2021 . Fiction, Historical, Romance . John McPhaul
Last of the Good Boys By: John McPhaul "That Northlee boy didn't get drafted. The Harper's, none of their boys went to war. Billy Northlee ain't no more in college than I am. He works up there at his daddy's store from time to time, but his name's on the books up at the state college just the same... I'm glad somebody from around here made it back home from over yonder. It looks like Rain Seed County, paid for the sins of that war all by itself. It don't make sense all them boys going over there and dying that way. People's a-marching, protesting, and talking 'bout peace and love and the dead bodies kept a-coming. I don't know what the world's coming to. Around here, you didn't want to stay at home or leave home, scared the gov'ment car be waiting for you with a telegram. Some white folks, too. They had theirs too." **** The book begins in the deep, then-segregated south where six black boys come of age in the mid-1960's. Each weigh their dreams and ambitions against conscription and the Vietnam War. Hopes for a better life lay seized in their aspirations for manhood when suddenly, lives are blindsided and impacted by that war. Mel Streeter (main Character) voices his story against the backdrop of childhood memories in that tiny town in Florida's Panhandle. Streeter's dream to be an aviator and the torch he's carried since childhood for a girl much older than him (Rachel) are realized in the den and complexity of Vietnam. As a helicopter pilot, he 's paired with an amiable, senior pilot (Habrasham) and assigned to clandestine operations where he meets (Xuan), the beautiful Montagnard Woman (a member of indigenous tribes of South Vietnam) who bears a twin-like resemblance to Rachel. The seasons of war and deaths of good boys are churned in young Streeter's obsession with that resemblance. Amid Streeter's powerful need to complete that circle of romance emerges the horrors of life changing injuries and uncertain recoveries. Seven years later, 1975, when American troops no longer occupy South Vietnam, a small, secret team is summoned to return to Vietnam just prior to the fall of Saigon. It is then the truth emerges concerning the clandestine missions flown by Streeter and Habrasham and the fates of Xuan, her family and village. In a haunting and eclectic conclusion, Last of the Good Boys delivers an urgent 1960's accounting of the human cost for the South Vietnamese people and shares an intimate view of the Montagnards of South Vietnam-most importantly, a searing and touching view of the war 's emotional impact on black American families.
1636615309 (ISBN13: 9781636615301)
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