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The Things We Do to Make It Home: A Novel

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"The Things We Do to Make It Home" captures, in clear, unadorned prose, the legacy the Vietnam War left to the wives and children of the men who fought in it. Beverly Gologorsky's brilliantly constructed, deeply human novel charts the fates of six couples -- the men who came home profoundly altered and the women who strove to create for them a safe haven yet in the end cou "The Things We Do to Make It Home" captures, in clear, unadorned prose, the legacy the Vietnam War left to the wives and children of the men who fought in it. Beverly Gologorsky's brilliantly constructed, deeply human novel charts the fates of six couples -- the men who came home profoundly altered and the women who strove to create for them a safe haven yet in the end could do little more than bear witness to their pain.In 1973, stateside and seemingly whole, Rooster, Frankie, Jason, and other vets begin getting on with their lives. Some marry, find jobs, buy houses. But beneath the surface activity, there's a dangerous fault line.


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"The Things We Do to Make It Home" captures, in clear, unadorned prose, the legacy the Vietnam War left to the wives and children of the men who fought in it. Beverly Gologorsky's brilliantly constructed, deeply human novel charts the fates of six couples -- the men who came home profoundly altered and the women who strove to create for them a safe haven yet in the end cou "The Things We Do to Make It Home" captures, in clear, unadorned prose, the legacy the Vietnam War left to the wives and children of the men who fought in it. Beverly Gologorsky's brilliantly constructed, deeply human novel charts the fates of six couples -- the men who came home profoundly altered and the women who strove to create for them a safe haven yet in the end could do little more than bear witness to their pain.In 1973, stateside and seemingly whole, Rooster, Frankie, Jason, and other vets begin getting on with their lives. Some marry, find jobs, buy houses. But beneath the surface activity, there's a dangerous fault line.

48 review for The Things We Do to Make It Home: A Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    I had a hard time at first differentiating the characters, took too long. The book feels too split apart by too many people, there's not really a story here, no plot. As the last few pages approached, the book felt like it finally started to go somewhere, but it just ended. The end. I was interested in the family aftermath with Vietnam Vets, and there is some of that here, but not in a good form. I had a hard time at first differentiating the characters, took too long. The book feels too split apart by too many people, there's not really a story here, no plot. As the last few pages approached, the book felt like it finally started to go somewhere, but it just ended. The end. I was interested in the family aftermath with Vietnam Vets, and there is some of that here, but not in a good form.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Augusto Delgado

    Vietnam, we all know it, the author knows it and her characters know it. This book has a sad undertow flowing through the experiences of the women and families of veteran gringos. The atrocities committed in the name of capitalism perforates their unclear consciousness with lots of unanswered questions. But somehow Jason had reached the correct answer: “I think Nixon’s men know we have a beef with them and they’re afraid to show up today. And they’re right because we aimed our guns in the wrong di Vietnam, we all know it, the author knows it and her characters know it. This book has a sad undertow flowing through the experiences of the women and families of veteran gringos. The atrocities committed in the name of capitalism perforates their unclear consciousness with lots of unanswered questions. But somehow Jason had reached the correct answer: “I think Nixon’s men know we have a beef with them and they’re afraid to show up today. And they’re right because we aimed our guns in the wrong direction.” Here's hoping the yank soldiers start aiming in the proper direction.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    Couldn't finish and I hate starting a book and not finishing them. I have only done it like 3 times but this was so bad, I just couldn't. Couldn't finish and I hate starting a book and not finishing them. I have only done it like 3 times but this was so bad, I just couldn't.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Craig Werner

    There are parts of this novel I like a lot and parts that really irritate me. At times, Gologorsky is spot on with her pictures of the way that Vietnam vets bond and simultaneously distance from the world around them; at times, it's pure stereotype, and it irritates the hell out of me that she doesn't include any vets who really manage to make it back to the world in one piece. I come to this as an insider-outsider, which I imagine is pretty much Gologorsky's position, so there are parts of the There are parts of this novel I like a lot and parts that really irritate me. At times, Gologorsky is spot on with her pictures of the way that Vietnam vets bond and simultaneously distance from the world around them; at times, it's pure stereotype, and it irritates the hell out of me that she doesn't include any vets who really manage to make it back to the world in one piece. I come to this as an insider-outsider, which I imagine is pretty much Gologorsky's position, so there are parts of the picture that make me say "oh, come on, not everyone stayed a mess." But, at the same time, she describes some of the scenes very nicely, sort of like Faulkner writing about black characters. And there's no reason to doubt her accuracy on the responses of the women entangled--mostly in this book for worse--in the vets' lives. I'd compare this with the chapter on the women in Doug Bradley's book DEROS, which I think catches some of the nuances that Gologorsky misses. As with the themes, the writing's a combination of terrific scenes and borderline cliche. I don't know a better book about the women whose lives were changed by their involvement with vets, but it's a long ways from perfect.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Annemariem

    1973: Five Vietnam vets return home with the war forever locked in their heads and hearts. 1993 and after: Their story is told through the women in their lives, or the women no longer in their lives. From the blurb: "In this poignant and unforgettable novel, the fierce repercussions of the Vietnam War are captured from an altogether original and touching angle. This story belongs to the women: the lovers, wives and daughters who saw their men returned safely to them - but as unfamiliar, haunted 1973: Five Vietnam vets return home with the war forever locked in their heads and hearts. 1993 and after: Their story is told through the women in their lives, or the women no longer in their lives. From the blurb: "In this poignant and unforgettable novel, the fierce repercussions of the Vietnam War are captured from an altogether original and touching angle. This story belongs to the women: the lovers, wives and daughters who saw their men returned safely to them - but as unfamiliar, haunted souls who would forever be out of their reach." Very fierce, staccato writing, which I usually don't enjoy much. This time however, I found myself sucked into the story, promising myself I'd just do another ten pages before going to sleep and then waking up in the middle of the night with all the lights on and creases from the pages embedded in my cheek. Excellent novel.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I was excited to read this book because of the subject matter, but it didn't pan out how I wanted it to. Too many characters to keep up with, and no chance to become emotionally invested in any of them; not very well-written. Disappointing. I was excited to read this book because of the subject matter, but it didn't pan out how I wanted it to. Too many characters to keep up with, and no chance to become emotionally invested in any of them; not very well-written. Disappointing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Great book, very well written. Another sad war book...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    A wrenching novel on the wages of war and the damage done by wrecked men to the women and children who want to love them.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Tirri

    The character development was atrocious, in that it barely existed. It was hard to keep everyone straight in terms of who was related to whom. The individual stories are plodding and uninspiring.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Josephine

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra Cole

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Moonshoes

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Braddleson

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annelies Mertens

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carissa

  16. 4 out of 5

    Noojy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Starmy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rajashri Saphia Singh

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barbie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Janine

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michele

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marc

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  28. 4 out of 5

    Riah

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andrei

  31. 4 out of 5

    Ciara

  32. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  33. 5 out of 5

    S

  34. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  35. 5 out of 5

    Esther

  36. 4 out of 5

    BookDB

  37. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  38. 5 out of 5

    Booknerd

  39. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Gayle Reed

  40. 4 out of 5

    Josh

  41. 4 out of 5

    Annemariem

  42. 4 out of 5

    Scott E

  43. 4 out of 5

    Monica

  44. 5 out of 5

    Amber

  45. 4 out of 5

    Geri

  46. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  47. 5 out of 5

    Cpettitmiller

  48. 5 out of 5

    Jen

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