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In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason

In Country (1985)

by Bobbie Ann Mason

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Found record that I read this during a lost summer. I don't recall any aspect of the novel. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
  Brenada | Sep 6, 2015 |
The first 3/4 of the book barely rated two stars. I felt that it was not well written and frankly - boring. I stuck with it because it is the book that all incoming freshmen at the Mount are required to read. (And I still wonder why.) It somewhat redeemed itself in the last pages of the book as it made some timeless statements about war and its horrendous effect on those who fight the war. If you want to read about the effects of the Vietnam War on the soldiers who fought it, The Things They Carried is a much better choice in my opinion. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
Mason's major novel concerns a high school senior named Samantha whose father died very young in Viet Nam, never having seen his infant daughter. Samantha's mother has recently fled small-town Kentucky after mothering her own brother, an alienated Viet Nam vet, for many years. Sam now lives with this unfortunate uncle and attempts to fill her mother's vacated shoes.

Most of the book is devoted to Sam's efforts at getting any- and everyone around her to open up about the war experience. These passages are moving and effective. The final 30 pages seemed to me a bit forced as we move toward a crisis/gestalt moment in which Sam attempts to relive a semblance of her father's wartime experience. Nonetheless, I liked the shifty narrative, combining 3rd- and 1st-person points of view. I felt this brought the characters to life in an unusual way. ( )
  AnesaMiller | Jan 17, 2014 |
Amazon preorder
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060835176, Paperback)

In the summer of 1984, the war in Vietnam came home to Sam Hughes, whose father was killed there before she was born. The soldier-boy in the picture never changed. In a way that made him dependable. But he seemed so innocent. "Astronauts have been to the moon," she blurted out to the picture. "You missed Watergate. I was in the second grade."

She stared at the picture, squinting her eyes, as if she expected it to come to life. But Dwayne had died with his secrets. Emmett was walking around with his. Anyone who survived Vietnam seemed to regard it as something personal and embarrassing. Granddad had said they were embarrassed that they were still alive. "I guess you're not embarrassed," she said to the picture.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:26 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Sam Hughes, living in Hopewell, Kentucky, with her Uncle Emmett, a Vietnam veteran, determines in the summer of 1984 to learn more about the war in which her father was killed in spite of the reticence of other vets to discuss the conflict.

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