The Fourteenth of September

A Coming of Conscience Novel

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
376 Pages
Reviewed on 04/25/2020
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Author Biography

Rita Dragonette is a writer who, after spending nearly thirty years telling the stories of others as an award-winning public relations executive, has returned to her original creative path. The Fourteenth of September, her debut novel from She Writes Press, is based upon her personal experiences on campus during the Vietnam War. It has received the Best Book Award for Historical Fiction (finalist 2019) and Women’s Fiction (finalist 2019), National Indie Excellence Awards for New Fiction (2019) and Best Cover Design (2019), Beverly Hills Book Award for Women’s Fiction (2018), American Book Fest Fiction Awards for Literary Fiction (finalist 2018) and Best Cover Design (finalist 2018) and the Hollywood Book Festival (honorable mention 2018, general fiction). She is currently at work on three other books: an homage to The Sun Also Rises about expats chasing their last dream in San Miguel de Allende, a World War II novel based upon her interest in the impact of war on and through women, and a memoir in essays. She lives and writes in Chicago, where she also hosts literary salons to showcase authors and their new books to avid readers.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Fourteenth of September: A Coming of Conscience Novel is a work of fiction in the historical and cultural drama sub-genres, and was penned by author Rita Dragonette. Written for adult readers due to some sexual scenes and the use of explicit language, this thought-provoking novel possesses a unique perspective delivered during the historical peak of the Vietnam War. Our protagonist is Judy Talton, a Private First Class who realizes that the birthday draft would have meant her being sent to Vietnam if she had been a man. This sparks an incredible turning point for Judy in her attitude to war, the military, and the prospective future she has chosen, as well as the role of women in that future.

Author Rita Dragonette has crafted an intricate, emotive, political, and truly fascinating read which encompasses many different layers and is sure to give any fan of historical fiction a new and unique reading experience. Attention to detail in the historical period is evident through every page, especially in the formation of the social, cultural, and political attitudes which run rife in Judy’s college as the drama unfolds. There is a strong nostalgia in the word choice and framing of the dialogue, but a modern sense of emotional resonance to the struggle of being a woman at such a time, especially one headed for the military life. Overall, The Fourteenth of September: A Coming of Conscience Novel delivers on its promise as a compelling and original read about one of the most debated wars in modern history.