Title: The Sound of Caissons
Author: Suzanne Hadfield Semsch
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Cathryn J. Prince
ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1463510748
In The Sound of Caissons, Julia Crockett's relentless quest to excel is revealed as the story of five generations of an Army family unfolds through the first three-quarters of 20th century America. At age six Julia imagines growing up to be a general, like Fort Sill's post commander. When she shares this with her beloved grandfather, a retired major, he informs her girls can't be soldiers. Years later, her father forbids her joining the WAAC at the outset of WWII, and she decides the only way to achieve the position and power she desires is to marry an ambitious lieutenant and ride his coattails. But shortly after a hasty marriage to Lt. Robert Wells, she meets Lt. David Morgan, and realizes she's made a dreadful mistake. With a world in turbulence, it's six years before Julia and David are free to marry. Although she loves him deeply, Julia's insatiable yearning for status becomes apparent as she attempts to guide David's career. A man with his own objectives, however, David does not always fall in with her plans. At the same time, Julia continually urges their four children to follow in the footsteps of their military ancestors. Through triumph, tragedy, and infidelity, the Morgan family serves from the U.S. to Tehran, to Berlin, and back again. The children become adults, and the men weather America's conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. Eventually David's patience with Julia's singular determination to see him with stars on his epaulets and their sons as West Point cadets, wears thin. Is the extraordinary love Julia and David share for each other strong enough to survive their conflicting visions? Filled with passion and engaging characters, this thought provoking family saga will keep you turning pages. It is not merely a love story.