by Jana L. Williams; Jana Williams
Copyright Year: 1990
Publisher: Press Gang Publishers
Format: Trade Paperback
No. of Pages: 208
No. In Series:
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Everyone seemed to know why they were there. Not Roberta Weston. Phoenix had been predictable, sunny and safe. The U. S. Navy boot-camp for women was rainy, cold and an emotional minefield. Constant interaction with the same seventy-five women in her company left her feeling both claustrophobic and more lonely than she had ever felt in her life. That was not the half of it. There was her friendship with Cecelia Taylor, which seemed in constant threat of boiling over. Bev Harper knew things; you could see it in her eyes. Bates was into sex. Yont only wanted to support her family back home. They all had ready explanations. But not Weston. She was there to find out. —– From Publishers Weekly Seaman recruit Roberta Weston’s first days at Navy boot camp are a nightmare of police whistles, roll calls, unshined shoes and lonely nights. But she quickly learns to sort things out, organize her locker and keep her place in line. Six weeks later, her Oxfords gleaming, she’s a full-fledged Navy woman. Her status as an adult is also assured by a surprising insight: she is a lesbian, and the Navy is a racist and homophobic institution. This coming-of-age tale is Williams’s first novel, and full as it is of astute observations on a worthy subject, it nonetheless betrays the writer’s inexperience. The book’s brighter passages give way to paragraphs that read like something out of a Navy instruction manual. The novel is set during the Vietnam War, but apart from passing references to draft-dodging and men’s long hair, it contains no hint of social turmoil. Instead, Weston spends most of the novel bursting with admiration for military life, and her discovery of her own homosexuality comes a little too late, and a little too quickly, to give the story the dramatic tension it needs. Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. From Library Journal This debut novel surprises by using the backdrop of Navy boot camp for a female coming-of-age story, as Seaman Recruit Roberta Weston and her barracks mates spend ten weeks of basic training under women’s leadership. Williams deftly bypasses all that is cliche about ‘baby boots’ and captures instead the astonishingly deep emotional demands of their experience. Libraries with special interests in women’s issues will find this a valuable purchase. It is a highly recommended addition to collections serving teenagers and adults who have ever wondered, ‘How Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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