Revenants The Odyssey Home, by Scot Kauffman, Cover
Revenants The Odyssey Home, Cover



Revenants:  noun

1.  a person who returns after a lengthy absence
2.  a person who returns as a spirit after death; ghost








In Revenants The Odyssey Home, Scott Kauffman creates an intensely emotional and revealing contemporary novel spanning decades.  Grieving the death of her beloved brother in Viet Nam, Betsy struggles to survive and continue on.  Working at the local VA Hospital as a candy-stripper, the pet project of Congressman Mark Hanna, Betsy finds a mystery.  She discovers a secret patient known only to a select few.   Determined to solve the mystery of the patient sequestered on the top floor, she will encounter the depths to which man can fall in his search for vengeance.

Congressman Hanna rules small town Hanna, Ohio as if it is his personal kingdom, including the VA Hospital.  As a result, he has managed to keep a horrible secret for 50 years.  However, grieving Betsy’s determined to return this unknown and unnamed soldier home.   So begins a journey of grief, discovery, secrets revealed, and consequences made known.

This intense journey highlights the depths and cruelty of war for the combatants as well as the ones left home.  Come follow Betsy on her journey of discovery and perhaps healing.  My contemporary novel review of Revenants The Odyssey Home follows.


First of all, I do not feel I have the skill to create a worthy review.  I do not have sufficient skill or adequate words to express the emotionally intense road I followed as I read Revenants The Odyssey Home.   A good novel should evoke intense emotion and thought from the reader long after they finish the book.  Revenants The Odyssey Home, is such a novel.  This novel stays with the reader long after turning the last page.  I cried from the first chapter.  I suggest a box of tissues at hand as you start your journey.  With vivid descriptions, Kauffman transported me back to my teenager years during the Viet Nam war. I refuse to call it a conflict;  families and men damaged mentally and physically during those years have never recovered.

Kauffman’s prose painted a picture of the cruelty and hopelessness of war.  Secondly, it is significant to note, Kauffman portrayed the damage inflicted not only to the military combatant but to their loved ones.  Much of the damage was mental as Kauffman so ably shows in this novel.  Also, Kauffman skillfully reveals the depths to which man will fall to achieve vengeance and save pride.  For every action has consequences, which Kauffman eloquently reveals.

Kauffman included twist and turns, weaving many threads together to form a solid novel filled with mystery, grief, pride, decisions made, and consequences lasting lifetimes.  Kauffman drew out the mystery and political involvement, keeping the intrigue and anticipation at highest peak.  Spanning two world wars, Revenants is riveting.  What twists and drama await the reader!

If you read one novel this year, this should be that novel.  Not an easy book to read, Revenants The Odyssesy Home, inspires thoughts and emotions which are not comfortable.  Kauffman task the reader to face tough issues;  the abyss of war with its aftermath, man’s greedy and evil nature, and the effect decisions have upon generations.

Revenants The Odyssey Home Recommendation:  Stars 5

In addition, I found Revenants The Odyssey Home, a riveting intense novel earning 5+ well deserved stars.  Suitable for young adults and adults, I highly recommend this book.  I look forward to reading more of Kauffman’s works.


Additionally, I received this book from Netgalley and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest contemporary novel review.

Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion.  Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinion.  Without a doubt,  the ARC did not affect my voluntary comtemporary novel review.



Scott Kaufmann is the  Winner of Mighty River Short Story Contest and Recipient of Hackney Literary Award

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