“Life is Truly Amazing”

“Life is Truly Amazing”

The Review

By

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Imagine the plight of a mother in raising five girls without their dad? The youngest of them is ‘Pipi’ -short for Philipa. She is bullied in school and her two of her older sisters are there to help her. One day Walter Spencer ‘Wax’ takes an interest in her. He is not able to verbalize his feelings for her and they are best friends for a number of years. Until…. no spoilers here.

This book covers a lot of territory considering its length. I like the fact that the author relates some statistics about the Viet Nam war. Of further interest to me, was the feeling that Pipi has concerning the frequent absences of her father. For some reason, we normally hear about the other side of the coin so this was an incredible glimpse into a young girl’s mind for me. It also shows the depth of love that Pipi’s mother holds for her and her other siblings. Mrs. Weiner was strong and dedicated to her very core of existence.

For me, a most interesting story which delves deeply into the psyches of both the younger ages and the older ones. Truly amazing how life turns out when least expected.

Most highly recommended.

This review for Mademoiselle was posted on Amazon on November 17, 2016.


Our experiences during my husband, Jim’s deployment to Vietnam helped flesh out the story. The pictures¬† below are of him on the flight line in Phu Cat and in his barracks.

In 1971, our baby boy just five months old, my twenty-one year old Air Force Airman husband left for Vietnam. The experience of saying Goodbye honestly felt like he was swallowed up by the earth. Dramatic, but true. I walked around in a daze for the next year and I say this knowing that as difficult as it was for me and Baby, it was one hundred times harder for my husband. He told me that the moment he and the other airmen stepped off the plane in Vietnam, their rank increased to sergeant, a small consolation.

Forty-five years later, he is finally talking about his experience overseas and what it was like coming back to the US. It took him all this time to tell us that he and his fellow servicemen were spit at as they stepped off the plane at the Detroit airport. The months that followed were a nightmare for him. Unfortunately, he felt compelled to dispose of all of the mementos of that time, his ribbons and uniforms. The only thing we have are photographs I hoarded.

In my story Mademoiselle, elements from my life wound their way in; the house the Wieners live in is the same house I lived in during my high school years, the map of Vietnam on their wall with the stick pins following the fighting was on my bedroom wall. The fear of the unmarked car pulling up to the house was my fear. And gratefully, never realized.

I love the story of the young girl and her dreams of living a certain kind of life and then discovering it is far different than what will bring her joy.

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To read more about Love in Times of War…

 

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Mademoiselle is included in the boxed set, Love in Times of War. To read a sample of each of the 12 stories FREE, here’s Book Bites – Love in Times of War.

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5 Responses to “Life is Truly Amazing”

  1. So touching AND chilling. That’s why I had to write about it in my UNEXPECTED GIFTS, Suzanne. Such a awful thing to happen to young men (and, also to the women nurses). Please send my condolences to Jim, who, like thousands of other American men–well boys, really–suffered so greatly, even if they made it back alive.

      • That may have been true. Hence, the word hindsight, no? Still they must have felt really upset when they saw these huge parades for veterans coming back from Afghanistan or Iraq, and realize how little was done for them.

  2. Ms.Jenkins,

    I haven’t read Mademoiselle yet but after reading this review I’m going to. Bless your husband. I married a Vietnam Vet. I am considerably younger than him so I was not his wife when he went over there but he still shares his memories with me. It must have been awful. Steve was drafted at 18 and I know all about the reception when he came home. (not good) I look forward to reading your book.

    • Dear Gina, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry about Steve’s experiences. Jim and I were just talking about it today after he saw the post(lol!). He also couldn’t find a job when he got home. His mother had a friend at Cadillac Motor Car and he got Jim a job on the assembly line, which he hated. Somehow the man survived those first months. We were so young! xoxoxo

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