Customer Reviews for

She Was

Average Rating 5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2008

    Good Book Club Read

    Our book club REALLY enjoyed this book. We rarely discuss a book as long as we did this one. We never seemed to run out of things to talk about. Not only did we discuss what the characters did in the book, but we tried to delve deeper into their lives. Its a GREAT book for a book club with member of all ages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2008

    Page Turner

    Janis Hallowell has written an engrossing story of a student revolutionary in the early 70s while a student at Berkeley who gets caught up in a violent act of terrorism. She goes underground and spends decades living a bourgeois lifestyle as a dentist with a family. Then she is discovered by a fellow revolutionary from the old days and we follow her mental anguish as she tries to hide her past from her family as well as from the FBI. The novel teaches us so much about the revolutionaries of the late 60s and early 70s. It helps us understand how somebody can change identities (SHE WAS IS THE TITLE) and yet maintain ideals. She Was immersed me in the life of a family for over a week while reading it. I loved the novel. Hallowell has obviously done her research on the anti-war movement of the period.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2008

    Go Get This Book

    SHE WAS Hallowell is a deft craftswoman, and her novel, an absolutely must read, is a masterful braiding of two counterpoint stories: Doreen the passionate anti-Vietnam war Weather Underground activist who plants a bomb that inadvertently kills a man, and her brother Adam, who serves in that war only to prove to their father that he¿s not a coward¿neither realizing that their choice will have unintended repercussions which will dictate the shape of their lives. Vietnam wasn¿t the front line for freedom, Adam realizes, or the thumb in the dike of communism, or any of that bullshit. Once you¿d been in-country for a week or two you realized that in Vietnam there weren¿t any fronts. The only reason you had a gun and were humping those hills for gooks was because Command wished it. And the only way you were going to survive it was to do whatever you had to do and stay as high as possible. The portrait of Adam, who in the war¿s aftermath, is a walking casualty 'MS ironically renders him mostly immobile', is riveting, and his honoring of the Vietnamese monks who burned themselves in protest against the war is deeply affecting. The contrasting, counterpoint and back-and-forth between these two story lines is a brilliant move, in which we see the horrific and senseless violence of the war which Doreen in her youthful idealism hoped to prevent. The contrast skyrockets after the war when Adam comes out of the closet and lives his homosexuality honestly and openly, while Doreen, who deeply regrets the death she caused, chooses to go underground and live a lie¿hiding her true identity and constructing a good citizen¿s productive life as a dentist, a life which is as resoundingly false as it is real. Hallowell is a master of characterization, setting and plot¿all those elements with which one builds a novel, and the contrasting counterpoint and reverse parallelism in the book¿s structure is more than compelling¿this is a book that keeps you up at night, reading on and on! Go get it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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