Her Own Vietnam

MWSA Review

Publisher: Shade Mountain Press (2014)
Binding: Paperback, 214 pages

Lynn Kanter has hit a home run in Her Own Vietam.  This is more than just a story about a woman suffering from PTSD, or a story about a nurse's experiences in the Vietnam war.  Her Own Vietnam is a thought provoking journey into the realities of war and its impact on individuals and society. 

Don't let me scare you into thinking this is some philisophical treatise that you have to fight your way through, this book is an easy, interesting read.  It is also a book that will leave you thinking about a significant, but often overlooked part of any war - the life and death in an evacuation hospital where the troops are brought directly from the battlefield. 

At first, I thought the book's focus was fairly specific, but as I read on I realized there was more than one story being told here.  The book is well written.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good literary fiction. 

Reviewed by Bob Doerr (2015)

Author's Summary

For decades, Della Brown has tried to forget her service as a U.S. Army nurse in Vietnam. But in the middle of the safe, sane life she’s built for herself, Della is ambushed by history. She receives a letter from a fellow combat nurse, a woman who was once her closest friend, and all the memories come flooding back.

As the U.S. prepares to plunge into war in Iraq, Della struggles to make peace with her memories of Vietnam. She must also confront the fissures in her family life; the mystery of her father’s disappearance, the things mothers and daughters cannot—maybe should not—know about one another, and the lifelong repercussions of a single mistake.

An unflinching depiction of war and its personal costs, Her Own Vietnam is also a portrait of a woman in midlife — a mother, a nurse, and long ago a soldier.