Thinking of something to say about his book brings to mind the lyrics of the song War. War, what is it good for, absolutely nothing!!
This book examines the aftermath of war on various individuals. First, Charles Boatman, an ex-pat American living in Canada. He fought in Vietnam and has a longing to return there to ultimately try and slay the demons in his head, demons that settled in after a particularly disturbing situation occurred during a raid on a small village. Charles' children have lived under the specter of his demons and when Charles goes missing in Vietnam two of them head over there to try and find him. We learn a lot about Ada and Jon, Charles children that head to Vietnam, as they attempt to find their father.
This book also looks at two other individuals and their war experience and aftermath. One is through a writer whose book Charles Boatman and his daughter Ada have both read. The other is an artist that met and drank with Charles before he went missing and then meets up with Ada when she is searching for her father.
This is not a happy book but it's not overly morose either. It is a good book though. I really liked the simple and spare style of writing but at the same time, I found what I was reading to be detailed and very visual. Just enough was written to get the point across without getting too poetic or flowery! I got a tad squeamish a couple of times but this was not done in any kind of exploitive way and was actually quite necessary, I think, to get various points across in a compelling enough way to lend credibility to the characters.
I only gave this book three stars though, as I found the ending left me a little flat. Regardless though, I still recommend the book.