"The Road Home" by Ellen Emerson White, is a love story couched in the harshness of the Vietnam War. The auther created a feel of chaos and pain with in the first two chapters. The main character, Rebecca, is surrounded by the mass confution of the hospital staff as the casualties roll in like waves crashing on a beach. She was in an accident prior to the start of the book. When you first meet her, she's all drugged up on painkillers. The staff is working in 24 hour shifts. During one of Rebecca's shifts, she gets in a heated argument with one fo the pre-op doctors. She then steels his case. I felt that Ellen's characters were sutible and unforgetable. rebeccas C.O. is one such character. When Rebecca was braught in with a briken ankle, she stayed by her side the whole time, wating for her to get better. Another great character would be Mike. He's Rebecca's boy friend, and was comander of the grunt unite that found her. He later comes in the the hospital for a frag wound, recovers, and is shipped state side. The second half of the book started to drag. Rebecca returns to the states. I felt that White could have written a more compelling later half. the only thing that held it up was rebecca trying to get ovwer Nam. Inspite of suffering form Post traumatic stress Disorder, she sets out to find Mike. When she does the book hits the brakes and started crawling. Rebecca sleeps, and Mike drinks and smokes. My overall opinion of "The Road Home"is that it was well written and had a great medical basis. But it needed a livelier second half. It told Vietnam through hte eyes of one of its nurses. And showed the war's repercutions on all that had to go through it.
Ellen Emerson White has always been one of my favorite authors, since I read The President's Daughter and Life Without Friends. But, while those novels were excellent, The Road Home far surpassed them. Having no real clue of what war is really like, I came away from this with, I think, a greater understanding of all of the horrors, and all of the small triumphs and quiet heroism as well. Rebecca's character is very well-drawn, and complex (she is at once funny and devastated, strong for her time, but very close to being broken by the horrors she has witnessed. I can't recommend this book, or any of White's, enough. My mother also read it and loved it, so I would say it spans beyond the young adult-adult classifications.
This was a well-written book about a nurse that is in the Vietnam War station in Da Nang. It tells of her time and experiences during a very confusing and misunderstood war. I enjoyed it and I think you will too.
Ellen Emerson White has been one of my favorite authors for a long time, and The Road Home has to be her best work. Even though I'm a little older than the audience the book was published for, she transcends the "Young Adult" label. I love her twisted sense of humor, too.