Friday, March 16, 2007

THE TIME IN BETWEEN (2005) by David Bergen

Bergen's novel travels from the interior of BC to Vietnam and back and insists that the reader takes that journey eavesdropping alongside Charles Boatman and two of his children Ada and Jon.

Boatman raised his three children on his own when his estranged wife is killed in an accident. And, though he insists that he is a man incapable of love, he manages to show real love towards Ada, Jon and Del. Charles is haunted by his past. Specifically by his active duty in Vietnam where he served with other eighteen year olds and bore witness to the slaughter of innocent Vietnamese.

When his children are adults getting on with their own lives, Charles decides to visit Vietnam to try to put some of his personal ghosts to rest. And, when he loses contact with his children, two of them follow in his footsteps determined to peel away the layers of secrecy in his complicated life.

Bergen's prose is strong, spare and rhythmic. And, boy does he know how to tell a compelling story.

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