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Summary The Healer's War ´ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ´ Although perhaps best known for her lightly humorous fantasies and for her collaborations with Anne McCaffrey on the Petaybee series and the Acorna series Elizabeth Anne Scarborough has also written Healer's War a classic novel of the Vietnam War enriched with a magical mystIous and inexplicable properties of an amulet given to her by one of her patients an elderly dying Vietnamese holy man which allows her to see other people's auras and to understand about them as a result This eventually leads to a strange almost surrealistic journey through the jungle accompanied by a one legged boy and a battle seasoned but crazed soldier and by the end of the journey McCulley has found herself and a way to live and survive through the madness and destruction. This won the Nebula in 1989 On the one hand I can see why but on the other hand I'm left scratching my head a bit It's an often grim and brutal portrait of the reality of the Vietnam War and it has a ring of authenticity given that Scarborough was herself an army nurse there The fantasy component an amulet is almost incidental to the essentials of the story That's the part that makes me scratch my head about the award this is barely a fantasy at allAs you might expect from a realistic war story few people here are all bad or all good including the bad guys with one exception near the end One surgeon is a virulent racist but a kind and dedicated doctor to the American wounded; the narrator herself cares deeply for her Vietnamese patients but is shallow and self centered in other ways; a Viet Cong colonel is a barbaric warrior but also intelligent and rational and so on And as you might also expect from a Vietnam story there is no happy ever after and no tidily tied up plot threads During the course of the book the first person narrator moves from completely overwhelmed to competent caregiver to head nurse to the depths of hopelessness and desperation to prolonged shellshock and betrayal to a dawning awareness that life continues the pieces need to be picked up and she can help with the healing process No tidy story arc hereOver all this is a moving and gripping account And though the fantastical elements were a distraction at times I can see that Scarborough was using them as a vehicle to think about empathy interpersonal connections and understanding possibilities for healing and so on a physical manifestation of the need to reach out and cross boundaries So the amulet and its conseuences did have a placeAs for the narrator this was narrated by Robin Miles an excellent narrator who has done a boatload of books The use of Miles is interesting in and of itself in fact You see Miles is black but neither the author nor the MC are Miles has narrated a lot of black books black authors andor MCs and I've previously enjoyed books she's done for NK Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor But you would never guess her race here except possibly for her authentic portrayal of a black Southern soldier in the later parts of the book So am I being racist to even notice that she is black Is it a hopeful sign that a black person is narrating a non black book What if a white person narrated a black book Why do we even still care these days Things to ponder in our unsettled age

Download å eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

Although perhaps best known for her lightly humorous fantasies and for her collaborations with Anne McCaffrey on the Petaybee series and the Acorna series Elizabeth Anne Scarborough has also written Healer's War a classic novel of the Vietnam War enriched with a magical mystical twist which won the 1989 Nebula Award for Best Novel of 1988 The Minneapolis Star Tribune called it A brutal and beautiful book Scarborough herself was a nurse in Vietnam during the war and she draws on. Elizabeth Ann Scarborough first known to me as the author of bawdy funny fantasy was a nurse durse the American war in Vietnam THE HEALER'S WAR is what came of her time there and it is every bit as gut wrenching and real a Vietnam memoir as the best of the other Vietnam books I've read Tim O'Brien's THE THINGS THEY CARRIED and LOOKING FOR CACCIATO Jim Webb's FIELDS OF FIRE Lynda Van Devanter's HOME BEFORE MORNING and Michael Herr's DISPATCHERS There is a fantasy element to HEALER'S WAR one that is passed to the nurse hero by a Vietnamese hero that helps her to survive but for the most part it is a learning device for the nurse as she allows herself to think about the things she sees She is a very real young woman as are the men and women she encounters military and civilian American and Vietnamese alike No one gets off the hook hereAnyone who is having trouble understanding their own war or their own veterans could do a lot worse than reading this book as a way into this bleak country Scarborough is a kindly guide but she doesn't lie to you

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough ✓ 8 characters

The Healer's WarHer own personal experiences to create the central character Lt Kitty McCulley McCulley a young and inexperienced nurse tossed into a stressful and chaotic situation is having a difficult time reconciling her duty to help and heal with the indifference and overt racism of some of her colleagues and with the horrendously damaged soldiers and Vietnamese civilians whom she encounters during her service at the China Beach medical facilities She is unexpectedly helped by the myster. Still we spent most of our beer drinking time talking about the book so I'll count it as a win And one thing that kept coming up for both my husband and I was that this really wasn't a fantasy Yes there's an amulet in the book with a few magic powers but it's in some ways such a minor part of a straight forward Vietnam novel The most magical power it seems to have other than you know healing is as a plot pass to get a white woman in among the Vietnamese people and then the Viet Cong without long term injuryNote The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision hereIn the meantime you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook