The Things We Do To Make It Home

Beverly Gologorsky

Published by Seven Stories Press, 2009
ISBN 10: 1583228845 / ISBN 13: 9781583228845
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Synopsis: An emotionally charged story of passionate love, unfulfilled desire, and an American dream gone totally awry, Beverly Gologorsky's poignant, unadorned novel lays bare the destructive impact of the Vietnam War on the wives, lovers, and children of veterans. This haunting story of devotion and loss will speak to anyone who has suffered the effects of an unwinnable war.

Review: In the decades since the end of the Vietnam War, American writers of all stripes have staked out that cataclysmic conflict as a subject for literature. Tim O'Brien, Michael Herr, Ron Kovic, David Rabe--the list of authors who have rendered men and war is long and impressive; the fact that there's nary a woman among them is perhaps not surprising, as combat is, for the most part, a male activity. But men weren't the only ones affected by Vietnam--for every soldier in a rice paddy, there was a mother, a sister, a lover back home; when their men came back changed by the experience of war, life changed for the women, as well. In her impressive debut novel, Beverly Gologorsky skillfully depicts the lives of three returned veterans and the women who love them. The story begins in 1973, shortly after Rooster, Frankie, Nick, Sean, Rod, and Jason return home from Vietnam, and it's obvious something's not quite right.

Waiting for his girlfriend, Millie, to dress for a party, Rooster can't sit still.

He counts twenty-two steps from the bedroom door to the end of the living room.... She doesn't like him barging in while she's dressing. She says that he's got to give her some privacy. Soon there'll be thunder, lightning. He begins snapping his fingers. Twenty-two steps. He turns, fixes his eyes on the door. Twenty-two steps. Hey, baby, anchors need to be close to their boats.
All of the men in Gologorsky's book are damaged goods and all the women do their best to patch them up, with mostly disappointing results. What elevates this novel above your run-of-the-mill tale of dysfunction and heartache is Gologorsky's unsentimental yet compassionate rendering of all her characters, both male and female. Though the plot is occasionally thin, the pain and passion carry you through.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Things We Do To Make It Home
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Publication Date: 2009
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: New
Edition: First Edition.

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