• Sahar Abdulaziz, MS

Book Review: Man With No Yesterdays by Susan Moore Jordan

Inevitably, all wars come to an end, but so do people’s lives. Some never come home, and others struggle to rebuild the life taken from them–while others return, but find they must replace their place in the world they left behind. In Man With No Yesterdays, by author Susan Moore Jordan, the main character, Jake Cameron, not only loses his position, but his past as well. His dreams of a promising future all but vanishing amid the wreckage of a horrific helicopter accident in a remote, faraway area over the South China Sea, somewhere in Vietnam. Suffering from total amnesia, Jake find his entire childhood memories and history stripped away; the people he knew and loved-and loved him–a faint recollection, if that much. The future, a blur.

Jake signed up to fight the Vietnam War, and like many young soldiers of the time, he was full of expectation and hope for a better future. Politics aside, he did as his country expected, and almost lost his life in the process. The pieces of his memory that survived the accident were broken, fractured. A collection of scattered images. Some were warm and hopeful, while others were dark and painful. After months of hospitalization and physical therapy, Jake’s body heals, but not his mind. Burdened by uncertainty and doubt, Jake sets off on a journey of self-exploration and reinvention, but also revenge–desperate to answer the many questions lurking in the far recesses of his memory.

Jake is the boy next door, the first gentle kiss, the first candlelight dinner. He is the strong, trustworthy shoulder and the pensive lover. Most of all, he is a son, a brother, and a good man struggling against time to find his way back home to a life that in many ways no longer exists.

Moore brings the reader from Jake’s most vulnerable moments to his most successful, and every hiccup, tear, and laughter in between. She eloquently reveals through Jake’s eyes and experiences the fear and trepidation that accompany being expected to live a life without a yesterday to reference.

Man With No Yesterdays is a relatable story, not only for those who have had to struggle with memory loss but for veterans and the people who love them. This is a story for those who have returned home, body intact, but a mind in downfall, suffering from crippling mood disorders like PTSD, depression, and anxiety. It is a well-researched and engaging story full of hope, love, forgiveness, and survival. A must-read.

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