Oconee Spirit Press has been releasing Carolyn Hart's backlist. And, Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to discuss a young adult novel she wrote in 1970, No Easy Answers. It's about a time period when there were no easy answers about patriotism, war and peace. It's a novel of suspense set in the Vietnam era.
Bart Hastings was born in a military family. Even though his father was a Colonel, in line to be promoted to Brigadier General, Bart wasn't sure he believed in war and military service after his brother was killed in Vietnam. In fact, he and Nancy, the general's daughter, were attacked in the middle of a peace march. But, the beating he received wasn't the worst thing that would happen to Bart that night. After arriving home and fighting with his mother about the government's attempt to make Americans fear a Red Threat and Communism, he and his mother were horrified to find military police on the doorstep, saying the Colonel was under suspicion of selling a secret weapon to the enemy. Now, despite his dislike of the military, Bart was determined to do everything he could to prove his father was framed.
In a desperate search for the truth, Bart and Nancy hatched a plan to investigate the other men who could have been responsible for the theft. While searching for clues, Bart's conversations with a priest and the general help him realize he doesn't have all the answers to the state of the country. There are discussions of law and military service, issues that aren't just black and white. And, there's a young man as confused about Vietnam as others were then.
Carolyn Hart doesn't provide answers. She offers opinions on both sides in this riveting story of suspense and espionage. And, Bart Hastings comes to realize there really were No Easy Answers to the conflict the country was going through. But, it took good men to try to help the U.S. get through it, just as it was going to take a determined young man to find answers that would keep his father out of prison.
Carolyn Hart's website is www.carolynhart.com
No Easy Answers by Carolyn Hart. Oconee Spirit Press. 1970, 2013. ISBN 9780983004080 (paperback), 153p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.