fp September 2003
from the book...
Doctor’s don’t fight; doctors heal. Nevertheless, the young narrator of Maria Testa’s lyric novel Almost Forever must watch her father march off to Vietnam, where he’ll serve a year in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. A year is a long time to a child. A year is a long time when you’re waiting for letters, waiting for word. A year becomes endless when you don’t know where your father is anymore. A year feels like forever when you’re wondering … and forgetting.Maria Testa, the author of Becoming Joe DiMaggio and Some Kind of Pride, has written a taut and tender American ballad of one family’s experience during what would become the turning point in both U.S. involvement in South Vietnam and American public opinion.
If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A
Almost Forever is a partly happy and partly sad story about a family who on Christmas Night 1967 received a letter saying their father has to go and take care of the sick and injured who fought in the war in Vietnam, for one whole year.
“Doctors don’t fight,” daddy said, “we take care of the people who get hurt in the fighting”. “Doctors get hurt, too,” Mama needed to say. “Bullets and bombs do not care that you went to medical school.”
Every day the two children run to the mailbox to read the letters that daddy has sent. But suddenly daddy has stopped sending letters! What has happened to the children’s father? Has he been hurt? Has he been captured? Is he DEAD??? Read this book to find out what happens.
Danica, age 11, Canberra, Australia
Almost Forever is a mind compelling verse novel that is short but uses emotional power to every advantage. I for one really enjoyed the way Maria Testa had used a different text style to most other books; she used a more lyric/poetic theme which had captivated me from when I started reading until I put the book down. Almost Forever uses a young girl’s perspective on a war which makes the reader feel a sorrow for the young girl and her lonely brother and mum waiting for their father to walk home through the door, alive. Almost Forever is a quick read, consisting of 69 pages, but uses every page to express emotion through personal thoughts and short sayings that really create the mood for this story.
Overall, I think that Maria Testa has outdone herself with Almost Forever and I recommend this verse novel to anybody that likes a quick but powerful read. I give this novel a 4/5.
Fil, Year 10, Canberra, Australia