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I received a literary review from Martha A. Cheves (BookTown Review), who put a big smile on my face.
"I sat on Bian's bed, staring out the only window in the tiny room. She'd been looking west, toward the Everglades. The fleeting patches of sun a couple days ago probably would have seemed familiar to her, perhaps like her memories of Vietnam. Here, she'd known nothing but strangers, uniforms, and pain. But perhaps a familiar sight, and a memory of home, drew her toward the unknown.
I left her room and descended the stairwell, just as she must have done. I turned left on the landing toward the exit and found myself looking at the eastern edge of the Everglades.
I dropped to my knees to get a child's perspective, and could clearly see a gap in the vegetation, the start of a trail. I stood and followed it, then closed my eyes. Burrowing as deeply into the mind of a young girl as I could, I took a fresh look down the trail. To a hurting and exiled orphan, this must have looked like a path to freedom. I took my bearings, like the pilot I was, then marched back to the orphanage."
This young child, aging around 4, was brought from Vietnam to the US to start a new life. She had been burned over thirty percent of her body and one of her legs had been amputated below the knee. She is lost and looking for someone or something that might make her feel that she is safe and cared about.
This young child will also be what brings Vietnam veteran "Slats" Kisov, back to a new start of his own. Slats flew an O-1 for the Air Force as a 'spotter' who would fly low enough to spot the enemy and report their position to the pilots flying the F-4 Phantoms. After being shot while on a mission, he was eventually sent home to what should be a normal life. It didn't take long for Slats to find his life was going to be far from normal. When you combine PTSD, pot, a girlfriend who used to be the sheriff's wife, the fact that the sheriff is a member of the Klan, and a hurricane that should have taken his life, you find a man with a really mixed up life. Just the kind of life only a child can smooth out.
This book is full of Vietnam War history. I've know several who served during this terrible war and when asked about events as I read them, they assured me that what I was reading was true. All the way down to the orphans that were brought over, some in very sad health. Reading about some of the events we were never told here in the states, it broke my heart to know what these men went through. So when Slats took his flying ability to an illegal level, I actually worried about him making it through the dangers of his actions. I've read hundreds of books and have to say that this one is written in a fashion that made me feel like I was listening to a real person as he told me about his life. It's very believable and well worth reading.
Amazon buy link: Amazon
Publisher buy link: Open Books