Goodreads ~ Charlotte Parsons is devastated over losing her brother in the Vietnam War. Desperate to learn more about the war, she joins a group of college women who send letters to soldiers and befriends Joseph Russo, a young soldier. But a few months after they begin corresponding, his letters stop coming and Char moves on, still confused as to why so many young lives are being lost so far away from home.
Two years later, Char begins college in her small Illinois town of Grand Falls. She’s been dating her brother’s long-time best friend, Deke Masterson, who is a senior in college and is deep into the anti-war movement. Char isn’t sure how she feels about the war. Then a stranger comes to town and changes everything.
Joseph Russo served in the Vietnam War, earning a Purple Heart for his injury as well as a life-long limp. He’s ready to put the war behind him. While in Vietnam, he’d corresponded with a girl from Grand Falls and he enjoyed reading about her idyllic life. When he’s discharged, he moves there to attend college. And when he meets Charlotte in person, he’s taken with her sweetness, intelligence, and beauty.
The battle lines are drawn as Deke resents Joe’s presence around Char. What started out as a well-deserved escape to a small town for Joe soon turns into a battle of wills between him and the idealistic Deke. And there stands Charlotte, right in the middle.
"Night Music" is a story about a moment in time when the world was chaotic and nothing was completely clear. In the midst of all the chaos, can Char and Joe find enough middle ground to fall in love?
It's 1968 and Joe is a soldier in the Vietnam war. He is pen pals with Charlotte, a stranger who lives in a small town in Illinois. Joe gets hurt, discharged and sent back home to the States. Charlotte had made her town sound ideal so Joe moves there and enrols in college. He meets Charlotte and they become friends. Her father gives him a part-time job in his hardware store as Joe doesn't have a lot of money.
Charlotte's brother had been killed in the Vietnam war and she is now dating his best friend, Deke. Deke is against the war and extremely vocal about it. He's not happy when Charlotte and Joe become friends, especially since Deke sees all the Vietnam vets as baby killers. This leaves Charlotte conflicted because she knows her brother wasn't a baby killer but Deke is so dedicated to his cause.
This is the fourth book I've read by this author and I liked it. I like the writing style and it is written in third person perspective. As a Canadian, the Vietnam war doesn't have the same relevance to me as it does/did for Americans (I'm assuming) so I didn't really get caught up in that part of the story. I liked the characters and their small town interactions and 1960s innocence. I wasn't crazy about Deke (I'm not sure I was supposed to like him, though) and I had a hard time relating to his active in-your-face opposition to the war (again perhaps because I'm Canadian?).
I look forward to reading other books by this author.