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The Trussoni family of Onalaska, Wisconsin, is famous for bar fights and not much else. Daniel is a thug like his brothers, all of whom pride themselves on being tough guys who might just be mobbed up, although there is no proof of that.
Trussoni Thanksgivings were like boxing matches. There was sure to be a rumble on the front lawn of my grandparents' house and a rematch at the tavern down the street... A little blood before dinner was what aperitifs were to other families.
In this atmosphere, Danielle, her sister Kelly, and her brother Matt are trying to raise themselves, or just stay out of the way. After getting a job and some sense of self, Mom takes on a boyfriend and asks Dad to leave. According to Danielle, Dad is pretty broken up about the departure, so she goes to live with him and is treated to a steady round of women callers. The other two children stay with their Mom. Most evenings, Daniel takes Danielle to Roscoe's, the neighborhood tavern, where she sits and watches him get drunk and tell his Vietnam stories. Over and over again. Every so often, he forgets her and she has to make her own way home.
Danielle is endlessly forgiving of this case-hardened vet who is relentlessly mean, paranoid and petty. He is a prototype of the guy who came home and didn't know why he was a survivor. Trussoni has captured the essence of being in bloody battle one day and home the next, and then trying to make sense of it all.
Alternating chapters tell of her father's time in Vietnam, her own journey there, and their messy lives--starting with the divorce and continuing until her adulthood. Family secrets are revealed; Danielle realizes that her mother was not the only person at fault in the breakup of the marriage and that her defense of her father was not always appropriate.
She is finally able to say, after writing him a letter outlining her grievances, "I wanted you to know I was hurt by the way I grew up. ...I wanted you to know how hard I've tried to get through to you, how much work it has been for me." There has never been a daughter more loyal than Danielle Trussoni. --Valerie Ryan
This memoir was filled with detail, dialogue and emotion. There is never a dull moment. The author skillfully writes in a way in which you understand her family and are compelled... Read morePublished 9 months ago by estelle
Although there are passages that become a little tedious, this is still worth reading. Trussoni offers compassionate insight into the mind of a Vietnam vet, as well as a look into... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Lorraine
Compelling! This book is an amazing journey of a daughter, her father and family with an incredible back story of his service in Viet Nam!!
A semi-typical childhood memoir. It appeared to be a little self serving. Nothing that any child of the fifties wasn't exposed to. Read morePublished on September 2, 2013 by Michael Schwerin
Can I just say that whoever designed this book cover gets a gold star. I like the photo. The End.Published on August 27, 2013 by Amanda
This read was Okay. It was interesting hearing about her life and unfortunately so many of our vets have the same issues.Published on June 5, 2013 by Edia E. Bedell
A vivid and poignant portrait of a daughter's relationship with her father, this funny, heartbreaking, and beautifully written memoir "makes plain that the horror of war doesn't... Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by MaryAnn
Was listening to Angelopolis on the radio and decided to look up the writer.
Very coincidental that we had just returned from a trip of SE Asia.
Great book. Read more