Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
Deanna Lynn Sletten’s Night Music is a story of hearts divided. Joseph Russo is a soldier in Vietnam. He becomes pen pals with a girl named Charlotte. Char writes to Joe about Grand Falls, her small hometown in Illinois. Joe clings to those letters, they become his lifeline. Char’s words speak of a life he longs to live. After Joe is medically discharged, he heads to Grand Falls, IL to attend the university there. Joe is given a second chance at life and he doesn’t plan to take it for granted. Much to his surprise, Charlotte is in his English Literature class. Joe and Char become friends; their casual friendship could grow into romance except for Deke. Deke is Charlotte’s boyfriend. Deke boldly speaks out against the war in Vietnam. Patriotism and love are tested as Joe, Charlotte and Deke march into their futures. Who will be marching hand in hand when the future unfolds?
Night Music by Deanna Lynn Sletten is a story of war and peace. Sletten’s story is a patchwork quilt. Each square represents a thought, a place, a memory, and a portion of 1970s Americana. The title of the book is the central focus of the narrative. When the nocturnal birds chirp, and the crickets and frogs join in, a calming melody is performed. “All was safe as long as the night music played on.” Sletten’s cast of characters is as diverse as the time period. The Vietnam era challenged the values of our country. The central characters are bold and courageous as they seek out their place in the world. They desire to make a difference, and to discover meaning, but at what cost? The conflict is real and heartfelt – war versus peace. Each character searches for answers to Vietnam, only to realize in the end that there were none. Night Music is a story of love discovered within the chaos of war. Beautifully written, not easily forgotten.