody of her children.

Erin Hill is a college professor barely eking out a living when she impulsively decides to enlist in the Army National Guard. Her husband Eddy is furious and their already precarious marriage worsens. Despite assurances by the recruiter she will never see battle, Erin’s unit is sent on a six month deployment to Afghanistan. She desperately misses her twins, Paul and Lindsey but she finds friendship with two other women. Erin is assaulted by someone in a leadership position, she endures an unbearable loss and is haunted by a tragic mistake. Erin’s return home is less than joyful as she struggles to find a job and she fights PTSD with little help except for self-medicating herself with alcohol. Eddy abandons her and their children and utterly overwhelmed, Erin makes a decision that could cost her everything she holds dear.

Erin is no stranger to loss and dire finances, but after she comes back from war, she is no longer able to cope. Although she knows all too well what drinking can do to families and marriages, alcohol is the only thing that calms her frantic thoughts. Eddy seizes on her drinking to finally walk out on her but she is grateful to have Paul and Lindsey. Despite her deep love for her now ten-year-old twins, Erin makes a drunken choice that has unanticipated consequences.

Erin’s sister Tanya comes to her rescue more than once, but since they do not live in the same state, she is mostly on her own. Erin will do anything to bring her children home, but she must navigate the many obstacles the social service system puts in her path. Just as she believes she is one step closer to regaining custody, Erin must complete one more never-ending set of arbitrary tasks dictated by the court system. Eddy is also part of the problem and she is frustrated by his control over her and their children’s lives.

Neglect is an incredibly well-written, captivating novel that provides an unflinching and eye-opening view of the ravages of war, poverty and the unforgiving social service bureaucracy. Erin is a very relatable woman that is deeply flawed. The various systems fail her as she initially seeks help from the VA for her PTSD then by child protective services as it continually moves the goal posts. But determination and a strong will to be reunited with her children is a powerful motivation for Erin to finally begin to confront her demons. With a clever act of revenge yielding unexpected results, Kim Wozencraft brings this emotionally compelling novel to a hopeful conclusion.
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Neglect is my first book by Kim Wozencraft. I haven't read anything like this before, it's one of the reasons I got interested in reading it.

The story is of veteran's life after returning home, the challenges faced and the process of overcoming them. I found it to be an intense read, with my blood boiling at so many instances. 

The book taks about family, love, war, mental health. It describes how it feels to be stuck in a system that makes it difficult to live a normal life, when it should have been supporting and understanding. 

It is a good read, although I did get detached a bit here and there, felt a bit dragged at few points.

I would recommend readers who like books about war, parenting and motherhood to give it a try.

Thanks you Netgalley, Author - Kim Wozencraft and publishers for the ARC.
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Neglect, by Kim Wozencraft is a story about a veteran mother trying to overcome the challenges after returning home from war. Erin, the main character in the story, is trying to help her family by enlisting in the army.  She is sent to the warfront and experiences a lot of difficulty upon return to her family. Her marriage is over, she is using alcohol to cope, and her family is suffering. Based upon decisions that she has made, she loses her children.  She cannot escape the bureaucracy of the system that threatens to ruin her life and her children.  Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance review copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This will break your heart.  Erin has always tried to do the right thing but Aghanistan broke her in a way that can't be categorized.  Once a college professor, she joined the reserves for the money.  Now she's back, using alcohol to cope, and struggling to keep things afloat for her twins after her husband Eddy takes off.  One night, though, she goes too far and her suicide attempt not only lands her in the hospital, it means she loses her kids.  Wozencraft uses a variety of characters- not just Erin but also the social worker, her sister Tanya (she's great), and others to tell the story of Erin's nightmare in the court system. Nothing is easy, everything is linked and Erin is slapped in the face in some way at every turn.  This can be hard to read not only because there are several especially harrowing situations in Afghanistan but also because Erin's situation feels so hopeless. It is, however, an important novel for the clear eyed look at a situation I suspect is more common than we know.   Thanks to netgalley for the ARC.  Great read.
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Family drama at its best. Enjoyed every page. Don't miss this one. 

Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style of Kim Wozencraft!  Found myself eager to continue reading as I followed Erin Hill, wife, mother, and Army Reserve soldier, try to balance her maternal and patriotic duties in Afghanistan and at home.  Your heart will go out to Erin as she experiences episodes of PTSD allowing her estranged husband to get custody of her children.  Grab a copy of this true to life experience that many women live through to find the outcome of Erin’s story!  Reads like a true story!
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