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Home Before Morning: The Story of an Army…

Home Before Morning: The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam (1983)

by Lynda Van Devanter

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Read this just before leaving for Vietnam to re-visit places my husband was stationed, including Pleiku. Skimmed much of it, but even so found it quite vivid and moving. The trauma of a war arranged by politicians. ( )
  bobbieharv | Apr 18, 2018 |
Lynda Van Devanter wrote Home before Morning, which was published approximately 13 years after she returned home from her war service, as a form of therapy. Lynda vividly shows the effects of the war on her. She was a very optimistic person prior to serving; the beginning of the book about her nurse's training and traveling before going to Vietnam contains a lot of humor. The major part of the book describes in detail the horror of working as a nurse in Vietnam; how the Army medical center in which she served was inundated with service men (and some Vietnamese civilians including children) with severe injuries. The medical staff had to decide whom they could save; many of the people were seen as numbers instead of as human beings. Lynda had difficulty adjusting after returning home from her year in Vietnam; this adjustment is also described. Approximately ten years after returning, Lynda became involved in the Vietnam Veterans of America Women's Project, and found meaning in her life again.
This book was published eight years before Visions of War, Dreams of Peace, a volume of poetry about the Vietnam War by women who had been there, which Lynda edited. ( )
1 vote sallylou61 | Oct 1, 2014 |
An outstanding book. I first read it in college for a literature class and then read it again a few years later. You really get pulled into her life and feel what she is going through. ( )
  KerriL | Apr 1, 2010 |
The amazing record of Lynda's years of service in Vietnam as an army nurse. At times her account is hard to read. The surgery scenes are at time searing. You'll never forget this book. ( )
1 vote MerryMary | Jul 2, 2007 |
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To Lieutenant Sharon A. Lane And All of the Unknown Women Who Served Forgotten In Their Wars
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Foreword: I began this book as a form of therapy in early 1979.
Three A.M. Sometimes, when the nights are not easy, I can lie here alone in this big bed for hours, listening to the ticking clock or the sound of the crickets in the bushes beneath my window, part of me wanting desperately to get back to sleep, knowing that if I don't, tomorrow's meetings will be filled, for me, with little more than exhaustion.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446309621, Mass Market Paperback)

"This incredible story, which plunges us immediately into the bloodiest aspects of the war, is also a suspenseful autobiography that will keep you chewing your fingernails to see if Van Devanter survives any of it at all. She proves herself a natural storyteller. . . . The most extraordinary part in this book is Van Devanter's plight after the war-her attempt to retrieve the love of her family, only to realize they don't want to see her slides, hear her stories; her assignment to menial duties at Walter Reed Army Hospital. . . . How Van Devanter survives all of this to become, incredibly, a stronger person for it is what makes her book so riveting."-San Francisco Chronicle

"An awesome, painfully honest look at war through a woman's eyes. Her letters home and startling images of life in a combat zone-surgeons fighting to save a Vietnamese baby wounded in utero, the ever-present stench of napalm-charred flesh, a beloved priest's gentle humor and appalling death, the casual heroism of her colleagues, a Vietnamese 'Papa-san' trying to talk his dead child back to life, a haunting snapshot dropped by a dying soldier with no face-tell the story of a young American's rude initiation to the best and the worst of humanity."-Washington Post

"Moving, powerful . . . a healing book."-Ms. Magazine

"This book reads like a diary: unguarded, heartfelt. . . . [It] is both moving and valu-able, for reminding us so vividly that war is indeed hell . . . and that its most tested heroes are the doctors and nurses who doggedly labor not just to save life, but also to keep their respect for it, even as their surviving patients are sent out, once more, unto the breach."-Harper's Magazine

"In Vietnam, reality hit fast: Van Devanter's plane was fired on when it landed in Saigon; and after three days of adjustment, she was assigned to the 71st Evacuation Hospital, a 'MASH-type facility' near the Cambodian border. There, the casualties, . . . the personal danger, the fatigue, the heat, rain, and mud, the harassment of officers enforcing petty regulations, and above all the meaninglessness of American involvement rapidly put an end to Van Devanter's blind patriotism, her innocence, and her youth. . . . Van Devanter brings us face to face with the toll that undeclared war took on its combatants."-Kirkus Reviews

"If you read only one work about Vietnam, make this the one. . . . This is the way it was, as seen through the eyes of an army second lieutenant when she was twenty-two. I believe her completely, because this reviewer remembers Vietnam the same way, when he was a nineteen-year-old Marine PFC."-Deseret Sentinel

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:30 -0400)

A searing first person account of the Vietnam War, as seen through the eyes of an Army nurse.

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