Desolation Row

Desolation Row

by Kay Kendall

Paperback

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985994211
Publisher: The Armchair Adventurer
Publication date: 03/05/2013
Pages: 258
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.58(d)

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Desolation Row 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Storytellermary More than 1 year ago
I tried so hard to sleep last night, but kept getting up to read more of Kay Kendall's DESOLATION ROW. It resonates powerfully in these troubled times, reminding me of friends in Canada keeping guest rooms at the ready. I found Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” on YouTube, a version with Spanish subtitles, a reminder that there is also refuge to the south. A friend who was a young woman in Germany after WWII told me that there are so many single women in my age group because, "You sent your husbands to Vietnam." So much loss, so much damage . . . . It's becoming a timely book, unfortunately, but it’s good that the book is ready to help us through tough times. Bits/bytes of take-away wisdom . . . Often thinking this: “Damn it! When will there be women leaders who’ll stop these dumb wars? War is nothing but senseless waste and tragedy.” “the damage that war does, even to people who never fight a battle.” Still pondering this line, thinking I may have missed some lessons along the way: She deployed the heavy feminine artillery traditionally used in campaigns to win husbands . . . Warning I’ve heard elsewhere, including self-defense classes: Good manners could lead to servility, into not standing up for your own best interests. The past was set in stone, the future was framed by hope and possibility . . .
teachlz More than 1 year ago
MY REVIEW OF “DESOLATION ROW’ by Kay Kendall I have to blame author Kay Kendall, author of ” DESOLATION ROW’ for the sleepless night I had, so that I could finish reading her novel. I just couldn’t stop reading until I discovered “Who Did It?” so to speak. The genres for “DESOLATION ROW’ are Mystery, Fiction, and in my opinion, Historical Fiction. This novel brought me back to the end of the sixties, and reminded me of so many things. The year is 1968, and you are living in a foreign country that is supposed to be friendly to Americans. Although the times are turbulent and there is a lot of tension. Many American citizens have come to Canada as Draft Resistors for different reasons. Even within the resistors are factions that are split on how to handle the protests. The war in Vietnam is not like any war in history. Then you have a different political agenda, that of older men that fought during World War Two, and were proud to fight for America. Now, can you imagine that your nerdy, kind, gentle husband is arrested on suspicion of murder? You really can’t afford an attorney. You don’t have much of a support system. Your parents are in Texas, and not pleased at all that you left with your husband to go to Canada. Well, meet Austin Starr, a 22 young married student who came to Canada with her husband, who was her college boyfriend. Austin seems to have a major problem. The author describes the characters as complex and complicated. Some characters are angry, unbalanced, jealous, have strong convictions, and some characters have secrets important to protect. There are a number of characters who could be suspect in murdering a Draft Resistor that was not really well liked. What is the motivation and why? Austin turns to her Russian Professor and his daughter for help in finding who the “real killer is. Visiting her husband in the desolate jail spurs her on to look for clues.There are twists and turns and threats and danger. Then there is another murder. I appreciate the way Kay Kendall describes the history, the characters, and the intriguing plot. Having lived during this era, I felt like I was revisiting the past. There is the discussion of corrupt politicians, and the upcoming election, when Richard Nixon was running for president. The author also discusses how any war changes the lives of the people who come home and their families. To quote Kay Kendall,” While the past was set in stone the future was framed by hope and possibility.” The author describes the importance of family, peace love, hope and faith. I really tried to follow the clues, but I was surprised to find who the murderer is. I highly recommend this intriguing and thought-provoking novel for readers who have a passion for life in the sixties and for anyone who loves a mystery with suspense and intrigue. I received a copy for my honest opinion.
MikiHope More than 1 year ago
Back in the Vietnam War Era (and yes it was a war-no matter that the powers that be never declared it as such) many young Americans left for Canada to avoid the draft, never knowing whether they would ever be able to walk on American soil again. It was a tumultuous time. Bob Dylan wrote a song called Desolation Row back then-the words to that song can be found here . None of the guys I knew ever went to Canada-some went to Vietnam and came back but were never the same, others didn't make it back. Some were just plain lucky and their number never came up. This is the story of a young couple who went to Canada as graduate students before his number came up, knowing they would never return. The young man got involved in the anti war movement with other ex-patriots. Then the unthinkable happened--one of the movements leaders was murdered and the young man was accused of it and sent to jail. Austin, his wife knows he is innocent and goes about proving it--collecting facts and very interesting people along the way. I have to admit I was caught off guard until the killer's identity was revealed! This is the first book in the Austin Starr mysteries and I really want to know where this series is headed. 5 Star for this authors first book!
MaryAnn_Koopmann More than 1 year ago
A smart mystery … The clever structure, remarkable dialog, and subplots result in a wholly satisfying read. Packs a considerable punch. … Readers will look forward to seeing more of Kendall, with her formidable intellect, tart sense of humor, and resolute sense of justice. Unexpectedly magnificent. The author has written a story that engages you in the characters first and the mystery is the subplot. This is a mystery wrapped up in a very heartfelt story driven by wonderful characters. I didn't want to do anything but keep reading. Kendall really knows how to weave a story together and keep the reader entertained and curious about the final outcome. I think this writer is exceptional. The book is clean as well as entertaining. Kay Kendall is a writer to watch. I highly recommend it.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Austin Starr’s husband David is a “draft dodger” (term used for those without refused to fight in the Vietnam War) and has taken her to live in Canada where they are both pursuing academic careers.  Austin isn’t completely happy there, is rather homesick and finds the culture in Canada very different from America.  Things are about to get even more difficult for her and her husband.  Even though they’re living outside America, they are still part of the protest movement which is actually picking up steam in both countries.  Murder suddenly alters their world! One of the protest leaders, Reginald Simpson, the son of an American Senator, has been great for the movement but has earned a few enemies as well.  When Austin one night stumbles over his dead body, she is totally traumatized but quickly has to recover when David is accused of the murder.  Having spent some brief time being trained to work for the CIA, albeit never pursuing that career, she knows with every fiber of her being that David is innocent and sets her course to find the killer.  This drive doesn’t exactly endear her to the Canadian Mounties, who don’t know about her background and see her as meddlesome.  However, she does make a somewhat strange semi-friendship with one of the officers and manages to share her findings with him. At the same time she comes under the protection of her university mentor, a Professor of Russian history, and his daughter.  They help her examine her questions: Who hated Reg so much to kill him?  Why was Reg so out of sync with his father and why is there something shady about Reg’s father?  What’s the difference between hating the system that turns to war in times of conflict and just not wanting to fight in a war?  Other questions appear on so many pages but the most important is who is now threatening Austin? The ending will be quite a surprise and another point of view that really most will realize we don’t think of too often.  Desolation Row is a good read, an engaging mystery, and a satire of the anti-war movement in some ways.  Interesting read!