Title: The Recipient's Son: A Novel of Honor
Author: Stephen Phillips
Genre: Literary Fiction
Reviewer: Betsy Beard
ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1612511163
Set at the U.S. Naval Academy in the 1990s, this novel tells the story of a young man's struggle to come to terms with his legacy as the son of a war hero and with doubts about his own courage. Donald Durago's father was killed in the Vietnam War where his actions as a POW earned him the Medal of Honor. That honor provided Durago with an appointment to the Naval Academy, a benefit offered to all children of Medal of Honor recipients. But in his plebe year, Durago struggles under the burden of being worthy of his father s memory. With the help of Master Chief Strong, he begins to identify with his father s sacrifice, his own naval heritage, and Academy life. An incident in his senior year brings on terrifying nightmares that make Durago realize he has not completely dealt with his father s death. However, with the support of his roommate and a pretty JAG officer he finds the confidence to pursue a military career. The Recipient's Son is a stirring tale of a young man coming to grips with the heroism of his father and overcoming his self-doubts to accept the challenge of serving his country on his own terms.
An Academy graduate himself, author Stephen Phillips draws an intimate picture of life in the Yard as he examines the concepts of leadership, honor, service and personal sacrifice in the Navy. Readers of Phillips' award-winning first novel, Proximity, will find his new novel an equally authentic read.