What Are You Reading?: Heidi Warren
What book are you reading currently? (don’t worry—no spoilers!)
The Secret of Raven Point
By Jennifer Vanderbes
“The Secret of Raven Point” follows the story of Juliet Dufresne, from South Carolina, who enlists as an army nurse during World War II. She lies about her age to be shipped out early, hoping to find her brother Tuck, who went missing in Italy. While serving, she becomes an assistant to a doctor treating the then little-understood condition of battle fatigue.
What has been your favorite thing about the book?
My favorite thing, while gruesome and heartbreaking, is how the war is represented. Vanderbes does not shy away from showing the chaos of war and how overwhelming and unfair it can be. She can also raise more questions than answers in her narrative. While many people find that to be frustrating, it reminds me of how in war, not everything makes sense, not all questions are answered tied up with a bow.
How has this book challenged you?
This book never flinches from the physical emotional, or mental destruction of war on soldiers, doctors, nurses, and civilians. I found myself thinking of the pain from these books played out during 2018. People going missing, friends dying, lovers who will never see each other again. I find it beneficial to read books that make us think about situations we are unfamiliar with ourselves.
Do you relate to any of the characters/if so why?
Can I be a mix of two characters? No? I’m going to anyway.
I saw parts of myself in Juliet. Growing up in a small town, her longing and desire to find her missing brother, and despite her naivete, her adaptability and persistence to rise to the occasion.
However, I also could closely identify with the constant humor-in-the-face-of-darkness and joy that radiated from fellow nurse, Glenda. Any character from my home state of Texas always gets some brownie points, and Glenda was the self-appointed jewel of the hospital. Always welcoming, loving, and trying to spread joy.
Would you recommend this to your friends?
Absolutely. Please don’t let my descriptions of the hardship of this book deter you! You will laugh and cry while being held captive by the mystery of this tale.