Dear Sergeant Fuller,You won’t know me for another two years,but I am your daughter. So begins a letter sent decades into the past, from a daughter searching for answers to a soldier serving in war-torn Vietnam, in this true story of service and sacrifice, love and redemption, and the power of forgiveness. A box with Love Letters from Vietnam etched on the lid waits buried in a closet, holding scrawled thoughts written on Air Force stationery from a passionate yet deeply flawed soldier stationed outside Da Nang to his young wife in east Texas. Years pass before a fateful, deadly winter night leads the soldier’s daughter, Jennifer, to open the box, read the letters, and answer her father back in time. She tucks her letters into a package with no address, because she no longer knows where to send them. Until she is sitting in a theater in Austin, Texas, at a performance by singer-songwriter Alex Woodard and hears him talk about writing songs inspired by letters. Her remarkable correspondence with her father takes Woodard on his first steps into the dichotomy between dark and light, as he imagines himself as Sergeant Fuller in Vietnam and begins to write songs sung from Fuller’s heart. Woodard’s quest to learn more about the man and the war he fights both in Vietnam and back at home evolves into an extraordinary journey, propelled by a companion album of songs that features Woodard as Sergeant Fuller and his friend Molly Jenson as Jennifer. Their voices carry the songs inspired by these beautiful, raw, revealing love letters not only sent from Vietnam, but as the story unfolds, beyond.
|Publisher:||Hay House Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
When he’s not surfing in a little beach town north of San Diego, ALEX WOODARD lives with a big dog and a bigger horse in the mountains of Idaho. For further info, visit www.AlexWoodard.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Inspiring Book! Alex Woodard is known for his heartfelt songs. People send him letters, and he writes poignant songs about them. Thus begins our story. Jennifer has kept a box of letters that her father wrote to her mother while he fought in Vietnam. Years after his return from Vietnam, he died a senseless and violent death. Jennifer had trouble making peace with the situation, so she began writing letters to her deceased father, herself. She had hoped that this would provide closure. When Jennifer saw Alex perform in east Texas, she knew Alex was the man she had to see. Maybe he would write a song for her. What really resulted was this book and an album of fourteen songs, which is included with the book. Interspersed with Jennifer’s story is a parallel story about our author, Alex, himself. He discusses the research that he did to find out and to try to understand what a soldier experienced when he returned home from Vietnam. Alex tried to better understand PTSD. In addition, he talks about the challenges in his own life at the time of the book’s writing, bringing all of these things together into a cohesive, beautiful, and expressive story. This book and the accompanying music is beautiful and really shows the reader the beauty of this simple, compassionate man’s soul. This is a book that cannot be missed. I received this beautiful book and the accompanying CD in exchange for an unbiased review.
I got an e-arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I started reading, and realized the words didn't really mean anything without listening to the songs. So I went to the author's website and listened to samples of the songs to get a feel for the melody and feel of the songs o keep in my mind as I read. The forward from Jennifer along with her first letter really reached out to leave a vice grip on my heart. I almost wish this book had been written by her instead of Woodard. That's not to say Woodard's writing isn't good. He's a far better songwriter, but his memoir writing skills are nothing to sneeze at. And while I don't know anyone who's been in a war (besides my grandfather, but he doesn't talk about it), I felt like I came to know Sergeant Fuller through his letters to his wife and the conversations in this book. A fantastic read for Memorial or Veteran's day, or anyone who appreciates nonfiction memoirs about love and bravery.