Reading Wednesday

Book Review Absolution by Alice McDermott

The title of this book is perfect –




  1. formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment.

I really enjoyed this story of strong women who, in 1963, are on the margins of the Vietnam era while serving as the loving and supporting spouses, both military and civillian in the days before war broke out.

Here is my book review Absolution by Alice McDermott


I listened to this book on Audible, and it was unusal to have it read by two actors. Most of the book is in the voice of Patricia, a young newlywed married to a rising attorney in naval intelligence. Patricia is looking back through the decades, as she writes a letter, recounting her year in Vietnam. The year is 1963 and the place is Saigon. Exotic and exciting for a shy young women like Patricia.

As “Tricia” narrates her experience we are introduced to Charlene, a corporate spouse with three children who is a force to be reckoned with. Charlene will steer nearly everything in Tricia’s life in her need to “do good” for the people of Vietnam. Charlene is quite the scheemer and she finds all kinds of ways to procure black market items, put a little money in her own pocket, and convince just about anyone to do her bidding.

Sixty Years Later

The war is over, Tricia and her husband have found a quiet life, and excepted they would never have children. When Alan passes Tricia will downsize, and then downsize again. She will lose touch with everyone who seemed so influential to her during that fateful year of 1963 including Charlene and her friend Dominic.

But then she will receive a letter from Charlene’s daughter, the young girl Tricia will remember from their short time in Vietnam, now a middle aged women herself. The two will correspond and learn amazing stories about each other, Charlene and Dominic the aging Vietnam veteran from Tricia’s past.

Book Review Absolution by Alice McDermott

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fresh take on the Vietnam era…and the women who we never really hear anything about. But they played a role, and their lives would never be the same. For these women finding their own peace for what would happen in Vietnam would take a lifetime.

Thanks for reading my book review Absolution by Alice McDermott. Read last week’s book review All the Broken Places by John Boyne.

*****Five stars for Absolution by Alice McDermott

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