The sub-title for The Five O'Clock Follies is: What's a Woman Doing Here, Anyway? Well, that was intriguing to me. Theasa Tuohy's book is a "novel of the press in Vietnam." That, also, caught my attention since Vietnam had such an impact on our country. It's already gotten good reviews from well-known authors, as well as Kirkus. Here's my take on it.
I liked it.
It kept me turning pages. The main character, Angela, arrives in Vietnam, determined to cover the war. She has no paper behind her. But Angela is determined and strong and resourceful. She is also a freelancer who steps into a raging war where the male reporters are not exactly happy about her arrival.
What, for me, made this such a good book is that the author, Tuohy, focuses on the people, not the war, although the war rages and motivates the characters. It is the characters who carry the story. Their dedication to covering the truth, their emotions and feelings, their decisions and determination. There's even room for a bit of romance in the midst of war.
The author, Theasa Tuohy, has worked for the Associated Press, as well as five daily newspapers. She is able to bring the war to the reader's doorstep. The Vietnam war is no longer history. There are scenes that will stick with you, whether you want them to or not. But it's not all war. When not out in the war zone, reporters have down time -- and Tuohy includes those scenes as well. We come to know the characters. They come to life in our heads. They stick with you after you put the book down.
The book also includes some pictures from the Vietnam war. The Five O'Clock Follies is based on reality but it is fiction with legs. It'll keep you running from one page to the next.
I give The Five O'Clock Follies a rating of Hel-of-a-Time.
Disclaimer: The Five O'Clock Follies was sent to me the Meryl Zegarek Public Relations Company. That did not influence my review. Even if you lived during the time of the Vietnam War, unless you were fighting there or reporting from there, you didn't have the perspective Tuohy presents here in this fiction book. The book is set there … in the war zone. It doesn't even refer to the protests or arguments raging here in the States. It shows this time from the reporters' POV, there, in the chaos and hell. And that's why I gave it a rating of Hel-of-a-Time.