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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
Dorothy Kozeny, grieving for her son who died in Vietnam, is shocked when she receives a mysterious letter stating the ashes the military sent her may not be Andrew’s. Her investigation confirms this, but the military bureaucrats are tight-lipped. Dorothy decides to go to Laos to unearth the truth. Kampeng, a guide, takes Dorothy on an unforgettable journey filled with trepidation as the country experiences political unrest, but also excitement at being exposed to a new culture. She finds items belonging to Andrew at a Buddhist shrine, and natives tell her a powerful man known as Chao Baa may have the information she needs. Dorothy learns that Chao Baa is the alias for an American, Richard Johnson. But Chao Baa has no interest in meeting anyone from the past, much to Dorothy’s disappointment. How can she release the grief when no one gives the answers to solve Andrew’s death? The Plain of Jars is written by N. Lombardi, Jr.
The Plain of Jars is an engaging action adventure novel. N.Lombardi Jr. combined historical facts and fiction very nicely. It was a great way for me to learn more about the Vietnam war and how it affected both countries. The author expounded on this through the characters and intense writing. I thought he succeeded in displaying the actions and emotions of everyone, especially Dorothy. This enabled me to feel them too, and appreciate the intriguing twists and good ending. Although the story was lengthy, it was enjoyable and worth reading.