Charlotte’s War

J. Lawrence Graham

Dr. Charlotte Fletcher Shipwright is at war with the powers that make war. She has experienced the horror of war several times. First with her brother, then her husband, her boyfriend, and now her firstborn son has been drafted. Charlotte’s life has been adventurous and placed her in the perfect position to fight to save her son and others from the perils of war, if only she can persuade her connections to listen. Early life in China placed her with Ho Chi Minh’s daughter, her studies at Radcliffe and Harvard gave her the contacts in the state department including John F Kennedy and Henry Kissinger, but will her power be enough to save the lives of the many soldiers in Vietnam or will she be too late to save the ones she loves?

In this historical fiction it is difficult to tell where history and fiction separate. The characters leap from the pages, and reading their stories the reader feels drawn into them as if they are a documentary about the various wars rather than fictional characters in a story. The imagery of the war scenes, the fragility of the human spirit, and the lengths to which a mother will go to protect her loved ones all shine through Charlotte’s life story as well as her own fight for women’s rights. Charlotte’s interwoven history also makes a reader think hard about how conflicts could be solved differently were women like the characters of the San people in charge. Truly a masterpiece with seamless integration of fiction and historical events from WWII through Vietnam along with the messy relationships and politics of the time.

Amy Rubottom