Sunday, January 11, 2015
A Bowl of Rice by Joan Leotta
Anna Maria O'Shea became a nurse to continue her family's Legacy of Honor.
In choosing to stick to her commitment to service she loses her long-time college love, but finds the pain of war is stronger than her private heartache.
Is Mark, the handsome physician, the balm her soul needs? Or is it George who will heal her wounds with a love that transcends war and the pain she sees all around her?
Review by Rochelle Weber:
It’s difficult for me to see this book as an historical romance. The Viet Nam conflict history? No, it’s not—it’s my youth! But, while overall A Bowl of Rice was a pretty good read, it had a moment that reminded me why I’m not a fan of historical romance. Anomalies. It was just a slip, but it was a glaring one to me. When Anna Maria and her roommate decide to go swimming on their day off, they meet George. He welcomes them to the beach using the Vietnamese name and then says, “The Americans call it China Beach, like the TV show.” Screech! Stop the action! Let’s see…A Bowl of Rice takes place when? Go back to the beginning and check the date—1971. Hmm, Anna Maria and I both joined the military the same year. Google China Beach the TV show. I’m fairly sure it was sometime in the early nineties. Oh, 1988—the year I got my degree. Grrr… Big anomaly. Pet peeve.
The other thing that slowed the action was the rhetoric. Anna Marie told just about everyone she spoke with that while she didn’t exactly agree with why we were in Viet Nam, she believed we should support the young men who were fighting because they hadn’t asked to go over there, and they were getting shot up and suffering. Besides, her father, grandfather, uncles, etc. had all served in the military, and she felt she had to live up to her family’s Legacy of Honor. First, I felt the rhetoric slowed the action, and second, I felt she’d done enough to advertise the rest of the series after about the third time she mentioned it.
I’ve since corresponded with Ms. Leona, and I mentioned some of these concerns. She told me that she wasn’t trying to hype the series, just tie the books together, thanked me for my input, and asked me to become a beta reader for future books, so this is the last one I’ll be reviewing. And, she thanked me for pointing out the glitch about the TV anomaly. I’m surprised her editor didn’t catch these things.
Length: 104 Pages
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Thanks for visiting. Rose, Julie, Donna, & Rochelle