Reviews for The Box: A Memoir
Review by Tony Adams in Beaufort County Now:
Review Sent to Me:
I love your book. It is outstanding on so many levels. You intimately give the reader a glimpse into a family including their tragedy, their town and community as it existed in the past and currently, the Vietnam War and its impact on individuals and families here and in Vietnam, and so much more in a conversational style that drew me in with its whole-hearted warmth and compassion for every individual and culture. Your book illustrates beautifully how connected we (all the people in the world) are deeply connected, an idea that is so true, important and needed during these troubled times!!
Diana B. Atascadero, CA
Amazon.com Reviews (see more at amazon.com):
The book is a story about the author and her uncle growing up in the 50's and 60's and ultimately his death in Vietnam. It is well written by Lynne and draws a parallel between a Vietcong soldier that was in the same battle as her uncle. It tells of their early life on the farm in the central coast of California right up until her uncle's death in a firefight in South Vietnam. The Box happens to be a gift from a soldier that fought against the US (in the same firefight that her uncle died in) in this horrific war and it has a special meaning to all. Some can embrace that meaning given that it is over 48 years ago.... Some may not.....Whether you were in Vietnam, knew of someone that was there and lost, or just plain want to read a well written book about life and love, I recommend it.
Peter Rech, Alpha Co, 2BN/12th Inf., 25th Infantry Division, Dau Tieng.. 1967-68 "For those of us who did make it, we have an obligation to build again and to try to find a goodness and meaning to this life....."
You are an exceptional writer, Lynne Ludwick. You possess the magic. You must write more books so that your voice can grow in a tribe of future readers. One book is not enough. Memoirs often languish in shadows, the teardrops of their genre. Congratulations on an exceptional story, beautifully written.
Temple Emmet Williams
Former editor at The Reader’s Digest
The Box: A Memoir (Lockwood and Ludwick, 165 pp.) by Lynne Lorine Ludwick is a tribute to the author's uncle who was killed in action in Vietnam in 1968. Three years younger in age, Ludwick looked up to her "Uncle Eddy" Schultz as a friend, playmate, and schoolmate, who was "more like a brother." She idolized him as "the good cowboy. The one who saves the day."
In parallel with recalling happy memories of growing up with Eddy in California, Ludwick also describes the life of a nameless Vietnamese man born at the same time as her uncle. The difference in the two men's lives from birth until their confrontation on a battlefield were as opposite as peace and war. Eddy Schultz grew up in idyllic farming surroundings. Meanwhile, his counterpart endured the turmoil leading to Vietnam's freeing itself from French control. At the age of fourteen, he joined the Viet Cong.
Ludwick writes about the Vietnam War , particularly anti-war protests, differently than anyone I previously had read on the topic. Her prose reflects undercurrents of innocence, wonderment, anger, compassion, subdued outrage, sorrow, puzzlement, and revelation. At times, her mood takes command of the story, which makes the book refreshing and enjoyable.
In describing combat action, she relies heavily on recollections of men who served with Eddy and saw him die. She met them by attending his unit's reunions. She references letters that Eddy wrote to his parents, but they do not speak of combat.
Eddy Schultz's story is sadly familiar. Drafted into the army in August, he completed basic and advanced infantry training, and arrived in Vietnam in January 1968. Assigned to Dau Tieng, he served as an RTO on search and destroy operations. In response to the NVA Tet Offensive, his battalion operated at an accelerated pace. The unit engaged in a six-day battle at Tan Hoa in mid-February, and soon after was ambushed at Hoc Mon where Eddy was killed on March 4th.
The "box" of the title contained a gift indirectly sent to Ludwick from a Viet Cong soldier who had fought in the battle for Hoc Mon—more than forty years earlier. The gift prompted Ludwick to write the book.
Henry Zeybel, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.)
This review originally appeared in the Vietnam Veterans of America Books in Review II: [.
This is a story about growing up in a small, rural town in California in the 50's and 60's within a large close family. It is also about the innocence of youth. It is about the Vietnam conflict and its intrusion into this idyllic life. It is about the author's journey to find answers and the gift she received that provided closure and forgiveness. Wonderful first book by this gifted author.
Cate, Amazon purchaser
This was an amazing book which I read through without a pause. The author demonstrates her skills in making seamless transitions between a boy growing up and developing his character while melding it into the politics of the time as they developed. From a boy playing cowboy games with his niece in the safe and solid 1950's in a small town and then a move to a same age boy in Southeast Asia who's environment was a history of war. The reader is carefully lead by parallel histories to a conclusion that is so like the issues we are facing internationally today--but at the same time the reader is able to feel the security of the familiar and safe 50's and early 60's of small town America. It is a book you will read more than once, not because it is a complex story, but because of the feelings and own memories that the pictures her writing creates in the reader's mind gives one the sense of being a participant in the story itself. A good read, to say the least.
I loved this book! I was riveted and read it almost in one sitting. The author's story-telling style is charming while also hard-hitting as she makes some honest and profound points. The author's ability to describe and transport the reader is amazing - all the wonderful metaphors and analogies! I was there with her every step of the way. She brought the 50's and 60's in small town America to life! And she brought the Vietnam War to life in such a unique way, from both sides. The author also explained the history of Viet Nam leading up to the war in such a clear and helpful way, something I really appreciated. Her family history and photos weaved throughout were interesting and enjoyable, and made the story all the more real. It's such a unique and amazing story - wonderful that it's been told so well by this author - Bravo!
Nearly half a century passed between the death of her beloved “Eddy” and the arrival of a mysterious box on her doorstep. Provoked by that long-ago yet still-fresh loss, and this new reminder of the war that took him, author Lynne Lorine Ludwick has crafted a memoir unlike any other of the Vietnam War.
Disarming its innocence, endearing in its simplicity, The Box chronicles the life Edward August Schultz, who grew up in the dual embrace of a large loving family and a small rural town on the central coast of California. Rife with vivid childhood memories, the book paints a life—and a character—so sweet, so ideal, it is nearly impossible to believe, and yet we do; the narrative is too honest to distrust. Which makes the interruption of Eddy’s life by an incomprehensible and immoral war that much more disturbing.
Enhanced by the story of Eddy’s Viet Cong counterpart, The Box also offers a glimpse of another boy’s life, a childhood marked by constant war, unspeakable violence, and a soldier’s heart that only wanted his country back, made whole, after so many years of strife.
Moved by a gift from one soldier who survived, to the family of another soldier who did not, the author of The Box gives readers a reason to hope. For in that gift lies the healing grace of remorse, understanding, and forgiveness.
Susan Stewart, Journalist and owner of Say it Write