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The ‘nam legacy

June 8, 2018

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but it was the cover of ‘The Nam legacy’ that attracted me to it.  I then discovered it was by an award winning New Zealand author, Carole Brungar.  Set during the 1960’s and 70’s, the book follows the story of Jack Coles and Ellie Hallet during the tumultuous period of the Vietnam war.   Set in the small seaside town of Foxton, this story evoked nostalgia of an era gone by.  Jack enlists in the NZ Army and finds himself doing a tour of duty in Vietnam.  Evie finds success with her music career, which takes her to Auckland, Australia, England, and also to Vietnam to perform for the troops.

Although I was not yet born when this story was written, the depiction of life at a small town New Zealand beach, along with army life, made for a lovely read in a setting I was very familiar with.  I love how books can take you away to somewhere you have never been… but then books can also bring you back to places which are instantly recognizable.  The story brings to life the horrors of the controversial Vietnam war, whose effects are still being felt by returned servicemen today.

Brungar manages to capture the very essence of life during the Vietnam war years.  These years brought on so many changes in New Zealand society and must have been a very exciting time to be a young person, despite the presence of the war. I found this book a little slow to get into, and almost gave up.. but then it drew me in, and I was hooked.




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