Through one brother’s narration and another’s letters from Vietnam, Craig Crist-Evans offers a moving story of two brothers separated, yet forever connected, by the devastation of war.
"We had just passed the Amaryllis when, out of the blue, Dad asked, 'Do you miss your brother?' He sounded choked up, and that surprised me. I wanted to tell him that it scared me, that Frank was who I talked to when things were bad, that I couldn’t imagine my brother lugging an M-16 into some swampy distance with a bunch of other boys his age.... "I don’t think about it much,' I said."
Amaryllis. It was the name of the ship that ran aground on Singer Island, Florida, during a hurricane in 1965. It became a battle cry for Jimmy Staples and his older brother, Frank, and a code word for going surfing together. But now that 18-year-old Frank is off battling the enemy (and his own addictive demons) in Vietnam, and 15-year-old Jimmy is left to deal with the repercussions at home, "Amaryllis" takes on an ominous new meaning - a symbol of what happens when life places the unexpected in our paths.
Craig Crist-Evans has written a wrenching novel of a family whose internal battles chase one son away - into the clutches of a war and an enemy he could never have imagined. Told both from a soldier’s view and by the brother he leaves behind, Amaryllis is an ideal choice for students learning about the Vietnam era, or for any reader curious about the reality of war.
©2003 Craig Crist-Evans (P)2012 Listening Library
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