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In His Stead (A Father's War) [Kindle Edition]

Judith Sanders
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The cause of war may have changed since America’s conception but the loss of a child remains unbearable. In His Stead, A Father’s War is a tale of redemption and the power of a father’s love.

Retired Army Ranger Thomas Lane once burned for the taste of gunpowder and the thrill of the battle. But as he struggles to cope with his own PTSD and the death of his eldest son, killed by an IED in Afghanistan, Lane learns that the beast called war demands more.

Now the National Guard is calling on Lane’s youngest son to serve. Consumed with sorrow, Lane knows he will do anything to save his child—even if it means going in his place, a pursuit unheard of since the Civil War when slaves were sent in place of their masters.

This is the tale of Thomas’ internal and external conflict as he battle the United States Army, its JAG corps, a vengeful officer, the very son he is desperate to save, and his own wife, who has the Solomon like choice to risk her husband or another son. Filled with both tense action and heartbreaking tenderness, In His Stead captures the essence of family life in wartime—the good, the bad, and the hopeful—as it exposes what it means to be a father and a man.

Editorial Reviews


''Sanders' rich rendering of Civil War law validated in the 21st century to save Thomas Lane's son is rare and spellbinding. The humanity linking the pages of In His Stead will pierce you like a sword.'' ----Hugh R. Overholt, Retired Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army

''In His Stead is a strong book, filled with memorable characters and a message of courage and strength. One person can make a difference, and that truth rings loud and clear. You'll never want this book to end.'' --Don Bruns, author of Hot Stuff

About the Author

Judith Sanders was born and raised in a rural town in New Jersey. She received her BS from Graceland College and worked as a registered nurse for many years, including serving the military as a nurse in Maryland. Sanders, a mother of three boys, now makes writing her full time career and divides her time between her homes in New Hampshire and North Carolina. Her first novel, Crescent Veil, is a reality fiction novel about a hunt for terrorists. With her second novel, In His Stead (A Father's War) Judith honors the memories of those fallen in war.

Product Details

  • File Size: 572 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1938573838
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: IronWord Press, LLC (October 12, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #762,702 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Read December 5, 2012
In His Stead; A Father's War

What would you do to keep your children safe? Thomas Lane, business man, husband and father would give his life to save his, even if it meant serving in the military.

When Lane's youngest son Donnie is arrested for DUI he is given the choice of doing community service or joining the guard. His choice? The guard. For the simple reason of funding his college tuition. A good choice it would seem, except his unit is called for deployment to Afghanistan.

Hell bent on keeping his son out of the action in Afghanistan, Lane enlists and evokes the "In His Stead" clause still in the Pennsylvania law books from the time of the civil war. Lane, having previously lost his oldest son Tommy in action, takes on the government to prove he is fit and able to take his son's place. Good or bad Lane finds himself on a plane bound for Afghanistan after leaving his wife and children behind and headlong into fighting Taliban insurgents.

Sanders has created a believable plot for her book in that it is every parent's desire to protect their children. You can feel the anguish of Tom and his wife. The action of the battle and loss of young lives is hard hitting. However, the ending was predictable to a point. The book is slow starting but picked up mid-way through ramping up my interest. The characters of the protagonist, his wife and son are detailed but I felt Chrissy needed more presence as she is only mentioned as an afterthought, with the `69 Chevelle Malibu Mona garnering more attention.

All in all I enjoyed the read and would recommend it to those who enjoy books about the military.

Disclaimer: I was given this book by the publisher for an honest and unbiased review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This novel made me cry July 18, 2014
By Scott
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In His Stead (A Father's War) by Judith Sanders was an extremely moving novel about a fathers choice to take his sons place in the war in Afghanistan. Thomas Lane Senior is father to Thomas Lane Junior, Donnie Lane and Chrissy Lane. He is also husband to Christine Lane. At the beginning of the story his family learns that their eldest son Tommy Jr. has been killed fighting in Afghanistan and the family is understandably distraught. A few years later when Donnie is called to serve as well his father cannot bear the idea of sending another son to war. Having served as an Army Ranger himself he knows how war can change a young man and he knows the dangers inherent in fighting. When he learns that an old Civil war law that allowed people to stand in for a person called to serve are still on the books Tom knew that he had to try to take his sons place.

This story tells of a father's love for his family as well as his love for others. It tells a story of a man who simply wants the wars to end. It is beautifully written and I can't wait to read another novel by Judith Sanders.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming/Heartwrenching July 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In His Stead (A Father's War) by Judith Sanders is a phenomenal book. I cannot decide whether I would classify it as heartwarming or heart wrenching but it certainly tugs at the heart strings. In His Stead is the story of Thomas Lane and his family. The story opens with the family learning that their oldest son Tom Jr. was killed in Afghanistan while fighting in the war. They learn of his death after seeing his heroic feats on the news. Tom Sr. was an Army Ranger many years ago and struggles with PTSD as a result. When he finds out that his youngest and only surviving son Donnie is supposed to fight in Afghanistan next he uses the only recourse that he can to try and protect him, an old law from the civil war that allows you to take someone’s place and fight "in their stead."

As a parent, a navy brat, and a friend and sibling to many others who have served this story made me think about what I would be willing to do in order to keep those that I loved safe. In His Stead is a beautifully written and compelling read that I think everyone should pick up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wrenching family choice December 1, 2012
By Dick
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Relying on an old Civil War era law allowing someone to serve in the military in place of someone else, the main character, Thomas Lane, sets out to serve in Afghanistan in place of his son. What parent wouldn't want to shield his child from harm? The author developed a believable way to get past each of the many obstacles the leading character encounters in his attempt to achieve this goal. After reading in the bio of the author that she has three sons of her own, I think she faced the challenges of her main character with deep empathy and a strong determination to accomplish the task as if she were fighting for her own son.
The premise is original, the characters well developed and the narrative is compelling. I read this book straight through and highly recommend it to others.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I have read in a long time November 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have loved this book! I laughed out loud and cried like a baby while reading this book. The characters are so alive you find yourself wanting to know them better and wishing they were your neighbors. I have been motivated and inspired by Tom's journey. I highly recommend this book to every parent and anyone who has served in the military.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In His Stead (A Father’s War) by Judith Sanders
I am not usually a reader of military fiction. I lived as an Army wife for 6 years and married a discharged Airman, so I’ve lived with the fears that are in this novel. It was comforting to know that the reactions I had were so similar to the wife’s character. Her descriptions are wonderful; one of the best examples is the scene where Tom and Donnie are playing pool. The action is well paced and the dialogue had just the right blend of braggart and cold measurement of the opponent. The reward of the1969 Chevelle SS is to be Donnie’s if he wins, if his dad wins, he is allowed to step into his shoes. Then when Tom pulls out a Balabushka cue, it’s as if everyone in the room stops breathing. This is all Donnie needed to see; all his life the stories that he’d occurred surrounding the cue.
The story begins with a nuclear family, a retired Army Ranger who owns his own business, a loving wife, Christine, two sons, Tommy and Donnie, and a daughter Chrissy. Tommy, who is in the military and Donnie who loves punk music are opposites in appearance and temperament. Not long into the story, you learn that the eldest son has died. The second son gets into some minor trouble and such, and instead of doing community service the judge recommends, his father, Tom, decides that Donnie should join the National Guard. Often, Tom would watch a YouTube video of Tommy’s death that had been captured and placed online. One night Tom gets a phone call that Donnie has been picked up for being drunk and a public nuisance. He knows that he will never measure up to Tommy in his dad’s eyes and then the lecturing begins.
When Tom gets Donnie in the truck, he lectures him all the way home.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The war on terror: A diffent viewpoint?
Thomas Lane, once a soldier himself, has become a collateral victim of America’s war of terror: His eldest son died a hero in Afghanistan, and his death was caught on video and... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Steve Reeder
5.0 out of 5 stars in his stead
This was very good. This is about a man named Thomas Lane. He lost his oldest son recently in the war. His youngest son got a dui. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Caitlin M Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful story
Hey guys! If you're looking for a fun summer read for the beach... This might not be for you. In His Stead is the story of Retired Army Ranger Thomas Lane, and his relationship... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Owen Robinson
3.0 out of 5 stars Guilt and redemption
In His Stead is a novel about family as much as it is about war. In it, Thomas Lane, a veteran himself must deal with the death of his oldest son, an American soldier in... Read more
Published 1 month ago by E A Fow
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring for Parents and Children Alike
Author Judith Sanders makes it clear before the main text of the story even begins that this is a story dedicated to the sheer sense of parenthood which instinctively drives many... Read more
Published 1 month ago by K. Hair
4.0 out of 5 stars The Dad
In His Stead (A Father’s War) A Novel by Judith Sanders is a 340 page novel. It is written in third person, past tense and includes thirty-five chapters, no titles just numbers, an... Read more
Published 1 month ago by LA Howell
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than a war story
This book turned out to be more than I have anticipated. While I was aware going in that it would have to do with the war I never expected the inner battle that was going on. Read more
Published 1 month ago by MzMonka
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise, not so well executed.
The basis of the book is that a father discovers a loophole in the law that enables him to be considered as a replacement for his son to fight in Afghanistan. Read more
Published 1 month ago by SAK
5.0 out of 5 stars War is Hell on All Involved
Whether it is presented as a mere peace keeping exercise or an all-out aggressive offensive, lives can and will be lost. Read more
Published 1 month ago by im1rarebird
3.0 out of 5 stars 4* for most non-pragmatists: note Spoiler Alert.
In His Stead (A Father's War) ISBN: 9781938573866, Iron Word Press, an e-book by Judith Sanders is a most unusual novel that elicits a need for dichotomous evaluation. Read more
Published 1 month ago by John H. Manhold
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More About the Author

I was born and raised a Jersey Girl. I received my bachelor's degree in nursing from Graceland University and have served on the front lines in community hospitals and as a civilian nurse at the US Army's lead infectious Disease Institute (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland.

My first novel, CRESCENT VEIL, is a novel about germ warfare which Heartland Reviews praised as 'nonstop action based on the real deal by authors who should know what they are presenting'.

My second novel, IN HIS STEAD, is an award winning look at the effects of wartime service on families. With a number of relatives having served or currently serving in the military, IN HIS STEAD is a tribute to the impossible jobs, bravery, and sacrifices made by our service members and their families every day in the name of peace and freedom.

Sales of my books support, a charity for military families.


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