I had reservations about reading The Peacemakers, it wasn’t my typical genre and I wondered if the story would keep my interest. Man, was I wrong about that! I fell in love with this book from the first chapter and now I want to go back and read the whole series!
The Peacemakers is book #8 in the American Family Portrait Series and I chose to read the series out of order because of the “Around The World In 80 Books” reading challenge I’m doing this year. With a portion of the book being set in Vietnam during the war, I couldn’t resist a Christian Fiction book with such a unique setting and crossing another Asian country off my list.
The story was told from the viewpoint of Travis and Paige Morgan, brother and sister navigating life in the 1970’s. Paige at college and Travis in Vietnam – both trying to figure out what their purpose was and most importantly, how a relationship with Christ is vital to a life with meaning. Every now and then, you’d get a glimpse into their parent’s world. (I’m betting if I read the series in order, I would have known more of their background. But even without it, I was still drawn into what their lives added to the story.) The author did an amazing job telling each character’s story from their viewpoint. In Vietnam, you felt the disappointment Travis experienced when his friends turned away from God to a life of sin. At college with Paige, you could sympathize with her need to be a part of something big, something that would end the war and help people. Finally, you could feel the heartache from their parents when things go terribly wrong – with both kids. It was a book that made you feel like you were right there in every scene. The descriptions brought everything to life. This was my first time to read one of Jack Cavanaugh’s books and I honestly say, I’m hooked!
Conclusion: This is probably one of the most vivid and important works you’ll read in fiction about both the Vietnam War and the anti-war protests going on in the US at the same time. In the story of Travis and Paige, you experience the questions, violence and grief people lived through during this war. As someone who was born after Vietnam, I found this novel very interesting because so many of the feelings and scenes described happened in real life, albeit with real soldiers and protesters. A very captivating novel! I would highly recommend The Peacemakers to anyone interested in American history, the Vietnam War or someone who enjoys reading family sagas.