Midwest Book Review takes a look at Sebastian Matthews’ BEYOND REPAIR!

Synopsis: In 2011, the family of Sebastian Matthews was in a major car accident. They were hit head-on by a man in the throes of a heart attack. It took three years to recover from their injuries, and a couple more to deal with the aftereffects of trauma.

When Sebastian finally returned to the world as father and husband, friend and brother, writer and citizen, it became clear that our society was in its own traumatized state — reeling from the string of police shootings of unarmed African Americans, stunned by yet one more mass shooting. The people around him were displaying all the signs of PTSD (jumpiness, irritability, numbness) and, concordantly, his own interactions out in daily life were becoming more dysfunctional, at times downright hostile.

Us against Them. Red vs. Blue. Black vs. White. Rich vs. Poor — he found himself living in a progressive town inside a conservative county in the Mountain South that only made things more volatile. Sebastian decided that if we were all living in a fractured society no longer recognizable, then it was up to him to re-engage in it. He would enter into encounters with people as conscious as possible of the potential divides and misunderstandings between him and others. He started with my neighborhood and town, then moved out into the counties around him, and then traveled further out into the country. His goal was to connect, to heal and be healed.