PTSD from Vietnam War
In light of just celebrating VeteranÃ¢ÂÂs Day on 11/11/11, YesterdayÃ¢ÂÂs Tomorrow by Catherine West gives credence to Vietnam Veterans, a group of veterans who have mostly been forgotten or ridiculed. They gave their lives for a cause, put themselves in personal danger, and suffered mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) was identified from this war. Schnurr, Lunney, and Sengupta identified risk factors for the development of PTSD in Vietnam veterans. (Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posttraumatic_stress_disorder)
Catherine weaves a thread of romance in her book through the eyes of independent, career-driven journalist, Kristin Taylor, out to finish a job her father had started, and superb photographer, Luke Maddox, silent and brooding, seemingly holding out on a secret mission that needed exposing. Their romance helped to alleviate some of the trauma of reading about the horrors and atrocities of the war.
The romance itself was traumatic, too, due to the circumstances, but also the brooding and hot temper of the characters. Lack of sleep added to the tension, which was palpable in CatherineÃ¢ÂÂs characters. The full breath of their relationship is heartrending at times.
Personally knowing men who have come back from Vietnam, I am acquainted with the stresses of the war and the resulting turmoil, especially those in combat, search and rescue, and physicians and their nurses. Catherine did an excellent job of describing the horrifying experiences of the war and its toll on the men and women serving, as well as the war correspondents. It made me think about whether I would have the courage to engage in war as they did. Personally convicting.
CatherineÃ¢ÂÂs inclusion of humor was appreciated to lower the emotional trauma of reading about the wartime circumstances and to bring some sanity into the midst of the insanity of the war. The web of faith spread by the Ã¢ÂÂPreacherÃ¢ÂÂ ultimately kept many of the men and women striving for resolution and hope for healing. In fact, I just heard this week that they are providing Ã¢ÂÂstick BiblesÃ¢ÂÂ (technological forms of the New Testament) for the men and women overseas today, giving them hope through Christ during their stressful times.
A great book to help understand PTSD in loved ones and encouraging them to receive help for their very real symptoms.
This book was provided by Catherine West through This Is A Blog About Books in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.
December 3, 2011
YesterdayÃ¢ÂÂs Tomorrow by Catherine West is a bittersweet tale set in the chaos of the 1960s. Young journalist Kristin Taylor travels to Vietnam in search of truth and discovers much more. Her raw and honest reporting stirs up trouble both for her and the man sheÃ¢ÂÂs falling in love with.
I love that this novel is set in a time period underserved by publishing. The 60s was a time that shaped our future, a time people grappled with ideas of war and peace and equality.
The writing was beautiful, and the story was captivating.
YesterdayÃ¢ÂÂs Tomorrow kept me turning pages, and in the end, wishing for more.
October 26, 2011
A Powerful Story Told With Emotional Grit
West did a masterful job evoking emotion in the reader.
I had zero interest in reading about Vietnam, but picked up Yesterday's Tomorrow and couldn't put it down.
It moved me more deeply than a book has in a very, very long time. When I shut the book, I felt disturbed. West made me believe her characters were real people, and I hurt for them as though they were.
September 6, 2011
Vietname Story that will Touch your Heart
I loved the cover of this book. It helped to set the tone for what to expect inside! I was thankful for the review copy and the opportunity to read such a gripping, emotional book.
Catherine West pens an honest portrayal of how disturbing the Vietnam War was for everyone. What happened there, the challenges they faced and how the soldiers were treated so horribly when they came home.
Main character Kristin Taylor is young and was passionate about being the best reporter in Vietnam, which wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt be easy in a male dominated field. She was compelled to complete the mission her father died trying to complete.
She partnered up with Luke Maddox, who was a photographer per her bossesÃ¢ÂÂ request. This guy got under her skin. Who did he think he was bossing her around Ã¢ÂÂ They were equal partners last time she checked?
Kristin tells her partner, Ã¢ÂÂLuke this war has gone on so long that nobody back home seems bothered by whatÃ¢ÂÂs going on over hereÃ¢ÂÂ¦I donÃ¢ÂÂt think they have a clue what itÃ¢ÂÂs really like for the guys on the front lines. Neither do the people who think we should be here. The whole country is caught up in a political quagmire. If you support the war, youÃ¢ÂÂre accepting the death of countless men in the name of freedom; if you protest against it youÃ¢ÂÂre a peace-loving hippie in bed with the communists.Ã¢ÂÂ
Kristen found conditions rough and wanted to be safe. She learned to survive and had a sarcastic wit about her. Things were crazy, but she found herself drawn to her partner. That was the craziest thing of all- she fought it on many levels. Luke was an amazing photographer but could he be trusted? She was becoming tough and street wise, and wondered who she could rely on? She knew she definitely couldnÃ¢ÂÂt depend on God!
Kristin asked her brother Teddy, Ã¢ÂÂWhere is God in all this madness?Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂ...Since coming to Vietnam, sheÃ¢ÂÂd seen nothing to convince her God even existed.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂKrisÃ¢ÂÂ¦God didnÃ¢ÂÂt make this war. We didÃ¢ÂÂ¦when I think about this war, I think about the guys on the front lines, I canÃ¢ÂÂt help but think of Jesus. Ã¢ÂÂNo greater love has a man who lays down His life for his friends.Ã¢ÂÂ ThatÃ¢ÂÂs what the guys out there are doing for us. Kris. None of this makes sense, I know, but it makes even less sense without Him!Ã¢ÂÂ
WhatÃ¢ÂÂs normal after Vietnam? When her assignment was complete- how could she go back to the USA? Who could she relate to? Kristin wasnÃ¢ÂÂt the only one trying to figure life out. Many were afflicted with Post War Syndrome and didnÃ¢ÂÂt know it. Josh set up Vietnam CafÃÂ©Ã¢ÂÂs where people could get together and talk with others that they could relate to. This helped ease the pain and helped they cope with flash backs etc.
Catherine helps the reader get a taste of how people suffered in Vietnam and out- itÃ¢ÂÂs gritty and real! She also helped show that God works all things out for His glory and our good! Luke says to Kristin, Ã¢ÂÂWe may never know why things happened the way they did. But I donÃ¢ÂÂt think that matters. What matters most is how we grow through the struggles weÃ¢ÂÂre given. At least thatÃ¢ÂÂs what IÃ¢ÂÂm trying to do.Ã¢ÂÂ
I think this explains about everything we go through in life! I enjoyed this unlikely love story in the middle of a chaotic war called Vietnam. I hadnÃ¢ÂÂt realized all the political issues and how dangerous it was not only for a woman but for anyone that was trying to help fight the good fight.
Thanks Catherine for such an honest, brutal look at this war. This story was gripping and would make a great summer read! Not only will you learn about Vietnam and history but youÃ¢ÂÂll see the hand of God at work in all things, amazingly- even in the middle of war. I look forward to reading more by this author!
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June 8, 2011