THE HEART YOU CARRY HOME is a story not about the wars we wage abroad, but the ones soldiers carry home. Sgt. Ben Thompson, a veteran of the Iraq war, returns from his second tour with PTSD. After he has a frightening altercation with his wife, she flees on a cross-country motorcycle trip with her estranged Vietnam vet father and his biker war buddies. Off they go from Tennessee to Utah, on their way to—unbeknownst to her—a mysterious compound in the Utah desert that's like a cult for suffering veterans. And then Sgt. Thompson starts following them, first intent on winning her back, and then just trying to protect her from what's coming next. READ CHAPTER ONE.
"Passionate, atmospheric, The Heart You Carry Home is the work of a young writer full of energy and promise." —Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad
"The Heart You Carry Home combines great story-telling with social questions that are both as current and as old as war. I read it in one sitting."—Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn
"Miller's vivid characters illustrate the emotional and physical damages brought home by returning veterans, forcing the reader into harrowing, moving places. This novel will haunt readers long after the final page is turned." --Publishers Weekly
"Miller offers an impressively fresh perspective on soldiers returning from war by delivering a memorable heroine." --Booklist
A Cosmopolitan Reads pick for 2015.
"Complicated and touching." --Marie Claire
"A gripping tale of combat veterans bridging the distance between the battlefield and home front." --Maxim
"Strong, well-developed portraits of veterans' experiences and relationships." —Kirkus Reviews
“Speaking as the daughter, as well as the wife, of a veteran, I can say this book packs an honest punch. The Heart You Carry Home gives voice to generations of soldiers and their families seeking understanding and forgiveness. A testimony to love’s ultimate ability to heal even our most hidden wounds.” —Sarah McCoy, best-selling author of The Baker's Daughter
"A powerhouse of a novel. Miller captures the emotional minefield of veterans returning home from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan with vivid, engaging detail. This novel cuts right to the heart."—David Abrams, author of Fobbit, a 2012 New York Times Notable Book
"In Becca Keller, Miller has crafted a fierce heroine whom you'll eagerly follow across the country, into the depths of a madman's sanctum, and back into the light--stronger but forever changed. The Heart You Carry Home is a story about fathers and daughters, and how the legacy of war not only breaks families apart, but can pull them back together."—Joanna Smith Rakoff, author of My Salinger Year
“An engrossing tale layered in mystery, told with compassion and - at the perfect moments - wit. Miller gives us a truthful look at the fallout from war, both today's wars and the conflict in Vietnam. A damn fine read.”—Artis Henderson, author of Unremarried Widow
"With The Heart You Carry Home, Miller has crafted a thrilling, surprising, and mercilessly readable novel about the far-reaching effects of trauma, our crippling capacity for guilt, and the long road to forgiveness. Ultimately though, it's a novel about healing."—Jonathan Evison, best-selling author of West of Here.
THE STORY BEHIND THE HEART YOU CARRY HOME
At the age of 25, Miller traveled cross country from California to DC with the motorcycle-riding veterans, Rolling Thunder. On their journey east, these men opened their usually closed world to Miller, revealing how their time in Vietnam fundamentally shaped their relationships, their politics and their feelings about America. Miller wrote about these vets for the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor. Ultimately, this reporting became the basis for the gruff, complex and striving bikers in Miller’s novel, THE HEART YOU CARRY HOME.