The Fourteenth of September by Rita Dragonette
The Fourteenth of September is an absolutely remarkable historical fiction read. I fell completely in love with Judy as she embarks on her journey in the anti-Vietnam War movement. A book with a smart, strong and female lead character is something that I cannot get enough of.
Rita Dragonette has done amazing work creating the tension of the era and portraying it on the page for the reader. I felt transported into this period, and truthfully it ended up with me doing hours of additional research about that time - I find it so fascinating. I love Rita's writing style, which made it so easy for me to become fully absorbed in this story, the characters and the sense of suspense that builds from the very first page.
I spent the entire book rooting for Judy as she discovers exactly who she is, even in the face of what that might cost her. This was a book that resonated with me as a woman.
This is one that the reader truly deserves to devour themselves, without spoilers, as this is a wonderful story. A strong contender for one of my all time favorite historical reads.
On September 14, 1969, Private First Class Judy Talton celebrates her nineteenth birthday by secretly joining the campus anti-Vietnam War movement. In doing so, she jeopardizes both the army scholarship that will secure her future and her relationship with her military family. But Judy’s doubts have escalated with the travesties of the war. Who is she if she stays in the army? What is she if she leaves?
When the first date pulled in the Draft Lottery turns up as her birthday, she realizes that if she were a man, she’d have been Number One—off to Vietnam with an under-fire life expectancy of six seconds. The stakes become clear, propelling her toward a life-altering choice as fateful as that of any draftee.
The Fourteenth of September portrays a pivotal time at the peak of the Vietnam War through the rare perspective of a young woman, tracing her path of self-discovery and a “Coming of Conscience.” Judy’s story speaks to the poignant clash of young adulthood, early feminism, and war, offering an ageless inquiry into the domestic politics of protest when the world stops making sense.