Kristen was twelve when her journalist father was killed in Vietnam in 1954. He had been covering the war between the French and Vietnamese. Thirteen years later Kristen landed in Saigon. She was determined to finish what her father had started.
And that involved Luke, a photographer for Time. Kristen and Luke are thrown together and she begins to think Luke is more than just a photographer. She suspects he is CIA. And that is exactly the story her father had been working on.
The relationship between Kristen and Luke started out on a rocky path but they soon develop serious feelings for each other. Will Kristen betray the one she has come to love for the story she so desperately wants to see completed?
Catherine has developed a touching story set in the background of the war torn country of Vietnam. She delves into the horrible and uncertain conditions of those fighting the war and reporting on it. She also investigates those held captive for years and listed as MIA. How long does someone wait when it is not know if he is alive or dead?
Kristen and Luke are struggling with their faith early in the book and they make some mistakes. There are faithful Christians around them, however, and God's work is ultimately recognized. Kristen's brother Teddy expressed how soldiers lived each day. "We're living in uncertain times... We're lucky to have had yesterday, and only God knows if we're getting tomorrow. The only day that really matters is today. It's yesterday's tomorrow." (122)
This is a fine novel that will bring back memories of those times for older readers like me. The story kept my interest and the ending is a real cliffhanger.
I would have liked to have had more description of the locations the characters found themselves in. I almost feel like this novel could have taken place in any war torn country.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
In light of just celebrating Veteran's Day on 11/11/11, Yesterday's 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 Catherine's 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.
Catherine's 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 â€˜Preacher' 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 â€˜stick Bibles' (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.
Yesterday's 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 she's 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.
Yesterday's Tomorrow kept me turning pages, and in the end, wishing for more.
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.
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 wouldn't 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 bosses' request. This guy got under her skin. Who did he think he was bossing her around - They were equal partners last time she checked?
Kristin tells her partner, "Luke this war has gone on so long that nobody back home seems bothered by what's going on over here_I don't think they have a clue what it's 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, you're accepting the death of countless men in the name of freedom; if you protest against it you're a peace-loving hippie in bed with the communists."
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 couldn't depend on God!
Kristin asked her brother Teddy, "Where is God in all this madness?" "...Since coming to Vietnam, she'd seen nothing to convince her God even existed."
"Kris_God didn't make this war. We did_when I think about this war, I think about the guys on the front lines, I can't help but think of Jesus. "No greater love has a man who lays down His life for his friends." That's 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!"
Catherine helps the reader get a taste of how people suffered in Vietnam and out- it's gritty and real! She also helped show that God works all things out for His glory and our good! Luke says to Kristin, "We may never know why things happened the way they did. But I don't think that matters. What matters most is how we grow through the struggles we're given. At least that's what I'm trying to do."
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 hadn't 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 you'll 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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