If you’ve ever been faced with the agony of knowing something is very wrong with you physically, but no doctor can figure out the problem even after doing a batch of the usual blood and other tests, after which they treat you for something that is similar, but not the real issue, or even suggest it’s all in your head, you know how devastating that is both mentally and emotionally. 

That’s the horrible reality Dr. Barbara Cordell and her husband Joe faced when she and others saw him stumbling and slurring his words as if he were totally drunk first thing in the morning. And yet, he hadn’t had a drop to drink! As Dr. Cordell writes in her important book, My Gut Makes Alcohol, Joe is one of hundreds of people who suffer from the little recognized Auto-Brewery Syndrome, and believe me, this almost inexplicable malady is one that nobody wants to live with as either a patient or caregiver spouse. 

I believe My Gut Makes Alcohol has been written to enlighten both sufferers and healers. To make that work for both, Dr. Cordell has included a fascinating and eye-opening collection of first-hand patient accounts interspersed with very detailed medical information on what happens in our guts after eating and drinking anything, not just alcohol. Regardless of whether you are a patient, a spouse or doctor, what you thought you knew about digestion seems grossly inadequate once you read the author’s very comprehensive breakdown. 

You see, as simple as I can make this, it is indeed completely possible for some people’s guts to turn into an alcohol brewery, depending on how their guts handle carbs, sugars, even the smell of solvents, chemicals or stress of any kind, just to name a few triggers. There are many more. And what do brewers use in making alcohol? Yeast!

 As the author points out, when our guts go haywire, as in Joe’s and other cases Dr. Cordell shares, it’s an overgrowth of yeast in our gut that can make us act, speak and vomit as if we were dead drunk. Just imagine how that can affect people in their jobs! Or imagine being pulled over for drunken driving, or worse yet causing an accident, and insisting you have had nothing to drink. Who would believe you, especially when you end up blowing well over acceptable limits in a breathalyzer test. Auto Brewery Syndrome, ABS, is no joke and not as rare as you might think. Victims’ lives have been turned upside-down and inside out after losing their jobs, draining their finances and still having no easy solutions, even medication, to relieve or end their suffering. 

How can you know if you or a loved one has ABS or is just a “closet alcoholic? Well here are some of the symptoms of yeast overgrowth:

“...itchy, flaky skin, toe fungus, vaginal or jock itch, athlete’s foot, dandruff, fatigue...gastric upset such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, belching and flatulence.” 

Wait, you or your doctor might say. That sounds like symptoms of a dozen other illnesses e.g. Diabetes. Exactly. And that’s why it’s so hard to nail down the real problem: your alcohol-producing, yeast-infected gut! And that’s also the reason you and doctors everywhere need to read Dr. Cordell’s eye-opening book. You’ll find yourself shaking your head at the heartaches suffered by the handful of patients’ stories shared in My Gut Makes Alcohol. You will also discover possible solutions to this crippling syndrome that include diet and lifestyle changes, along with some more effective meds that have been used to keep symptoms under control, if not fully eradicate the problem. 

Dr. Cordell includes copious references to reading materials and resources, her own website at www.autobrewery.com, and mentions Facebook groups you might wish to look into for more information and support.  There are also several other links to ABS you will find on Google, but I recommend beginning your investigation into this syndrome by reading this book. Doing so could save someone’s life, possibly your own. Pick it up today. 

“I would love to hear readers’ comments concerning this book, both positive and negative. It was my first attempt...”

So writes John W Long, author of Red Blood on White Cotton at the end of this incredible novel, and right off the bat I’d like to tell him that I could only wish my first book had been half as good as this one! Not only is the plot superbly developed, but the characters and what happens to them are unforgettable.

Long has chosen to move back and forth between the present and the past to tell this story. In the hands of a less-skilled writer, this can be a quick way to lose readers. But in Red Blood on White Cotton it is necessary, since what happened to the protagonist, John Reynolds, as a child, has everything to do with who he is when we meet him at his father’s funeral: Calvin Reynolds, a wealthy plantation owner, was one cruel father.

It is finding out why John grew up hating his father that is the most memorable part of this story, even more engaging, perhaps, than the investigation on which John embarks in the present. This investigation is to solve the mystery of his beloved brother’s death 30 years earlier. What he finally uncovers about what was going on in his father’s life when John was just a youngster would have ruined his family’s standing in the community. It exposes corruption and criminal activities at all levels of society and politics, and makes for exciting reading as we wait for the crooks to get caught.

Red Blood on White Cotton is rich in historic detail re the hardshipsl endured by farming families and their workers. Long’s descriptions are eye-opening, graphic, never boring and definitely  unforgettable. Dialogue is realistic and expertly handled, and thankfully, the author knows the value of more showing and less telling, allowing readers to draw their own conclusions about all characters and their motivations. This is great writinI am really looking forward to what John W Long has in store for us next. Red Blood on White Cotton might be a tough act to follow! really looking forward to what John W Long has in store for us next. Red Blood on White Cotton might be a tough act to follow!

Book Review: TOUGH BLOOD by Susan Tuttle

OK all of you female private eyes out there! Move over. There’s a new P.I. on the block with an unusual first name, Skylark, and an even more unusual personality. She’s feisty, funny, snarky, and somewhat psychic. She’s also a thorn in the side of the lead detective on the trail of an especially horrific killer in Tough Blood, the first book of a new series by Susan Tuttle.

Now tracking down serial killers isn’t what Skylark normally does, but when this Neanderthal detective gets it in his head that Skylark is the killer, what’s a girl supposed to do but find a way to defend herself. She needs to find this brutal killer and prove to both him and the cop that she doesn’t take second place to any man. 

Like a dog with a bone between its teeth, despite the advice of her  devoted lawyer, Skylark won’t let this pursuit go. As horribly mutilated bodies keep surfacing and Skylark’s efforts land her in hospital more than once, Tough Blood moves forward at breakneck speed that leaves readers with only one thought: give us some more Skylark!

I can’t remember when I have enjoyed suspense fiction more. Enjoy is the best word for this novel: it has such a fascinating cast of well-developed and contrasting characters, not to mention the subtle irony of having a lead detective mirror many of the traits of the killer. There’s blood and gore, graphic and frightening, but there’s also so much humor, especially in the character of Skylark. What a wonderful blend Susan Tuttle has put together here. I, for one, can’t wait to read whatTuttle is cooking up for us  and Skylark in book 2. Grab this one and keep your eyes open for the next one!

Book Review: REDEMPTION by Viga Boland

If you’re getting tired of reading the same old, same old, or are  starving for something different, come meet Angel and Ice, the stars of Redemption by Susanne M. Beck. Prefer to a watch video review instead of reading? Go here: 

Both convicted murderers, like hundreds of their friends and enemies who share living quarters at the state penitentiary, the relationship that evolves between these two will leave you pondering the strengths and frailties of humanity. Why do we do what we do? What lies beneath the masks we wear? Why is it so hard to be honest, especially with those whom we love? And what indeed attracts one person to another? You might be surprised by humanity’s ability to bond, to find love and even some measure of joy and peace in a prison like this.

Simultaneously, as deeply as Beck moves and touches us with her story of Angel, Ice, the close members of their “good” gang, the Amazons, and even their kind guards, the author appals us with the often violent, even murderous activity of the rival gangs and their leaders. Readers see the other side of life in a woman’s prison. Susanne Beck spares no details in the often hate-filled and brutal clashes that will leave your brain spinning. You come away glad that you are out here and not in there!

It’s impossible to touch on all the wonderful things about Redemption, too many to list here. A well-developed plot, captivating and unforgettable characters, excellent use of dialogue to reveal character and move the story along, graphic detail...Beck has brought it all together beautifully. But while the often ugly details make us wince, it’s the emotions Beck’s characters stir in us that we take away most from reading this brilliant story. It’s fiction, but the way it is delivered makes it so real you wonder if it is perhaps, a skillfully masked memoir.
Whatever the case, since this is a series, I’m definitely ready to read the two books that come next: Retribution and Restitution. 
Ice and Angel have grabbed a hold of my head and heart. 

Add this one to your reading list now!

Book Review: NORMAL FAMILY by Don Trowden

Every once in a while a book comes along that is so different from what you expected your reaction shocks you. That’s what happened to me when I finished Normal Family by Don Trowden: I burst into tears! Why on earth did that happen?

It happened because the description, and a few reviews I read on Amazon, prepared me for a good laugh. And laugh I did…often. I mean, visualizing grand-dad dropping his hearing aid in the toilet or bumping his noggin every time he exits the bathroom or crashing head first into the beautifully decorated Christmas tree when he’s had a little too much Christmas cheer before dinner is funny…especially when I can see my own husband doing exactly the same. 

And it’s hard not to laugh when the grandchildren discover the contents of Grand-dad’s secret bomb shelter and decide to share a joint down there, only to have Grand-dad ask to join in their fun. What? Yes, this is definitely not a Normal Family in some respects, and yet, so very normal in others e.g. everyone keeping secrets, older siblings picking on younger siblings and a father who marries a bit of a witch after a divorce and hopes the kids will like her and vice versa. Yeah right!

Young Henry Pendergast, the 10-year-old narrator of Normal Family, watches, observes, eavesdrops and becomes increasingly puzzled by the behaviour, not just of his gifted older brother and sister, but by all the adults around him…except for his beloved grandfather who imparts the wisdom of years to his attentive grandson. Oddly enough, it is young Henry who opens Grand-dad’s eyes to his own failings. If only all families could be so honest with each other.

Normal Family will have you thinking about your own family, identifying with the various characters, and questioning, as young Henry does, why we do what we do and indeed wondering just what the heck is a normal family. Will it make you cry at the end? Perhaps not if you’re made of sterner stuff than I am. But I assure you you won’t come away untouched by Don Trowden’s beautifully delivered story. And if you love it, as I did, you might find yourself keen to read the two books that followed this one. I certainly am. 

Book Review-NO WOMAN'S LAND by Ellie Midwood

Since according to this post I saw today on Facebook, today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, it seems appropriate to tell you about one of the most recent books I have read and reviewed. If you care about what happened during that second World War, don't miss this book:

When you flunk high school history, it’s a sure sign history isn’t your thing. But then, along comes an incredible book like No Woman’s Land, a novel based on the Holocaust by Ellie Midwood, and even a non-history fan like me is unable to put it down. 

Midwood has succeeded where all my history teachers failed: she grabbed my attention and held it for 277 pages as she shared the love story of two people who were never supposed to love each other: Ilse Stern, a German Jew and Willy Schultz, a Luftwaffe Captain.  And yes, these two people did exist and those are their real names. Several of the other characters named in No Woman’s Land also existed. 

But while the beautifully delivered love story was as touching as it gets, it was Midwood’s riveting descriptions of the inhumanity of the SS to the German and Russian Jews that made me choke up. Sure, I’ve seen plenty of documentaries and films based on that horrible time in history, but somehow, Midwood’s graphic details shocked me more. Perhaps it was because she helped us “see” the actual abuse and slaughter through Ilse’s eyes. As a reader, I felt I was watching the nearly frozen Jewish women lugging wood to heat the German officers’ offices. I could better see that German officer who liked children tossing them candies in the death pits while they waited to be massacred. And I could better feel Ilse’s own hopelessness as she and her suffering women friends faced each new day wondering if this was their last. What a horrid way to live month after month for no reason other than you are a Jew. Haunting and mind-blowing!

If stories about the Holocaust are on your bucket list, make sure you add No Woman’s Land to it immediately. Ellie Midwood has thoroughly researched her subject and characters to bring truth into fiction. She has written other books on this subject and after reading this, I know why she is a “USA best selling and award-winning historical fiction author”. This lady knows how to deliver an unforgettable and haunting novel based on reality. 5 stars!

©Viga Boland, author and book reviewer

Book Review: THE EMANCIPATION of EVAN WALLS by Jeffrey Blount

Every so often a book comes along that you believe everyone should read. For me, The Emancipation of Evan Walls by Jeffrey Blount is that book, a story in which not only the protagonist, Evan Walls, is liberated from the demons of his youth, but through which receptive readers will be freed of uninformed notions about what it was like to grow up black in America before, and after, emancipation. This incredible story, might shock you, or at the very least, will move you to tears. Either way, you won’t forget it any time soon, if ever. 

Pre-order this book now from Amazon

As a wide-eyed, curious and intelligent youngster, Evan loves the weekly gathering of friends and family for Kool-Aid, chatter and gossip on his parents’ verandah. At one such gathering, he tunes into Bojack’s grumblings on the status of the black people of Canaan who seem content with, and intent upon staying where years of white suppression have put them ie. not seeking to better themselves, to get an education, and one day become somebody who matters. 

Evan takes Bojack’s views to heart and from that point on is determined to make something of himself. He learns to read; he slowly replaces his “black” way of speaking with proper English. He is mentored for years by both Bojack and his beloved great-grandmother Jennie, but along the way he is rejected, not just by his peers who see him as an Uncle Tom and as turning his back on his race, but by his own status-conscious mother and father. After schools become integrated, the friendless, unloved and abused Evan finds friendship in some white classmates. Unfortunately, that fuels even more anger from his family, and triggers complete isolation and violence from his black brothers. Despite a broken heart and incredible loneliness, Evan weathers it all to become a star athlete. But even that cannot salvage the damage his determination to become a somebody has caused in his personal life. He has broken the unspoken rule of accepting the status quo, of fitting in with everyone, and now he must pay the price.

The Emancipation of Evan Walls is a gut-wrenching read, delivered by a brilliant, award-winning author and television director, Jeffrey Blount. He is a master of telling a story, revealing characters and their motivations primarily through dialogue. This style of writing not only makes his characters utterly realistic and emotionally engaging, but also moves the story along quickly. This is one of those books that keep you turning pages, not because of non-stop action or unexpected twists and turns, but because of the stark reality and truths explored through the characters and setting. The Emancipation of Evan Walls is utterly riveting reading and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Brilliant! 

Book Reviews: THE BOOK OF DAVID by Kate L. Mary

Coming to Amazon in March 2019

About a month ago, I read Tribe of Daughters by Kate L. Mary and was totally blown away by the concept, theme, characters and plot based on a future world where women, not men, rule. I was keen to read more by this talented, award-winning author and didn’t hesitate one second to snatch up The Book of David. Just like that previous book, I couldn’t put this one down.  

Reading well into the night until I finished the book 48 hours later, I was mesmerized by Willow Sands, a beautiful young woman born into a cult where men are everything and women’s only purpose in life is to serve men’s needs; where women must wait till the men have been fed and their dishes washed before women can eat; and where girls are betrothed when they turn 15, and on the night of the betrothal, the fiancee, with the cult-leader’s blessing is allowed to have his way with the 15-year-old. From that night onwards, she belongs to him but they will not mate again until they marry when she turns 18. The punishment for social interaction with any other males keeps women submissive, wary and afraid. Mothers and daughters alike are abused and don’t dare step out of line. 

Willow’s betrothal night horrifies her but she can’t even talk to her mother about it. An attempt to escape the compound brings death to those who try to help her and subjects her to inhumane punishment once she is recaptured. 3 years later, working in compound hospital, she meets Jared. What follows is a touching story of stolen moments and dreams of escape against all odds. Do they succeed? If you’ve been sexually abused or suffered under male domination, as I have, you won’t be able to stop reading until you find out if good can win in a world that bad. 

Kate L. Mary is one of those writers who is able to keep readers glued to the story despite much narration and reflection. She writes in the present tense, giving the book immediacy, handling it perfectly and leaving readers hungry for more. In the current “me too” climate, The Book of David is timely and will be understood and appreciated by female victims of sexual, physical and mental abuse. But don’t be surprised if you come away angry, that despite all the advances society is making toward gender equality, there are still far too many societies, religions and cultures who live according to principles similar to those found in The Book of David. Changes can’t happen soon enough!

Book Review: TRIBE OF DAUGHTERS by Kate L. Mary

Tribe of Daughters by Kate L. Mary

Never have I read a book like Tribe of Daughters by Kate L. Mary. Everything about this science fiction novel…the possibilities, the plot, the characters, the physical, mental, sexual and cultural concepts and the writing style fired my imagination and compelled me to keep reading page after page until the book was finished. An electrifying read…and that’s saying something for a person who isn’t all that into dystopian science fiction.

We’re all familiar with the adage “It’s a man’s world”.  But what happens when it’s a woman’s world? That’s the world Jameson and several other men find themselves captured and dragged into by a group of Amazonian women warriors, members of a 70-year-old mountain village ruled, if necessary, by deadly female force. Men, like male worker bees are useful only for cleaning out animal pens and having sex on demand with females ready to bear children. Male offspring from such couplings, called “yieldlings” are dismissed, when barely weaned, to the male section of the village to grow up not knowing their parents. Female children are prized, taught survival skills and become the village’s hunters, guardians and rulers.

Naturally, Jameson’s thoughts are on escape from word go, but when he witnesses what happens to those who attempt to do so, he decides to bide his time. What follows once Jameson is selected to wed and bed Wilderness, daughter of the tribe’s female leader, messes up his plans which didn’t include falling in love with Wilderness. Over time, both Wilderness and Jameson find themselves questioning what they’ve believed for years as they learn what love really is from each other and to Wilderness’ surprise, from her parents. Forget about Tribe of Daughters being science fiction: above all else, it’s a beautiful love story between a man and a woman, and between human beings and nature.

There is so much more I could say about Tribe of Daughters but doing so would spoil readers’ enjoyment of this marvellous story. I want those who read this review to experience the book for themselves. It surprised me no end to read Kate L. Mary’s comments at the back of the book where she said her agent had been unable to secure her a publishing deal. Tribe of Daughters is unique! Mary’s writing style is straightforward, uses plenty of dialogue, and has superb, but not overly long descriptions to capture the almost etherial atmosphere of the settings. Characters are well-developed and believable. Best of all, the story is so emotionally moving as well as intellectually stimulating, it’s just begging for not only a publishing deal but perhaps even a movie contract. Tribe of Daughters would be mesmerizing on the big screen. Perhaps what Kate L. Mary needs is a female publisher in our otherwise male-dominated corporate world! I hope she finds one. She deserves it. And I’m a “forever fan” of her writing!

Book Review: DADDY'S CURSE 3 by Luke G. Dahl

If you’ve read the first two books in this series by Luke. G. Dahl, you will remember the pedophile Bat Erdene, a wealthy child and drug trafficker whom you met, and most likely loathed in Daddy’s Curse 2. Well now, in the final book of the series, Daddy’s Curse 3, you will learn how and why Bat Erdeen became the monster he was. Will you come away liking him more? Probably not. But you will have a better understanding of how much a father’s authority and actions affects a young boy’s future thinking and behaviour. 

Born into wealth and social status, Erdene was an arrogant, but highly intelligent youngster with a strong sense of entitlement who loved his mother, and revered but feared his father. Bat’s father angered easily and was so horribly abusive to his wife that he ended up strangling her during one of his many rages. Bat, in turn, killed his father. As he grew into adulthood, fueled by father’s mantra that if he wanted to succeed in life, he had to make people submit to and obey his will, and severely punish those who disobeyed, as much as he didn’t want to be like his father, Bat Erdeen became a monster.

Those who have read the first two books will recognize some of the people whom we meet again in Daddy’s Curse 3. It’s not necessary to have read those books, but curious readers will be tempted to find out what they’ve missed by not reading them.  Do it. Grab copies of both books. While the content is disturbing, often stomach-turning, the style of writing is simple and easy to read. All three books are short, but provocative and unforgettable. Book club members unafraid of discussing the ugly realities faced by too many victims of sexual and other abuse, along with man’s never-ending inhumanity to men and women, will find plenty of material in this series by Luke. G. Dahl. Highly recommended.

NOTE: Given the ongoing and growing amount of human trafficking, internet pedophilia and worldwide sexual abuse of adults and children of both sexes, can we afford to pretend this isn't happening? It's not only happening, it's increasing. Writers like Luke G. Dahl and others like me who have dared to speak up, awareness is growing. If you care about your children and those of your family and friends, as I do...and which is why I read and review books like these, grab all 3 of Luke's books from his Amazon page now. And if you can stomach more after these, check out his other book, The Gangs of Stockholm. 

Book Review: THE REBEL of GOZA by Steve Freeman

When Steve Freeman asks me if I’d like to review his latest novel, I never hesitate. I no longer even ask for a preview before deciding. That’s because I know if Steve Freeman wrote it, I’ll enjoy it. 

And enjoy The Rebel of Goza is what I did. In less than 48 hours I closed the book with a smile so satisfied you might have thought I’d just tasted the finest tequila. Speaking of tequila, that famous Mexican drink kicks off the action in this story of Gaby, a pretty, slightly rebellious but ambitious young woman who doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life harvesting agarve and teaching Tae Kwan Do to local kids. She’s sure life has more to offer her. After she chats with her “abuelo”, her grandfather, she learns that the old buildings she can see at the fringe of their property once produced the best tequila in the region, thanks to her abuelo. Gaby decides it’s time to resurrect the distillery, with a new owner and operator: Gaby Goza!

Yes, you can purchase GOZA TEQUILA Here
But someone else has plans for those abandoned buildings as Gaby suddenly discovers one night when she’s checking out the setup and overhears men talking about cocaine. She runs for her life: Gaby has stumbled onto a massive Mexican drug cartel. When her grandfather is slaughtered and her brother kidnapped, Gaby forgets about restarting a distillery. With the help of her two Tae Kwan Do associates, she takes on a murderous bunch of narcos in her efforts to find her brother. Can this small trio rescue the kidnapped brother and come out alive when the cartel boss has a $25,000,000 deal going down, and over 30 gunmen protecting the stash of cocaine? Read it to find out!

Steve Freeman is a master at pulling off a high-powered, fast moving plot with realistic, moving characters and wonderfully detailed, but not heavy descriptions. He enjoys keeping chapters short…but it’s rare to be able to stop at the end of each chapter. You just have to read one more, then one more. That’s how I read this one in 48 hours. 

Much to my delight, Freeman has an most unexpected surprise for his readers after the story concludes. No, it’s not a bottle of Gaby Goza’s Tequila, but … well, read the book and see for yourself. Makes me want to book a flight to Guadaloupe to sip Tequila! 

#Book #Review: THE MUTE BUTTON by Linda S. Amstutz

There’s a certain political figurehead, who shall remain nameless, but who never fails to make the evening news reports. When he begins bragging, I either put my hands over my ears or grab the remote to press “mute”. I can’t stand the sound of this man’s voice. 

Well Susan Strickland, protagonist of The Mute Button by Linda S. Amstutz suddenly develops an unwanted and upsetting deafness toward all men’s voices, including that of her dear husband. Now just try to imagine not hearing anything your hubby says. Bliss right? Well not really as Amstutz proves in the delightfully funny, but rather poignant social commentary she affords readers of The Mute Button. Female readers, especially, will be amused by Susan’s “selective hearing” when it comes to men.  But, on a more serious note, they will also find themselves agreeing big time with the reasons Susan has developed this problem. 

Trying to help Susan cope with this situation which is negatively affecting her marriage and her daughter, Lauren, are the other three ladies who belong to Susan’s monthly lunch club, all of whom are named Susan. Cute! But as the story quickly unfolds, through these other Susans, readers get even more insight into why women might choose to selectively listen to men. 

As I laughed my way through this wonderful book, a recent memory popped into my head: I remember seeing my own dear hubby, on more than one occasion, clasp his hands over his ears when I was going on and on about something I felt he needed to do. He shouted: “Okay enough already!” No wonder my husband is about 85% deaf. Or does he too have selective deafness? 

Linda S. Amstutz has only a handful of 5-star reviews of this book on Amazon. She deserves fifty! Amstutz has been writing humor for 25 years. Her essays have been republished several times and she has a good collection of books that I, for one, would love to read. Incidentally, it's not just  the concept and themes behind The Mute Button that makes this book so deserving of your time: Amstutz' style is easy-going, with lots of dialogue and no wasted words or time. 

Have I found a new favorite author? You bet! Highly recommended when your spirit needs a lift and a laugh.

#Book Review: ESCAPE from VIETNAM

Reading a novel like Escape from Vietnam by Howard Cohen is so much more than enjoying an intricate, riveting plot and engaging with realistic and touching characters. It’s an opportunity for enlightenment, not just about the horrors experienced by both soldiers and those they tried to help during the Vietnam war, but about what it is like to live under communist rule. And it is that last factor that propels the action in Escape from Vietnam and leaves readers grateful they don’t live there, even today. 

The key characters, the beautiful Vietnamese woman, Lan, and James, a green beret, became lovers during the Vietnam war. The war separates them, each eventually marrying someone in their own country. Now, in 2018, after years of non-communication between them, Lan tracks down James in North Carolina and asks for his help. James obliges, flies to Vietnam and what he learns shocks him. Lan, and members of her family, desperately need James’ help to escape unscrupulous and cruel members of the powerful Communist party. Aided by Lan’s trusted servants, James follow Lan’s plans that involve two separate escapes. The chances of success seem more unlikely with each turn of the page and readers are breathless wondering what will happen next. 

It’s interesting that while Lan and James are the main characters, some of the minor characters, like Chang, are impossible to forget too. There are so many characters who touch you with their loyalty and strength, and others who make you shudder with their cruelty. The depictions of torture used to extract information makes one cringe. Escape from Vietnam will engage reader interest from start to finish. 

Recommended and unforgettable reading.