Kelly Chase is from a loving and value-driven Native American family near the Blackfeet Reservation in northern Montana. After a trip to California he meets what he hopes is the love of his life. But after tragedy, he goes into an emotional tailspin that eventually gets him drafted into the US Army, where he is captured in Vietnam and is tortured for years.
When we first meet Kelly, he's rescued and brought back to the United States after enduring years of torture. To make matters even worse, while in the VA hospital he comes to learn that the woman he's loved and held onto has gotten married and moved away. Everything he's held onto while enduring torture collapses. Kelly’s guilt from the past, including what he thinks is his selfish behavior leads him into a spiral of self-loathing, unaccepting of love or forgiveness.
Enter Kaitlin Chapin. She and her brother have become incredibly wealthy and famous for their musical talents in the early 70’s. She, however, feels out of control and trapped by their success. With critics making commentary about her body, she develops body dysmorphia and a chronic eating disorder that eventually threatens her life. The tale is all too familiar if you are a real-life fan of the Carpenters.
Kelly and Kaitlin’s affections grow eventually each one is essential to the others survival.
In SAVING KC, the reader is invested in how he comes to terms with situations and feelings of a life left behind and how survives his bouts self-hatred. When he and Kaitlin meet, their stories intertwine and they grow with each other, more so than they ever could have individually. They find understanding in each other.
Fans of the movie Forrest Gump, will enjoy this historical fiction novel with romance and an iconic 70’s backdrop. There is a cinematic quality to the writing and the author has a Carver-esque type feel in his concise and direct writing. Kelly's tone and actions set the stage for this dramatic period piece. SAVING KC explores the ravages war can have on a person whether they be internal or external wars. It explores how hopes and dreams can be your demise.
I loved the well-developed characters and the author's time line of this period. The writing enables the reader to dive deep into a life of despair and regret as if it were your own. And the author refrains from the frill of over-written prose, his writing reminiscent to the style of Raymond Carver.
SAVING KC is a great throwback to an era that shaped pop culture today and the hearts it broke with it. I definitely recommend.