When her father's behavior becomes erratic and violent, sixteen-year-old Josie suspects that it may be connected to his wartime experiences in Vietnam.
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Grade 7-12-- A haunting portrait of a father, tormented by flashbacks of the Vietnam War, and his family, frightened and uncertain about how to cope. Preoccupied with school, waitressing, and a boyfriend, 16-year-old Josie Monroe suddenly realizes that her father has become a stranger. The family suffers financially and emotionally as Mr. Monroe struggles with a newly-awakened memory of killing a Vietnamese girl. He slips from reality into combat paranoia. Josie's young stepmother reacts by denying, and then by wanting to flee the situation. With the support of her boyfriend, Josie confronts false rumors about her father, locates his military records, and contacts a veterans' counseling center. When her father barricades himself in his house, Josie's persuasion and the accidental near-shooting of his young son shock Mr. Monroe into seeking treatment. Suspense builds carefully and steadily; characters provide a case-study range of reactions; and the secure affluence of Groton, Conn., contrasts dramatically with the sinister jungle of Vietnam in Mr. Monroe's flashbacks. Josie is a resourceful, realistic heroine who wants to understand but must also grapple with fear, anger, and frustration over her father's irrationality. Teen readers will ponder Josie's melancholy observation that repressed memories eventually surface just as "coins pocket change wear through cloth." --Gerry Larson, Chewning Junior High School, Durham, N.C.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 1989. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0027477312