Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Shooting the Moon

Frances O'Roark Dowell is the author of the very fine The Secret Language of Girls. For her newest, she follows the experiences of Jamie, whose father is very important in the army and whose brother has just been sent as a medic to Vietnam. Jamie and her brother have always admired the military, and Jamie is a bit jealous that her brother gets to go fight for the country. She volunteers at the hospital, and when her brother starts sending film home from the war, she enlists the help of a returned soldier to help her develop them. She starts to see that the war is not as glamorous or as morally clear as she had thought. There are many fine and touching moments, and a sharp sense of what the atmosphere would have been like on a military base emerges strongly. I liked this, but I don't know that I have a readership for it, and if I do there are many, many books about the homefront, even though the books the students ask for are more about the war itself.

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