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Her Own Vietnam

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  20 reviews
For thirty years, Della Brown has tried to forget her service as a U.S. Army nurse treating horrific battlefield injuries in Vietnam. But now an unexpected message arrives that propels her into harrowing memories of the past. She must also confront the fissures in her family life, the mystery of her father’s disappearance, the things mothers and daughters cannot—maybe shou ...more
Paperback, 214 pages
Published November 1st 2014 by Shade Mountain Press
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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Julie Christine
In the winter of 2003, as the United States guns its invasion engines toward Iraq, Della Brown receives a letter from an old friend. Flooded by memories she has been trying to bury since 1969, Della falls into a wellpit of anxiety and anger.

Weaving together the recent past with an era that is now fading into Polaroid souvenir, Lynn Kanter tells a different kind of Vietnam story. She brings the reader into the world of the women healers: Army nurses who repaired soldiers only to see them returned
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lynn is a friend from way back in our FW3 (Feminist Women's Writing Workshop) days where we spent a glorious summer week filled with writing and camaraderie on Seneca Lake in Ithaca, NY. I've loved all Lynn's books, but this one is especially poignant and sheds much-needed light on the experiences of women nurses during the Vietnam War, exploring issues of racism, sexism in the military, and PTSD through characters Della and Charlene. Lynn tells their story with honesty, passion and humor, and t ...more
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I'm writing this review in the early morning of a day that will end with the clocks changing, giving us an extra hour of sleep. It's a good thing, because I've been up reading since Her Own Vietnam popped up on my Kindle at midnight on its release day. I could not put it down.

The story of Della Brown, a former trauma nurse in the Vietnam war, who had in many ways never stopped feeling "In Country" despite coming home and building a life, it is a compelling read. I will not lie and tell
Susanna Sturgis
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, women, novel
As a Goodreads newbie, I've given some thought to those star ratings. Three stars and four stars mean very good, well worth reading, met my expectations. Five stars? Five stars means "Drop what you're doing and read it. This book blew me out of the water."

Her Own Vietnam gets five stars.

Della Brown, an oncology nurse whose grown daughter has recently left home, receives out of the blue a letter from her past, a past that she's tried with mixed success to keep buried. More than 30 years earlier,
Carol Douglas
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Vietnam War shattered army nurses as well as soldiers. This is the moving story of a nurse who didn't know what she was going to face. Almost from the moment she landed, the sight of severely wounded and dying soldiers bombarded her. And she had to help them. Blood soaked her shoes, and when she was issued boots, covered her boots. Daily.

Many years later, Della still hasn't found anyone to listen to what happened to her. A letter from a nurse who served in Vietnam with her triggers a flashba
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lynn Kanter's novel Her Own Vietnam draws you in instantly and is compelling through to the very last sentence. The characters are fascinating and very real. Della Brown, the main character, is a nurse in Vietnam who takes the reader through her experiences there and back home post-war while also showing the war's impact on her family and her relationships with them. The book illuminates the role of women in this war in a way I'd never seen before. It does not stop there, though, as Ms. Kanter a ...more
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book from the Goodreads giveaway program, in the mail just 4 days ago... I took it out of the package, looked it over & thought it looked good. I had been right in the middle of a very good mystery, a series by a favorite author.....but I didn't pick that book up again until I'd finished Lynn Kanter's "Her Own Vietnam"! It was that good! I imagine she's done a very good job of an accurate portrayal of a nurse's experiences in, & after Vietnam. I think I might even offer a 4.5 in ...more
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Why have so many nurses who served in Vietnam chosen to remain silent about their service, burying their traumas deep in their psyches? In her powerful book, Her Own Vietnam, Lynn Kanter shines a penetrating light on this question.

Kanter tells the story through the character Della, an Army nurse. The story alternates between flashbacks of her "in country" tour on the one hand, and her long transition back into "real life" on the other. In the Vietnam scenes we experience the nurses' emotional e
Maureen O'Leary
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This beautifully written novel is a long conversation with a Vietnam War veteran belatedly coming to terms with her own trauma and the way that trauma has affected her relationships and the course of her life. I can't think of a more relevant novel for this moment in our history. Her Own Vietnam is contemplative and graphic. It is a fascinating meditation on war and its aftermath, especially for American service people who return to family and friends who could not begin to understand what the v ...more
Susan Storer
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lynn Kanter's book tells the compelling story of an Army nurse and the after-effects of war. For Della Brown, those after-effects include Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. PTSD went unacknowledged even in the soldiers for many years, and it was years after that before it was recognized in the nurses who served in Vietnam.
The book goes back and forth between 1969 and 2003, when a letter from her best Vietnam friend triggers a new series of nightmares. Della has had many sleepless nights over the y
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredible! Well-written, with well developed characters and an engrossing story that kept me turning the pages. It gave me some insights into the Viet Nam war, and its long-term effects, that most of us can't even imagine --- particularly the effect on women who served and returned home to family, friends, and a community who could not even begin to comprehend what they had experienced. ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an easy read which made its point about women nurses in Vietnam (and all war zones) but the plot played out much too quickly and the dialogue sounded scripted.
Melanie Page
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lynn talks about how she became a writer at the blog PhD in Creative Writing at her first virtual book tour stop.

Next, over at Book Puke, Lynn discusses how she became a political activist at age 16, during the Vietnam War era.

The following day you can read an excerpt of Her Own Vietnam and the insights of the author at Guiltless Reading.

Several women weigh in what they would advise to their 22-year-old selves about forgiveness at The Next Best Book Club blog.

Lynn answers questions about the con
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
I won this book for our bookclub in a book giveaway on The author was gracious enough to sign each of the 10 copies we received as well as adding a personalized note card to our group. I found this book fascinating as I have never read a book from a veteran nurse's point of view. This book told the story of a nurse who was sent to Vietnam under false pretenses. Well, at least it seemed the recruiters were not completely honest with her about what she would encounter there. It w ...more
Stacy  Natal
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Stacy by: Brenda Pfahnl
This novella brings to the forefront the impact that the war in Vietnam had on the women/nurses that served there. They had unique challenges on the way there, during their stay there, and on their return. Examples include side effects such as miscarriages due to the chemicals that they were exposed to, not being included in in vfw clubs etc.. because they didn't "see" combat even though they were the ones seeing the suffering first hand, and having to fight off the unwanted attention of males i ...more
Mimi Testen
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Her Own Vietnam is such a wonderful story - I am going to go back and read it all again. (with ADHD, I often have to read a book twice). This author is one of my FAVORITE present day writers. The only problem with Ms. Kanters books is - there are not enough titles to read. Hope she will be writing more soon. MAYOR OF HEAVEN is also OUTSTANDING!! Go and read her first full-length novel - it will not disappoint.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and finished it in three days. I loved how the author played with time and effortlessly moved between the present and past. Her rich descriptions made me feel like I was there watching Della. I strongly recommend this novel!
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. I couldn't put it down. ...more
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Lynn Kanter is the author of the novels Her Own Vietnam (2014, Shade Mountain Press), The Mayor of Heaven (1997) and On Lill Street (1992), both published by Third Side Press. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies Lost Orchard (SUNY Press), Breaking Up is Hard to Do, and The Time of Our Lives (both Crossing Press), and the literary journal Verbsap. Her nonfiction has appeared in Refere ...more

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