Title: Never Give Up: One man's fight to heal his PTSD
Author: Y.M. Masson
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
After Alain’s journey to survive Nazi-occupied Paris, and his battle to erase the emotional trauma of combat, the civilian Alain has a difficult time eliminating from his mind the ever-present memories of the atrocities he witnessed during the war. In Never Give Up: A Man’s Fight to Heal His PTSD, twenty-five years have passed since his discharge from the military but the old infantry lieutenant still has troubles with his demons of hatred, anger, and guilt. A chance encounter with Cathy, one of his work colleagues, leads to a renewed effort to complete the healing. Revisiting Alain’s childhood life and trekking in the highlands of the Himalayas are part of the background as Cathy, with the help of the spirits of the mountains, leads the charge to slay the demons. The fight is on.
Twenty-five years have passed since Alain has been discharged from the military, but his demons still haunt him. A chance encounter with one of his co-workers motivates him to complete the healing process. They take a trip to the Himalayas and with the soothing help of Cathy and the spiritual elements of the mountains, the experience is like a salve for Alain's wounds. He has a long journey ahead but with renewed energy, Alain is ready to embrace what's ahead. Will he learn to never give up or will the demons conquer him once and for all?
Never Give Up is a breathtaking conclusion to this series by Y.M. Masson. With raw emotion, the reader is thrust into what Alain struggles with: PTSD. There were so many times when I just wanted to hug Alain and tell him it was going to be okay. The plot is so well-crafted, I almost forgot I was reading a fictional account. The characters are so realistic and Alain's portrayal of PTSD so accurate, I couldn't help but feel a part of the story. The pacing of the book is superb. The themes are serious but as a historical fiction reader, I truly loved it. If you've ever wanted to know the consequences of war on the human spirit, you'll love Never Give Up. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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Born in Paris, as a young boy Yves Masson experienced the hardships of German occupation. Not yet five years old when he is strafed by German dive bombers, Alain learn about war, the random checkpoints and round-ups manned by the occupying army, the lines for food and the increasing scarcity of basic nutrition needs, the horrors of friends taken away, and the nightly fear of being buried in bombing raids. With his friends, Alain survives although being almost shot more than once. Never giving up hope, he welcomes the Allies who liberate Paris and thanks the GIs who freed him from oppression and gave him some of their food. After serving in the French army during the Algerian war, 15 years late, he left France for New York City in 1965 and became a United States citizen in the early seventies. He lived in New York, Georgia, and California, and has made Florida his home state since 2011. After working as a marketing executive in Corporate America and running his own consulting firm, Yves turned to the arts. He is an accomplished portrait artist, but he feels it is more important to share his life experiences with his readers. Yves knows what war does to people and especially to children. His ability to describe the daily fears, the devastating hunger pains, and the despair of deprivation and coercion draws his audience into the struggle for survival of his young characters.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N