General Fiction

Along the Watchtower

By: David Litwack
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Publication Date: June 2018
ISBN: 978-1622534401
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Review Date: July 11, 2018

Memory, fantasy and trauma are mixed in the mind of a critically injured soldier in this dark but redemptive tale.

When Lieutenant Freddie Williams wakes up on a stretcher, he knows he is leaving Iraq, taking his fears and regrets and going to a place that no longer feels like home. As he gradually, almost reluctantly, regains consciousness, he realizes that four men under his command were killed in the incident that has left him mentally shattered and permanently crippled. He will not lose his leg, but he has lost his heart in the war. So by night he retreats to a land he knows well – the world engendered by his long fascination with computer games. There he is a newly made prince, given thirty days to interpret the signs he reads along his castle’s watchtower and save his kingdom from extinction. By day he is a maimed man who has betrayed the soldiers who trusted him. His only living family member is also lost, possibly also dead.

The images that connect the two worlds are powerful, as Freddie Williams struggles to come to terms with relearning how to walk, assisted by a sweet, concerned young therapist named Becky; and the Dauphin Frederick who battles legendary demons, comforted by lovely young gardener Rebecca. As Freddie gradually accepts and re-engages with his real life, including the possibility that he may be able to locate his missing relative, he becomes stronger in the parallel world, too, able to face and overcome seemingly impossible challenges. In both realms, he has to learn the same lesson: the greatest barrier he must face is within himself.

Litwack is a practiced fantasy writer (The Daughters of the Sea and Sky, The Seekers series) and a skilled craftsman.  His interweaving of the perceptions of two heroes - a soldier emerging from the trauma of battle and a new ruler charged with rescuing his people while still mourning the loss of his father – is highly effective. There are many poignant symbols: the silver stars awarded to brave soldiers in both worlds, and, for each “Frederick,” the flowers secretly delivered by a lady who would gladly offer more if he would only trust her.  The reader will quickly begin to anticipate these pairings of events: with every foray into the game fantasy world at night, there are corresponding daytime struggles and gains. Too, one suspects that Litwack has done careful research into the experience of a soldier battling to rehabilitate a torn body and a tormented mind. Depictions of military medical facilities and treatments give his story extra credence, while his unreal world is internally consistent and alluring.

Quill says: Litwack’s construction of side-by-side dream and waking worlds works, allowing the reader to identify with the conflicted nature of a wounded warrior, quick to blame himself and slow to accept help and healing.

For more information on Along the Watchtower, please visit the author's website at:

 Beyond the Cabin

 The Last Suttee

 The Future She Left Behind


How to Change a Life

 The Bookshop at Water’s End

Amish Cooking Class: The Blessing

Harris Estate: The Aftermath

Gladden the Heart

One Good Thing: A Ten Beach Road Novel

The Sure Mercies

The Half Wives

The Enchantment of Emma Fletcher

Traveling Light

A Lady’s Code of Misconduct (Rules for the Reckless)

The Guests on South Battery

Love, Alice

The Spice Box Letters

God, Grace, Dumb Luck

Christmas in Paris

The Illusion

Letters from Paris

One for the Ark

The Last Treasure

Elizabeth Daleiden on Trial

The Angels’ Share (The Bourbon Kings)

Frankie Jones

Sunshine Beach: A Ten Beach Road Novel

Wedding Girl

Echo Ranch

The Fire Trail

The Memory of Lemon

From Bags to Riches: A Jessie Stanton Novel

Radio Girls

Flight Patterns

Finding Fraser

Original Cyn

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

Keep Me Posted

Soda Springs

Covered Bridge Charm

The Promise of Forgiveness

Sing What You Cannot Say

The House on Primrose Pond

Everything’s Relative

The Hundred Gifts

A Pink Suitcase: 22 Tales of Women’s Travel

White Collar Girl

Another Woman's Daughter

The Last Midwife

Ordinary Evil

Summer at Hideaway Key

The Gilded Hour


The Bourbon Kings

Lawyer for the Dog

Give Me Your Answer True

The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach


The Gates of Rutherford: A Novel of Rutherford Park

It's You

The Art of Baking Blind

As All My Fathers Were

 Handmaidens of Rock

Mom On The Road

Death of a Diva: From Berlin to Broadway

The Liar

Status Quo

White Gardenia

The Man I Love

Love By The Book

Days of Future Past

The Winter Sea

The Missing Place

Farewell, Monsieur Gaston

Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin’ Cornbread (Jane Austen Takes the South)

Finding Flipper Frank

To Have and To Hold

Chuck It

Getting Even

The Garden of Letters

A Secret Woman

The Wishing Tide

Jane Austen’s First Love

Small Blessings

Last Night at the Blue Angel

Surviving 26th Street

The Gravity of Birds

Freud’s Mistress

The Winter Guest

Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits (Jane Austen Takes the South)

The Art of Arranging Flowers

Imperfect Acts

Secrets of the Porch

The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky

A Long Time Gone

Til the Well Runs Dry

The Wild Dark Flowers: A Novel of Rutherford Park

The Hollow Ground

The Beautiful American

Plots and Pans

An Evolving Society

A Farm Dies Once a Year: A Memoir


Tempting Fate

Fly Away

Jane Austen’s Guide to Life: Thoughtful Lessons for the Modern Woman


Zack's Choice

Epic Sloth: Tales of the Long Crawl

Twisted Sisters

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel

Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

The Dance of the Spirits

College Freshman 101


Along the Watchtower

Promised Valley Peace

Stella Bain

Echo Ranch

The Holdout


Christmas Bliss

Between A Mother and Her Child


In Falling Snow

Astor Place Vintage

Courage: A Story of Love and Friendship

The Pipers and the First Phase (Volume 1)

Finding Colin Firth

Whistling Past the Graveyard

Plague In The Mirror

Wild Nights

Saving Faith

Necessary Lies

Rutherford Park

The Returned

Indivisible? The Story of the Second American Civil War

Down & Out in Bugtussle: The Mad Fat Road to Happiness

A Wandering Warrior

The Man Inside the Mountain

Ladies’ Night

Time Flies

The Time Between

Call Me Zelda

Lioslaith: Last of the Painted Ones


The Mango Bride

Royal Mistress

Bristol House

A Certain Summer

Star Trek The Next Generation: On Board the U.S.S. Enterprise

Children of the Underground

When She Was Gone

Heart of a Falcon

A Place for Us

Fairy Godmothers, Inc.

The Gilly Salt Sisters

Promised Valley Conspiracy

Promised Valley War

Promised Valley Rebellion

Autobiography of Us

The Union Street Bakery

Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale

The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Jack Absolute

End of Men

The Boogie Trapp

The Heat of the Sun

Pride & Prejudice With a Side of Grits

We Sinners: A Novel

Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the Stories That Kept Us Small

Feathered Quill

Disclosure in Accordance with FTC Guidelines 16 CFR Part 255

Copyrights © 2018 Feather Quill Reviews All Rights Reserved. | Designed & Developed by 8 Create