Jamie Dexter is a Colonel’s daughter who truly believes in the Army and the heroics of war. She is overjoyed when her brother TJ enlists and gets send to Vietnam. She wants him to write to her about everything happening over there. She can’t understand why the Colonel was not happy for TJ or why he didn’t want him to enlist. TJ doesn’t write her letters, but he sends her roles of black and white film to develop. The pictures show what he sees in Vietnam; all the boredom and brutality of the war are highlighted. Jamie learns to develop the film in the base rec center where she volunteers. There she also becomes friends with a couple of Army guys; one who just got back and one who is afraid he will be sent to Vietnam. Jamie comes to realize that war is not what she thought it was and she comes to understand her father a little better.
This is a very short book, but it packs a big punch. I thought the author did a great job showing the life of an Army brat and what she might think as she grows up surrounded by soldiers and the military way of life. I thought Jamie’s journey was an interesting one as she has her eyes opened to the realities of war. She was very naive at the beginning of the book, but by the end she has matured and become even stronger from what she has learned.