24 October 2011

All The Flowers, Book review

Book description:

Teri Ryan, a talented young singer with unshakable faith, opposes the Vietnam War on moral grounds as a member of her college’s chapter of the Catholic Peace Fellowship during the late 1960s. Her mission becomes personal when she tries to stop her twin brother from dropping out of college and joining the army to prove his manhood to their father. Supported by a pianist who has fallen in love with her, she struggles to maintain her nonviolent approach, but she is tempted to abandon it by the government’s violent actions against peaceful student demonstrators. In a dramatic climax her faith is put to the ultimate test.

My review:

Remember the words of 'Oh Danny Boy'?

'And when you come, and all the flowers are dying,
If I am dead, as dead I well may be In ',
You'll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an Ave there for me."

In 'All the Flowers' Tom Milton shows readers there are many facets to any beliefs and you never know how you will react faced with circumstances such as the ones he skilfully describes!

I was a preteen living on another continent during the Vietnam war and whilst such periodicals as Paris Match and Life magazine clearly showed the horror of this war, it also reminded people of the courage of the countless soldiers who fought for this cause and died...
Many will offer their opinions on whom, what, where, when, how and why...It happened, right or wrong...
Let's just agree this was a very different war and it was fought on campuses as well as battlefields.

In his novel Tom Milton speaks of Kent State and Jackson State University shootings, of the undaunted convictions of young people who stood by their beliefs, Christians and atheists, of politicians with agendas, of victims whose only crime were to be at the wrong place at the wrong time...
With undeniable writing talent, this author weaves a magnificent story inter paced with actual facts and powerful words spoken on inauguration day...

'The greatest honour history can bestow is the title of peacemaker. This honour now beckons America - the chance to help lead the world at last out of the valley of turmoil, and onto that high ground of peace that man has dreamed since the dawn of civilization.'

'We see the hope of tomorrow in the youth of today. I know America's youth. I believe in them. We can be proud that they are better educated, more committed, more passionately driven by conscience than any generation in our history.'

'We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another - until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices. For its part, government will listen.'

'Let us take as our goal: where peace is unknown, make it welcome; where peace is fragile, make it strong; where peace is temporary, make it permanent.'

'The peace we seek to win is not victory over any other people, but the peace that comes with 'healing in its wings'; with compassion for those who have suffered; with understanding for those who have opposed us; with the opportunity for all the people of this earth to choose their own destiny.'

'All the Flowers' is amazingly a story which reflects actuality yet it almost seems to have happen so long ago.
The Catholic beliefs reflected in this novel are the ones I believe into and I hope that in the circumstances I would have had no compulsion to join the students who protested such a violent conflict.
I was too young but not unaware. 
I also come from a military family so in the words of General MacArthur
'Duty, Honour and Country - those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you want to be, what you can be, what you will be.' 

'All the Flowers' is a story so real you will cheer, laugh and cry... You will either remember or discover an era you knew very little about but you will never forget! 
It is worth reading, and reading again!
A riveting novel! I shall now describe myself as a fan of Mr. Milton's work!

Note: I will caution however there are a few instances of profanity, thus making it more appropriate for mature readers.
I give it 5 stars 

I received this book free from BOOKCRASH as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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