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In His Stead (A Father's War)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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 price of war is far too dear.

When the National Guard calls up Lanes
Paperback, 325 pages
Published November 10th 2012 by IronWord Press, LLC (first published October 12th 2012)
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoy family saga, action, military, military history, inspiration
Unique and Gritty Novel by goodreads Author
If you enjoy Kristen Hannah novels you'll love "In His Stead"
I admit that I know Judith and was co-author on her first novel, Crescent Veil. However, I had nothing to do with the writing of In His Stead (A Father's War) and I've now read the advanced reader's copy twice. Both times, in the midst of detailed, accurate, and compelling action scenes grounded in solid historical fact and research, I was overcome with emotions ranging from laughter, to
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military-war, fiction
This is a very well written and moving story about the love of a father for his son (and the rest of his family) told in a captivating, and I thought realistic way. Even though some would consider this a "war" book, it is really about the difference one person can make on the world and in the lives of others by acting on his/her principles. I couldn't put this one down and read it in one day!
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great Book! I really liked it because the story made you realize how important and strong the love between a father and son is and at what lengths a father will go to to protect his family. The author did a great job researching all the information needed to make the story believable. I recommend this book. It will make you laugh, cry and wonder what if fathers would start invoking the "in his stead" law to save their children.
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 Lanes 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
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written book about a father's love and bravery to give his life in return for his son's.

What would you do if your one son was killed in war and your other son was called to duty? For Thomas Lane, this situation was not suppose to happen. He helped sign his son up for the military so it would help put him through college. When Donnie's time comes for him to serve, Tom realizes that he could not handle losing another son. After looking at his options, his buddy Frank suggests
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was more than I ever imagined it would be. It shows the love of a father for his family and all he would sacrifice. It tugged at my heart strings. I cried multiple times not from saddness, but from my emotions pouring out for them. The book made me feel like I was it in. It also made me imagine my father and all he has done, and would do for our family just like Tom. Also, my fiance is in the national guard. This aspect of the book brought it even closer to me. The author did an ...more
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I tore through this book over a long weekend. As the story unfolded I had a feeling I knew where it was headed, but the rich character development made the journey incredibly rewarding. I particularly enjoyed the accuracy with which Tom Lane's very "normal" life is portrayed. All too often protagonists in fiction live "soundstage" lives that don't seem to have anything to do with ours. Tom's imperfections make him a compelling character.

The only reason I didn't give this book five stars is that
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Talk about a book that can run you thru a range of emotions from disheartened to exhilarated to saddened. "In His Stead" is a must read for anyone who wants to know of a father's love and sacrifice.

For Judith Sanders on her authoring this book. "HOORAH"
Lynn Carmichael
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

Harmony Kent
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody
Recommended to Harmony by: free for review
Reviewed by Harmony Kent

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.

When the National Guard calls up Lanes youngest son to serve, Lane knows he will do anything to save his childeven if it means going in his place, a pursuit unheard of since the Civil War when slaves were sent to war in place of their masters.

In His Stead, Judith Sander's second novel, follows Thomas Lane's crusade against the United States Army, its JAG corps, a vengeful officer, the very son
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
New and Exciting Story!

Judith's writing allows the reader to visualize each chapter as the story unfolds. This is the kind of book you hope they make a movie from so you can experience every vision you imagined while reading the story. I felt every emotion in my bones as she left me wanting more, and she did not disappoint. The main character Thomas Lane truly shows a "Father's Love that knows no bounds." If you want to read a book that will leave you inspired knowing that one person can make a
Judith Sanders
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my second novel and I so enjoyed researching the premise, writing it, and now that it's out there hearing from readers about their thoughts, feelings, comments, and even criticisms (these help me in my other writing). Thank you for thinking about In His Stead and, once you've read it, keeping our soldiers and others supporting our military personnel in your thoughts and prayers.
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great story of a Father who steps in for his son so he doesn't have to go to war. Interesting premise.
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a solidly good book. Tells a very interesting historic fictional story. One that touches all of us that have a strong opinion of service to country and war.
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Name of Book: In His Stead

Author: Judith Sanders

ISBN: 978-1-938573-83-5

Publisher: Ironwood Press

Type of book: War, army life, substituting for a child, Civil War law, 2000s, positive male role model

Year it was published: 2012



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
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have heard many people say how authors should separate their actual lives from that of their characters in order to write a book with mass appeal, but I am so glad that Judith Saunders ignored that advice. Saunders real voice came through in the narrative that made it so personal and really drew me into the entire novel. Everything is emotionally charged--reminded me of a good Jodie Picoult book.

In His Stead tells the story of what many parents wish they could do: save and protect their child
Bruce Menin
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sometimes, the intentions of an author are noble enough to transcend the challenges of writing a fully believable, coherent tale; that is the case here. 'In Your Stead' is a heartfelt story about love, principles, dedication and honor. It is the story of a father who uses a loophole in the law to take the place of his son in an Army deployment to Afghanistan. The characters range from believable to painfully stereotypical; the plot is at times melodramatic; every single issue seems to resolve ...more
Dan Curnutt
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When this book first came to my attention I wasn't sure that I would enjoy it. As I started to read I was still withholding judgement because it seemed a bit far fetched.

But the more you read the more you start to resonate with the story. Thomas Lane, Sr. does not want his younger son, Donnie, to go to war. He has already lost his first son, Thomas, Jr. to the war. He is torn as to what to do.

As an Army Ranger he understands the honor in serving your country. But he also understands the horror
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First off let me say that I am still deeply moved by this book. What an impact this made to me as a parent of a serving Marine and a mother, a creator of a child.
I want to give credit to James Williams for taking these important thoughts and message to Judith Sanders and say do this, move this, please share these words.

When reading this book knowing I would be asked to review it I would write a quote or passage that struck my core...well after several pages of this I couldn't do it any more. It
Veritas Vincit
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There is no shortage of military-themed books out there on the market, but this one stood out. The premise of the story is what initially drew me in, but the powerful story-telling and character development by Sanders is what kept me in. She tackled extremely complex issues and challenging choices related to honor, strength, family, and sacrifice - not an easy task. There aren't many non-emotional moments in this novel, and not only are there the realistic choices that Lane has to make regarding ...more
Wendy Hines
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a mother, I would take my son's place in a heartbeat if it would save him from being hurt. I've had family killed in wars and it's heartbreaking. In His Stead is the story of Thomas Lane, a man who doesn't want his son to be hurt - physically or mentally - who takes his youngest son's place in Afghanistan.

The book brought tears to my eyes on many occasions. Not only for Tom, but for his wife (One can't choose between a husband and a son), but for his son as well. There are moments filled with
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In this day and age, a story about the horrors and long-term effects of warfare are never as relevant. However, this novel takes a completely new direction, but with themes from the past. I can't imagine what it would be like to have PTSD, nor could I imagine the trauma of losing a child. However, the complicated emotions involved in having a family tradition of being in the military are riveting. The loyalty and sense of honor that Thomas Lane has for not only his family but also his country is ...more
Bronsen Hawkins
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Thomas Lane has already lost one son to the war in Afghanistan, he will be damned if he loses another one. In His Stead (A Fathers War) by Judith Sanders does an amazing job at showing the way war effects those involved. It is quite common that we see the man in uniform deliver the flag to the parents of a fallen solider. It is not as common that we get to see what happens after that heart stopping moment. Losing a child is a hard thing for a married to come back from.

So, after being faced with
Robin Perron
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy a meaningful story. In His Stead takes you on a powerful journey of a Fathers love for not only his son but his entire family. After the heartbreak of losing his first son in a war that has gone on for way too long and now facing the possibility of losing another Tom "The Dad" steps in to take a stand and to go In His Stead! (What a perfect title for the book.)The heart wrenching task he has undertaken causes Tom to battle all odds to save his ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have received a free copy of this book through a GoodReads First Reads giveaway.
A touch of humor gives this inspiring and bittersweet story the right balance to make it... just.. perfect. Sanders captures with grace, the absolute beauty of a father's love and just how far he will go to protect his family. From the hustle and bustle of the city, to the smothering desert heat, the author has a way with words that places you right in the thick of it.
Besides being able to write beautifully,
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In His Stead is a heart-wrenching story of a fathers love for his sons and the sad reality that comes with the casualties of war. Thomas Lane is a former army ranger who longed for battle his entire career. Battling his own nightmares of tours past, he is also mourning the loss on one son in Afghanistan. When there is a chance that his youngest son might encounter the same fate, Lane takes the younger sons place in the ranks.
In His Stead does a great job of putting you in the shoes of those who
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In His Stead tells the tale of retired army ranger Thomas Lane. Gung-ho to the core, and ever ready for the next battle, his new challenges are different than anything hes faced in his military career. Crippling post traumatic episodes haunt his consciousness and the loss of a eldest son in battle only compounds the feelings of hopelessness. Will he allow history to repeat itself?
The book is definitely worth the read. The story, while very real and in a lot of respects, sad works. The author
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a great story about a man named Thomas Lane, who decided he doesnt want to risk a chance of losing a son in a war, and volunteers himself. Thomas, who is a veteran himself uses an old civil war law to take the place of his son instead. What I like about this book is that even though I know that it is fiction it still seem extremely real. The characters are extremely detailed. As I read the story, I got to know all the characters very well, like they were family. This is a very emotional ...more
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Profound thoughts? 1 5 Oct 22, 2013 03:48PM  
Making Connections: 1288. IN HIS STEAD (A Father's War) by Judith Sanders 11 62 Oct 22, 2013 10:48AM  
Making Connections: Judith Sanders 1 4 Jun 07, 2013 07:49AM  
Q&A with Judith S...: Do US books have a chance in UK? 1 6 Nov 14, 2012 05:02AM  
I am a Jersey girl; born and raised in a rural town near the PA border. After starting a family I pursued my passion for nursing, received my BS degree from Graceland College, and worked as a registered nurse for many years, including serving the military as a nurse in Maryland. Writing is now my full time career and I divide my time between homes in New Hampshire and North Carolina. My first ...more

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