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Feature book: A SEAL Forever

2 March 2016

A Seal Forever_ElizabethA SEAL Forever by Anne Elizabeth

There is nothing like a SEAL in difficult situations.

Maura Maxwell is a little shy. Maura is a former gymnast and now practises parkour. She works in a local gym, which she wants to buy and implement all her ideas. She wants the activities to have a community focus  and will also trade membership for jobs in the gym. She believes all children and adults should have access to exercise regardless of their ability to pay. Maura would rather avoid her neighbour than speak to him. When he saves her from treacherous waters, she finds that he is not that bad after all. The pair fall into a relationship with its ups and downs. Then Declan goes on a mission.

Declan Swifton is a Master Chief in SEAL Team Five. He is obviously an accomplished military man as he is a leader in his team. He enjoys his work as it is all about the team and the brotherhood they develop. Declan is then sent on a mission, which goes badly. He finds himself in the hospital having multiple surgeries and losing half his leg. In the aftermath of the surgeries, he wonders if Maura will still want him enough to have a life together.

Declan returns home, and he and Maura continue their relationship and have to make the adjustments necessary to cater for Declan’s disability. He has his former teammates helping him as they are his lifelong friends. Declan worries about what he will do now. He has a prosthetic leg, and he can’t be an active member of the team. But given his experience, they find a position for him.

What I really enjoyed about this story is not just the relationship but the details of life as a SEAL. Whenever we can gain a glimpse of their life, we gain more understanding of what their job is like. And when Declan is injured and loses part of his leg, the author doesn’t shy away from showing the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and disability on soldiers after their service. The reader is not presented with a depth of understanding of what PTSD is, but the author has provided a significant insight into the after-effects of war, which allows the reader to sympathise with returned soldiers. I enjoy these insights into the nature and work of SEALs.

Reviewed by Heather

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

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