Finding Pete: Rediscovering the Brother I Lost in Vietnam [NOOK Book]

Overview

Two days after Jill Hunting turned fifteen, she lost her only brother, a volunteer with International Voluntary Services and one of the first civilian casualties of the Vietnam War. News broadcasts and headlines announced to the world that Pete had been led into an ambush by friends. When Jill’s mother told her that Pete’s letters home had all been destroyed in a basement flood, the connection between Jill and her brother was lost forever—or so she thought. Decades later, 175 letters surfaced. Through them, and ...

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Finding Pete: Rediscovering the Brother I Lost in Vietnam

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Overview

Two days after Jill Hunting turned fifteen, she lost her only brother, a volunteer with International Voluntary Services and one of the first civilian casualties of the Vietnam War. News broadcasts and headlines announced to the world that Pete had been led into an ambush by friends. When Jill’s mother told her that Pete’s letters home had all been destroyed in a basement flood, the connection between Jill and her brother was lost forever—or so she thought. Decades later, 175 letters surfaced. Through them, and the sweethearts and many friends who had never forgotten Pete, Jill came to know him again.

Finding Pete is one of the great, untold true stories of an escalating war and a young man caught in its sights. This personalized account of a critical moment in U.S. history is the moving story of an altruistic youth who personifies what America lost in Vietnam. It is also a portrait of a family’s struggle with loss, a mother’s damaging grief, and, most of all, a sister’s quest to solve a mystery and recover the connection with her brother. Includes a reader’s guide.

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What People Are Saying

Rachel DeWoskin
“Finding Pete is a beautifully written history—of loss, love, and redemption. It is the story not only of one family’s private tragedy, but also of the larger heartbreak of war. Hunting shows us that if we look carefully and lovingly enough, we can find not only what we’ve lost, but also ourselves—often in the most unexpected places.”
Laura Flynn
“Part memoir, part history, part biography, part travelogue, Jill Hunting’s Finding Pete provides a fascinating view into the early years of America’s war in Vietnam, and a reminder of how deeply this war and its losses continue to reverberate in the American psyche.”
David Haward Bain
“Jill Hunting’s story seized my heart. Her narrative of her lost brother is so urgent and compelling—a peacemaker sacrificed in an obscure corner of a terrible war; the mystery surrounding his death; the vacuum created in the life of his surviving sister, who grew up, a journalist, to explore that loss as no one else could; her courageous and dogged quest, which has produced this eloquent and unforgettable book.”
Rachel DeWoskin
"Finding Pete is a beautifully written history--of loss, love, and redemption. It is the story not only of one family's private tragedy, but also of the larger heartbreak of war. Hunting shows us that if we look carefully and lovingly enough, we can find not only what we've lost, but also ourselves--often in the most unexpected places."
Rachel DeWoskin, author of Foreign Babes in Beijing
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819570864
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 324
  • Sales rank: 568,687
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

JILL HUNTING is a writer, editor, and radio essayist. She proposed the Book of Remembrance, a sculpture honoring civilians killed in war, for the new headquarters of the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C. She lives in Sonoma, California.

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Table of Contents

Author’s Note
Map of South Vietnam
Prologue
The Brunt of It
“Kiss the Sisses Good-bye”
Sand between My Toes
“Just Heard over the Radio”
“A Peaceful Sleep Forever”
Mr. Tall American
“Never Very Good at the ‘Why’ ”
“At War in Another Year”
Trip to Vietnam
“A Promise Is a Promise”
“An Open Question”
“Too Much Talk about Danger”
Pete’s Long-Lost Letters Surface
Darkening Skies
“Here Come Blue Eyes!”
“A Wind-Blurred Far Away”
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index
Illustrations follow pages 80 and 224

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 4, 2009

    The story of an endearing young American who volunteered in Vietnam (non military) in a time of turnoil.

    I just finished "Finding Pete". As I read the last few pages I was in tears. I felt I had gotten to know Pete, to deeply respect him and to love his kindness, idealism, human qualities, and his continuous dedication toward helping others. Ms. Hunting has made Pete live; and I am moved and impressed with her accomplishment.

    The author gives the reader a fine background of Vietnam. I feel Vietnam is much more of a reality to me now. I loved the way she wrote a somewhat factual paragraph, and then lightened it with a very simple sentence that might be humorous, provocative, and always interesting. It gave strength to the paragraph, and also, often, to the paragraph following.

    I found the author's family and Pete's friends unusually interesting. By giving the reader this necessary background she helped "round" Pete's personality.

    I liked the author's honesty in discussing persons and places, and her nice sense of humor

    All in all, I am very impressed with this book. It is beautifully written, and I feel it has all the qualities of a best seller. I hope the publisher continues good advertising, and that all major newspapers review the book.

    Thanks to Ms. Hunting, Pete will live in my memory.

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