Soldier's Joy - Madison Smartt Bell

Soldier's Joy

By Madison Smartt Bell

  • Release Date: 2011-12-06
  • Genre: Literary
Soldier's Joy book review score

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Soldier's Joy Madison Smartt Bell Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

A Vietnam vet returns to rural Tennessee in this acclaimed novel from the National Book Award–nominated author of Save Me, Joe Louis.
 
After the horrors of Vietnam, Thomas Laidlaw returns to his home in rural Tennessee where he spends his days raising sheep and growing vegetables. At night he likes to roam the quiet countryside and practice his banjo, revelling in the roots music he finds so grounding. Over time, he resumes his friendship with Rodney Redmon, a fellow vet and childhood friend scarred not only by the wages of war, but also by the deep wounds of racism.
 
As the two friends piece together a new life as civilians, they also piece together a band with the addition of a fiddler. Through a masterful accumulation of details, Bell brings his story to a fever pitch, concluding in “an unexpected, if powerful, finale” (Publishers Weekly). “This important, insightful novel” (Library Journal) proves once again that “every sentence [Bell] writes is a joy. His power is exhilarating” (The New Yorker).
 
Bell’s impressive talents as a writer, which include endowing settings with the significance of character, and a patient, compassionate probing of injured souls, are on full display.” —Publishers Weekly

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