Home Before Morning

By Lynda Van Devanter,

Book cover of Home Before Morning: The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam

Book description

Lynda Van Devanter was the girl next door, the cheerleader who went to Catholic schools, enjoyed sports, and got along well with her four sisters and parents. After high school she attended nursing school and then did something that would shatter her secure world for the rest of her life:…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Home Before Morning as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I’m going to jump historical genres slightly and recommend Lynda Van Devanter’s Vietnam memoir which reads like historical fiction and is every bit as engaging as the great novels and memoirs of the Vietnam War written by such men as Robert Stone, Larry Heinemann, Michael Herr, Tim O’Brien, Philip Caputo, and Karl Marlantes. As an Army nurse, Devanter gave it her all to save others. This book is her effort to learn to live with what she witnessed in Vietnam, to get the truth down as honestly as she can by using all the narrative techniques of the novelist. Of…

In the late eighties and early nineties, there was a TV series that ran for about four years based on this book, and it was called China Beach. The show always opened with the Supremes hit from 1967 Reflections:

“Oh, I'm all alone now
No love to shield me
Trapped in a world
That's a distorted reality...”

Lynda’s story is one of courage in the worst possible circumstances, the ill-equipped and understaffed operating room in the '71st Evac' (the busy 71st Evacuation Hospital in the Pleiku Province of central Vietnam). Lynda gallantly performed jill-of-all-trades work on wounded and maimed military…

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