When Della Brown was 22 years old, she had just returned from a hellish year serving as a U.S. Army nurse in a combat hospital in Vietnam. During that time she had learned and lost much. She had made mistakes: errors of judgment, of inexperience. One mistake may have ended the life of a grievously injured soldier. Another cost Della her best friend. Thirty years later, Della was forced to confront those mistakes and find out whether she could learn to forgive: her country, her family, and most of all, herself.
Della is a fictional character in my novel Her Own Vietnam. But her dilemma is real. Many of us have made our own lives more difficult by holding onto grievances and regrets.
Looking back at your 22-year-old self, what would you counsel her about forgiveness?
This is how my guest blog on TNBBC’s The Next Best Book Blog begins. And then a dozen women answer the question in fascinating ways.
What would you say?
Read their answers here.
In Fiction Writers Review, Eleanor J. Bader calls Her Own Vietnam “Intense, gripping… and unsettling.” Read her thoughtful review here.
Novelists have to name every character in a book. Sometimes we mess up in embarrassing ways. Today I share my cringe-worthy mistake on Amy Sue Nathan’s blog, Women’s Fiction Writers.
Photo: Ege Maltepe
I don’t know about you, but as I read I often wonder what the author was thinking. Why did she choose that detail? What did this segment mean to her? What did she expect us, the readers, to glean from that phrase?
The Guiltless Reader blog likes to answer those questions. They post excerpts from current books along with the author’s insights about what was in her mind as she wrote the scene.
Today on the blog, you can read an excerpt from Her Own Vietnam and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what I was thinking as I wrote it.
One day you’re just a regular person going about your daily life. The next day you’re convinced that you and a lot of other regular people can change things if you work together. What happened to light that spark?
I talk about this and about the year 1970 on the Book Puke blog on Day 2 of my virtual book tour.