Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
“The first thing they teach you in the army is how to make a bed—a lot of good that is doing me now. You can’t make a bed if someone else is in it.” These are the first words that stuck in my mind when I started reading Firebase: A Novel of Wartime Vietnam Suspense and Romance by Mark Anthony Sullivan, a gripping story whose entertainment comes through the perfect blend of romance and suspense. Written by a Vietnam veteran, this novel is a story of long-distance relationships, of longing, and war. Follow Army Specialist Mike Ward who has to leave his girlfriend back home and Law School, not in the best circumstances, and is stationed at a forward artillery firebase in Vietnam. Now, miles and miles away from the love of his life, can he keep the flame burning and the hope steadfast?
Only someone who has known the pain and sufferings of war can write such a spellbinding war novel. The war experience of the protagonist comes across the writing succinctly and from the very first page, there is no doubt that the author has lived the experiences described in the story. The setting is international and the reader vacillates between two worlds. At a time when social media wasn’t yet part of the day-to-day lifestyle of many, communicating through letter writing must have been very challenging with the long wait for replies and information. But that is the only link Mike has with his loved ones at home. Mark Anthony Sullivan has a gift for prose and epistolary and the depth of his characters comes across beautifully in the letters. Firebase: A Novel of Wartime Vietnam Suspense and Romance is suspenseful, entertaining, and not-easy-to-put-down.