Friday, January 23, 2009

Message from Nam

One of my favorite past time during my office breaks is to hang out in the bookshops nearby. Since Chinese New Year holiday would mean a 7-day non-working holiday for me while another month for my daughter before her new school term starts, I decided to buy us few paperbacks to pass the time. My daughter requested for the New Moon but unfortunately, the Commercial Press Bookstore in Shatin do not have an english version at the moment so I browsed in the best sellers' aisle and see the latest from John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer instead.. There are lots of new ones and realized I’d been too far behind up-grading my book collections. I haven’t buy any book since August last year.. I almost got all John Grisham’s except the Skipping Christmas, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal and the Pelican Brief.. Jeffrey Archer has a lot of new novels to date but instead buying any of those, I ended up taking my chances with a Message from Nam by Danielle Steel.

Maybe because it is kind of related to what is going on in America right now wherein the new president is still undecided as to what he would do with the war he had inherited from the previous administration; basically quite similar to what had been faced by the presidents in those era, like the two President Kennedys and President Johnson..

Or maybe because I just came from Vietnam few weeks ago on a business trip. I was there and then I realized that I had actually set foot in the exact location where the war had actually happened that caused the lost of so many lives especially young americans and brought insurmountable sorrow to many families all over the world. Note that Philippine troops had been the closest American allies during those times and so our country too had grieved.

Photo of myself with my colleagues and Vietnam Foreign Trade and Investment Director taken during my recent business trip to Ho Chi Mihn, Vietnam

A Message from Nam is an old novel published in the 1990’s yet I found the story too relevant to what is really going on right now. The genre is considered a romantic novel but actually has a lot of historical values. Reading it would make you realize that “history really repeats itself..”

Author: Danielle Steel
ISBN-10: 0385299079
ISBN-13: 9780385299077
Format: Hardcover
Publication Year: 1990
ePID: 153951
Publisher's Note
As a journalist, Paxton Andrews would experience Vietnam firsthand. We follow her from high school in Savannah to college in Berkeley and then to work in Saigon.For the soldiers she knew and met there, Viet Nam would change their lives in ways they could never have imagined. For the men in her life, Viet Nam would change their lives in ways hey could not escape or deny. Peter Wilson, fresh from law school, was a new recruit who would confont his fate in Da Nang. Ralph Johnson, a seasoned AP correspondent, had been in Saigon since the beginning. He knew Vietnam and the war inside out. Bill Quinn, captain of the Cu Chi tunnel rats, was on his fourth tour of duty and it seemed nothing could touch him. Sergeant Tony Campobello had come to Vietnam from the streets of New York to vent a rage that had followed him all the way to Saigon. For seven years Paxton Andrews would write an acclaimed newspaper column from the front before finally returning to the States and then attending the Paris peace talks. But for her and the men who fought in Viet Nam, life would never be the same again.

For seven years Paxton Andrews wrote an acclaimed newspaper column from the front lines of the Vietnam War. For Paxton and the soldiers she knew, the war was like a nightmare from which they could not rouse themselves. In thi s monumental work about America's most tragic hour, Danielle Steel creates a powerful portrait of those who were changed forever by the Vietnam War.

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