Rita Dragonette, the author of “The Fourteenth of September” writes a memorable, thought-provoking, captivating and intriguing novel. The genres for this novel are fiction and historical fiction. The timeline for this story takes place during the Vietnam War. The author describes her dramatic characters as complex and complicated. I appreciate the author’s vivid descriptions of the college life and events in this story. The adversities and frustrations during this turbulent time brought protests and many conflicting protests.
Judy Talton is 19 years old on September 14, 1969. In order to be able to afford college, Judy has been saving money for years, and is encouraged by her military mother to apply for a ROTC scholarship to become a nurse. Judy does make it to college, but becomes obsessed with a group of protesters against the Vietnam War. By joining the activities of this group, Judy not only could lose her scholarship, but could be considered AWOL.
There will be a lottery drawn, and young men will be drafted into the army that get the lowest numbers by their birthday. Judy realizes the date drawn is her birthday, which is number one, and if she were a man, she would be the first to go to Vietnam. Question of conscience, the meaning of war, the right to choose, and women vs. men’s rights are discussed in this story.
I remember many of the songs that the author mentions of that time, and I do remember how conflicted young men felt, as did their families and significant others. I remember the college protests and the National Guard getting involved. What a tragic time in history. I would highly recommend this significant and thought-provoking story.