“[A] gorgeous debut… Moving and full of heart.” –New York Times bestselling author Caroline Leavitt

As an executive for one of the most successful military defense contractors in the country, Ruth Nolan should have been thrilled that her troubled son, Robbie, chose to join the Marines. But she wasn’t. She was terrified.

So, when he returns home to San Diego after his second tour in Iraq, apparently unscathed, it feels like a chance to start over and make things right—until a scandal at work tears her away from their reunion. The next morning, Robbie is found dead in a motel. A note arrives for Ruth in the mail a few days later saying, “I’m sorry for everything. It’s not your fault. I love you.”

Overcome with grief, Ruth packs up Robbie’s ashes and heads east, away from her guilt and regret. The photographs above chart Ruth’s journey as she tries to outrun her demons only to realize she must face them and confront the truth about her past, her choices, the war, and her son.

“Reminds us [that] not all battle scars start on the battlefield…[a] heartbreaking novel.” –David Abrams, author of Fobbit