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1968 - 1971 Charlotte Parsons is devastated over losing her brother in the Vietnam War. Desperate to learn more about the war, she joins a group of college women who send letters to soldiers and befriends Joseph Russo, a young soldier. But a few months after they begin corresponding, his letters stop coming, and Char moves on, still confused as to why so many young lives ar 1968 - 1971 Charlotte Parsons is devastated over losing her brother in the Vietnam War. Desperate to learn more about the war, she joins a group of college women who send letters to soldiers and befriends Joseph Russo, a young soldier. But a few months after they begin corresponding, his letters stop coming, and Char moves on, still confused as to why so many young lives are being lost so far away from home. Two years later, Char begins college in her small Illinois town of Grand Falls. She's been dating her brother's long-time best friend, Deke Masterson, who is a senior in college and is deep into the anti-war movement. Char is still confused over how she feels about the war. Then a stranger comes to town and changes everything. Joseph Russo served in the Vietnam War, earning a Purple Heart for his injury as well as a life-long limp. He's ready to put the war behind him. While in Vietnam, he'd corresponded with a girl from Grand Falls and he enjoyed reading about her idyllic life. When he's discharged, he moves there to attend college. And when he meets Charlotte in person, he's taken with her sweetness, intelligence, and beauty. The battle lines are drawn as Deke resents Joe's presence around Char. What started out as a well-deserved escape to a small town for Joe soon turns into a battle of wills between him and the idealistic Deke. And there stands Charlotte, right in the middle. Night Music is a story about a moment in time when the world was chaotic and nothing was completely clear. In the midst of all the chaos, can Char and Joe find enough middle ground to fall in love? What readers are saying about Night Music: --"Sletten has crafted an emotional story centered with conflict that brings the characters to life." ~ Write-Read-Life --"Characters who feel three-dimensional, a setting that is almost its own character, and a story that entertains while also challenging us to think." Melissa at Bibliotica --"All the characters seemed so real..." Comfy Reading --"It was refreshing to read a story based on the late 1960's..." Sara at Chick Lit Central -- "A wonderful job of capturing both the turmoil and the love of that time." Susan at The Book Bag


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1968 - 1971 Charlotte Parsons is devastated over losing her brother in the Vietnam War. Desperate to learn more about the war, she joins a group of college women who send letters to soldiers and befriends Joseph Russo, a young soldier. But a few months after they begin corresponding, his letters stop coming, and Char moves on, still confused as to why so many young lives ar 1968 - 1971 Charlotte Parsons is devastated over losing her brother in the Vietnam War. Desperate to learn more about the war, she joins a group of college women who send letters to soldiers and befriends Joseph Russo, a young soldier. But a few months after they begin corresponding, his letters stop coming, and Char moves on, still confused as to why so many young lives are being lost so far away from home. Two years later, Char begins college in her small Illinois town of Grand Falls. She's been dating her brother's long-time best friend, Deke Masterson, who is a senior in college and is deep into the anti-war movement. Char is still confused over how she feels about the war. Then a stranger comes to town and changes everything. Joseph Russo served in the Vietnam War, earning a Purple Heart for his injury as well as a life-long limp. He's ready to put the war behind him. While in Vietnam, he'd corresponded with a girl from Grand Falls and he enjoyed reading about her idyllic life. When he's discharged, he moves there to attend college. And when he meets Charlotte in person, he's taken with her sweetness, intelligence, and beauty. The battle lines are drawn as Deke resents Joe's presence around Char. What started out as a well-deserved escape to a small town for Joe soon turns into a battle of wills between him and the idealistic Deke. And there stands Charlotte, right in the middle. Night Music is a story about a moment in time when the world was chaotic and nothing was completely clear. In the midst of all the chaos, can Char and Joe find enough middle ground to fall in love? What readers are saying about Night Music: --"Sletten has crafted an emotional story centered with conflict that brings the characters to life." ~ Write-Read-Life --"Characters who feel three-dimensional, a setting that is almost its own character, and a story that entertains while also challenging us to think." Melissa at Bibliotica --"All the characters seemed so real..." Comfy Reading --"It was refreshing to read a story based on the late 1960's..." Sara at Chick Lit Central -- "A wonderful job of capturing both the turmoil and the love of that time." Susan at The Book Bag

30 review for Night Music: A Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    3 war aftermath story stars Coming back from the Vietnam conflict was not easy for our soldiers. They were met with being spit upon, called baby and women killers, ostracized and offered little in the way of help to overcome the problems they encountered. Many of these soldiers wound up on the street while many of them chose to commit suicide because of their nightmares and what they had seen. In this nicely written book we meet Joe Russo. He had connected with a high school young woman who wrote 3 war aftermath story stars Coming back from the Vietnam conflict was not easy for our soldiers. They were met with being spit upon, called baby and women killers, ostracized and offered little in the way of help to overcome the problems they encountered. Many of these soldiers wound up on the street while many of them chose to commit suicide because of their nightmares and what they had seen. In this nicely written book we meet Joe Russo. He had connected with a high school young woman who wrote him letters which he treasured and held close to his heart. In them she described her small town and the life it provided and Joe decided that if he made it back alive he would look up that small town and try to make it and Charlotte, the young girl, his own. Joe enters a small college in that town and meets Charlotte. They connect through school and also later as Joe is hired to work in Charlotte's family store and through their experiences Joe is able to face the foibles of the time, the antiwar on campus, the suicide of a friend, and the nightmares. Joe is readily accepted by the townspeople and loved by Charlotte's parents. Thanks you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for providing an ARC of this sweet and loving novel. One could only wish that all of our Vietnam soldiers had found the peace and love that Joe found.

  2. 4 out of 5

    "Avonna

    Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com NIGHT MUSIC: A NOVEL by Deanna Lynn Sletten is a beautifully written genre story that is a cross between a sweet romance and women’s fiction. The time period is 1968 to 1971 and the setting a small college town in Illinois. Ms. Sletten takes you back to the social and cultural turmoil of the Vietnam War. A soldier’s return to build the life he has only dreamed of in the jungles of Vietnam, a charismatic student anti-war leader and Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com NIGHT MUSIC: A NOVEL by Deanna Lynn Sletten is a beautifully written genre story that is a cross between a sweet romance and women’s fiction. The time period is 1968 to 1971 and the setting a small college town in Illinois. Ms. Sletten takes you back to the social and cultural turmoil of the Vietnam War. A soldier’s return to build the life he has only dreamed of in the jungles of Vietnam, a charismatic student anti-war leader and a girl finding herself, loved by both. Charlotte Parsons lost her older brother after only three months in Vietnam. Her family is devastated, but proud of his service. Charlotte wants to know more about this war that took her brother, so she lies about her age and joins a group that writes letters to soldiers overseas. She corresponds with a soldier named Joseph Russo. Char tells Joe all about the small town life she loves and Joe shelters Char from the horrors of the war that took her brother. After only a few months, the letters stop. Char does not know why they stop, but she moves on with her high school life. Two years later, Char begins college. Char is dating Deke Masterson, her brother’s best friend from high school. Deke is the leader of the anti-war movement on their college campus. He is dedicated to the cause and wants Char to participate. Char hates that she lost her brother, but she does not really have her own opinions on the war. He father fought in WWII and her parents believe their son died doing his duty, while Deke preaches that all the men fighting in Vietnam are baby killers and killing innocent villagers. Joe has come home wounded. He will have a life-long limp, but he feels blessed to be home alive. He moves to Grand Falls to put the war behind him and go to college in the small town of his letters from Char. He cannot believe his luck to meet her in person. She is as sweet and beautiful as her letters. He befriends Char and her parents. As Deke becomes more radical, and Joe shows Char only respect, kindness and understanding, Char has a choice to make. I so loved this book and will remember the characters long into the future. I was a preteen in the time period of this book and can understand and identify with all the characters. My family is full of veterans and we were taught to always respect their service, but I was also watching the horrors of the war nightly on the news and heard of the atrocities. Ms. Sletten’s book captures all sides of the conflict with believable characters. I also loved the character development of Charlotte, growing from a sheltered high school girl to a college coed who learns to think for herself and realize all the shades of grey in the world. This is a sweet romance with no sex scenes on the page. I will always be listening for night music.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Marin

    Devastated by the loss of her older brother in the Vietnam war and determined to learn more about the war that cost his life, Charlotte Parsons joins a group of college women who are sending letters to soldiers. Through this program, she meets a young soldier named Joseph Russo and finds herself making fast friends with him. But, suddenly, only a few months into their correspondence, his letters just stop without any explanation. Two years later, Char begins attending college in her small hometo Devastated by the loss of her older brother in the Vietnam war and determined to learn more about the war that cost his life, Charlotte Parsons joins a group of college women who are sending letters to soldiers. Through this program, she meets a young soldier named Joseph Russo and finds herself making fast friends with him. But, suddenly, only a few months into their correspondence, his letters just stop without any explanation. Two years later, Char begins attending college in her small hometown of Grand Falls. She's been dating her brother's best friend, Deke, for the past year. Deke is a senior at the college and very active in the anti-war movement. Char isn't quite certain exactly how she feels about the war but she does admire Deke's commitment to his beliefs. But, then, when she begins her classes, she meets a stranger who fought in the war, and he changes everything. She soon finds out that the mysterious stranger in her English and History classes is none other than her disappeared pen pal, Joseph Russo. Joe had not only served in Vietnam but had earned a Purple Heart for an injury that has left him with a permanent limp. When he was discharged from the military, Joe was determined to put the war behind him and decides to start over and attend college in the idyllic small town his pen pal, Charlotte, had written so much about. When he meets her in person, Joe finds himself even more drawn to Char, for her sweet personality, intelligence, and beauty. I really enjoyed this sweet story. The author really does an excellent job of capturing the atmosphere of small-town life, as well as the protest climate, of the late 1960's-early 1970's. It certainly wasn't easy for our veterans to return home after facing such hellish circumstances, only to be called baby and killers, and even be spat upon. They truly faced what no other of our veterans had previously faced after risking their lives, and seeing many friends lose theirs, in service to our country. The characters were all amazingly well written, even Deke, who I thought was a complete jerk and not nearly good enough for Char. I did like that he seemed to mature a little as the story progressed, but he remained a cowardly jerk, in my opinion. Char, Joe, and Char's parents and friends were all wonderful and I would really love to read more books about them. This was the first book I've ever read by this author, but it will definitely not be the last. I'd like to thank Deanna Lynn Sletten and Netgalley for providing me with an electronic copy of this novel. I understand that receiving it in this manner does not obligate me to leave a positive review. All opinions expressed in this review are fully my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This is an excellent novel that depicts life in a small town during the late 1960s. The United States was in chaos with the anti-war movement but life in small towns was still untouched. This novel is about love but it's also about a town that is forced to join the chaos going on in the US. Charlotte lives in a small town in Illinois. Her brother was killed in Vietnam two years earlier and she isn't sure at this point how she feels about the war. As she starts college (still in her small town), t This is an excellent novel that depicts life in a small town during the late 1960s. The United States was in chaos with the anti-war movement but life in small towns was still untouched. This novel is about love but it's also about a town that is forced to join the chaos going on in the US. Charlotte lives in a small town in Illinois. Her brother was killed in Vietnam two years earlier and she isn't sure at this point how she feels about the war. As she starts college (still in her small town), the feelings against the war are growing on campus - mostly led by her boyfriend Deke. When she first sees Joe in her English class, she realizes that he is former military. He walks using a cane and wears fatigue jackets. After the tumult of his days in Vietnam, Joe just wants to find a perfect little town and start his life over again and hopefully find peace. As Charlotte and Joe get to know each other better, their romance is in direct contrast to the anit war movement going on in the town. Joe is looking for peace and Deke is trying to start conflict. Will Joe and Char be able to find love during this time of chaos? As someone who grew up in the same period as the people in this novel, I want to commend the author on the fantastic job she did of depicting what it was like in American during this time. The love story between Char and Joe is perfectly played out during this time period. Thanks to the author for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    "Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review" A wounded Vietnam veteran seeking the American Dream in a small town in the early seventies, against the background of the anti-war movement and college student activism. Joe is a wonderful character, wounded but not bitter or resentful, an honest, gentle and kind man. It’s great that his character is shown through his actions and dialogue. I found Charlotte a bit naïve sometimes and a bit too easy to manipulate, but she’s a good count "Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review" A wounded Vietnam veteran seeking the American Dream in a small town in the early seventies, against the background of the anti-war movement and college student activism. Joe is a wonderful character, wounded but not bitter or resentful, an honest, gentle and kind man. It’s great that his character is shown through his actions and dialogue. I found Charlotte a bit naïve sometimes and a bit too easy to manipulate, but she’s a good counterpoint to the hero. I enjoyed the slow romance, really ideal for Joe to accomplish his dream in this small town (Grand Falls) context. The author tries to offer different perspectives on the US intervention in the Vietnam War, simultaneously depicting the ravages of war on American soldiers (PTSD, suicide, disabilities). I'm grateful to the author, Deanna Lynn Sletten, and NetGalley for providing a free copy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I received this advanced copy from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Joe a soldier in the Vietnam War has seen it all at a young age. He corresponds with a young girl name Charlotte who seems to live the ideal life, two parents, small town where everyone knows each other. Charlotte’s letters help Joe get though the war. When Joe is injured and released from the Army he heads to Charlotte’s town hoping to meet her and go to college. Charlotte’s brother was killed in the I received this advanced copy from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Joe a soldier in the Vietnam War has seen it all at a young age. He corresponds with a young girl name Charlotte who seems to live the ideal life, two parents, small town where everyone knows each other. Charlotte’s letters help Joe get though the war. When Joe is injured and released from the Army he heads to Charlotte’s town hoping to meet her and go to college. Charlotte’s brother was killed in the war and her boyfriend Deke is a war protester but when Charlotte meets Joe there are sparks. The book deals with many things death, war, suicide PSTD and young love. Give it a try.

  7. 4 out of 5

    DR

    Being of primary-school-age at the time, although I remember the Vietnam War I had no idea how badly the returning soldiers were treated. They might reasonably have expected some gratitude, & a decent job, rather than the very opposite. It may not have been the general public's favourite war, but was that the fault of the soldiers? Most of them were not there by choice, & it seems they got a raw deal both overseas & back home. Those who did not go, had no idea what the soldiers had been through Being of primary-school-age at the time, although I remember the Vietnam War I had no idea how badly the returning soldiers were treated. They might reasonably have expected some gratitude, & a decent job, rather than the very opposite. It may not have been the general public's favourite war, but was that the fault of the soldiers? Most of them were not there by choice, & it seems they got a raw deal both overseas & back home. Those who did not go, had no idea what the soldiers had been through - & naturally, the returning men had no wish to relive it by recounting it. There was a further quandary for the families of those soldiers, especially those who lost their sons : any other war, they could be proud of their sacrifice. This is not a period I choose to read about ordinarily, so I appreciate this story educating me on these matters. It is also a prompt that we can all do something, by corresponding with serving soldiers who may have no-one else who takes an interest. I was saddened by events near the end of the book, but the Epilogue helps restore things to an even keel. If I had known what was in the book, I would not have chosen to read it - but it is probably a good thing that I did do so. We have to be aware of the bad things in history, in the hopes of learning the lessons & not repeating the wrongs.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vikki P

    I received an e-ARC of Night Music by Deanna Lynn Sletten from NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review. If you’re looking for a fast paced, action packed story Night Music is not your book. Night Music is slow, gentle and melts your heart over time. I haven’t read many books that talk about war veterans and I haven’t read any that talk about the efforts to end wars so this story was refreshing. The writing was beautiful and comfortable and I loved Joe and Char as characters I received an e-ARC of Night Music by Deanna Lynn Sletten from NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review. If you’re looking for a fast paced, action packed story Night Music is not your book. Night Music is slow, gentle and melts your heart over time. I haven’t read many books that talk about war veterans and I haven’t read any that talk about the efforts to end wars so this story was refreshing. The writing was beautiful and comfortable and I loved Joe and Char as characters so much. Despite there being so many significant moments in the book that talked about war and the movement to end it, I think what I liked most was Joe’s attempts at rebuilding his life and the small moments here and there that he had with Char, like the first time he meets her after he returns from war. I think what stood out the most for me in this book was the characters. Joe’s struggle as a war veteran with a life long injury, Charlotte’s inner conflict about the movement to end the Vietnam war, Deke and his radical opinions against the war as well as Char’s parents, who struggle with the loss of their son while still trying to provide a happy, stable and supportive home for their daughter were all so interesting and illuminating.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Angela McVay

    When I added this book to my goodreads list, I was pleasantly surprised to realize I had previously read a book by this author that I enjoyed. This was a sweet love story during the early 1970’s when the Vietnam War was underway. The author did a good job contrasting beliefs of patriotism, peaceful protesting vs. riots, and how Vietnam vets were treated upon their return to the states. What I enjoyed most was the innocence of love between Char and Joe. Eternal love before first sight and happy e When I added this book to my goodreads list, I was pleasantly surprised to realize I had previously read a book by this author that I enjoyed. This was a sweet love story during the early 1970’s when the Vietnam War was underway. The author did a good job contrasting beliefs of patriotism, peaceful protesting vs. riots, and how Vietnam vets were treated upon their return to the states. What I enjoyed most was the innocence of love between Char and Joe. Eternal love before first sight and happy endings do exist. Thank you Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for my review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kim Cano

    Night Music is a heartfelt coming of age story set during the Vietnam War time period. There are so many World War Two novels. Reading a women's historical fiction book set during another war was a refreshing change. Joe is a Vietnam vet who takes a chance on happiness, thinking he has nothing left to lose. Charlotte is the small town girl who wrote to him while he was on the battlefield. Their story will have you laughing, crying, and sometimes, on the edge of your seat. It's an enjoyable read t Night Music is a heartfelt coming of age story set during the Vietnam War time period. There are so many World War Two novels. Reading a women's historical fiction book set during another war was a refreshing change. Joe is a Vietnam vet who takes a chance on happiness, thinking he has nothing left to lose. Charlotte is the small town girl who wrote to him while he was on the battlefield. Their story will have you laughing, crying, and sometimes, on the edge of your seat. It's an enjoyable read that's a mix of family life, history, and romance. Highly recommend.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karen A.

    Love all her books. Another Colleen hoover

  12. 4 out of 5

    Susan (The Book Bag)

    I always know I am going to love the story when it's one of Deanna's. And her latest did not disappoint. Night Music takes us to a tough time in our past, the Vietnam War period. Emotions were high and there were very strong opinions and feelings on both sides of the issue. It was a very tumultuous time in our history, a very troubled time for young men and women. This story took me back to that time and the craziness of that war. I lived through it and she gets it. She does a wonderful job of c I always know I am going to love the story when it's one of Deanna's. And her latest did not disappoint. Night Music takes us to a tough time in our past, the Vietnam War period. Emotions were high and there were very strong opinions and feelings on both sides of the issue. It was a very tumultuous time in our history, a very troubled time for young men and women. This story took me back to that time and the craziness of that war. I lived through it and she gets it. She does a wonderful job of capturing both the turmoil and the love of that time. Charlotte's older brother is killed in Vietnam and she finds herself between two men who have very opposite feelings about the war. There's Deke, her boyfriend, who is leading campus protests against the war and Joe, a Vietnam vet, who comes back having to deal with the aftermath of that controversial war. I loved watching Charlotte mature and form her own opinions and beliefs as she learns what matters most to her. She works very hard to see both sides, in order to understand where the two men are coming from. She finally listens to what is in her own heart and sticks up for her beliefs. One of the things that will stay with me and that I just love from this book is the term 'night music', the wonderful melody of the sounds of the night – crickets, frogs, etc. "In Nam, as long as we could hear the sounds of the night, we knew we were safe. It's a comforting sound." I love to relax on the patio in the evening and listen to the sounds. I never thought of it as 'night music' but that's exactly what it is. I will always think of that now and I will be drawn back to this wonderful story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    InD'tale Magazine

    “Night Music” is a poignant, charming tale of love and loss. Author Deanna Lynn Sletten has created characters readers will fall in love with, and a story that is compelling and easy to read. Read full review in the 2018 April issue of InD'tale Magazine. “Night Music” is a poignant, charming tale of love and loss. Author Deanna Lynn Sletten has created characters readers will fall in love with, and a story that is compelling and easy to read. Read full review in the 2018 April issue of InD'tale Magazine.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Night Music is the sound that means everything is okay. It is when the world goes silent that danger is close. That is what Joseph Russo, a returned soldier from the Vietnam War, describes it at. After an injury to his leg that left him unable to serve anymore, Joe moves to the small town of Grand Falls to start fresh in a new, idealistic town a girl had so beautifully described to him in letters. Those letters had been sent by a specific member of a group of college students who wrote to soldie Night Music is the sound that means everything is okay. It is when the world goes silent that danger is close. That is what Joseph Russo, a returned soldier from the Vietnam War, describes it at. After an injury to his leg that left him unable to serve anymore, Joe moves to the small town of Grand Falls to start fresh in a new, idealistic town a girl had so beautifully described to him in letters. Those letters had been sent by a specific member of a group of college students who wrote to soldiers. That girl was Charlotte Parsons, desperate to know more about the war that claimed the life of her brother. This novel is the story of what occurs after these short-term pen pals meet in person. Joe is a kind-hearted and positive young man with both physical and mental scars. He stands out as a returned soldier by wearing his army fatigues and walking with a cane due to his injured leg. Because it is so obvious he has served, Joe has to deal with people who are against America fighting in Vietnam treating him poorly. Despite going through some traumatic experience and living with daily reminders of the war, Joe does a wonderful job of settling into school, working the local hardware store and creating a new life for himself. Part of that new life is Charlotte, the author of the letters Joe received in Vietnam. Char is a sweet girl who has just started college with dreams of being a writer. The reason Char began writing letters to a random soldier was to find out more about the war her older brother, Jeremy, died fighting. Although Joe does not tell her much about the horrors he experienced in Vietnam via letter or in person, the two form a friendship that helps her see herself, others and the world around her in a different light.  The antagonist of the story is Deke - Char's boyfriend and Jeremy's best friend. He is one of those against American's fighting in Vietnam and taking their hatred of the war out on the returning soldiers, such as Joe. At the start of the book, we find out that Deke has been a part of peaceful protests against the war but, since they do not seem to make a difference, he is looking at doing something a little more radical. Thanks to this information, it was not surprising that approximately 60% of the problems that occur for our protagonists are caused either directly or indirectly by Deke. Now for the story. I loved the story surrounding Joe - regardless of the war he fought in, he deserves respect for serving his country and the opportunity to live at least a semi-normal life. It was great that the story showed how different people deal with life after the war and it was great that Joe's was a positive story. I also liked that the story highlighted other outcomes of returned soldiers because people need to know that just because you cannot see a scar, does not mean there are no scars. Mental health is something many struggle with and it must be much harder when the mental scars are caused by what those poor souls must experience while at war. I was not as keen on the other elements of the story, such as Deke and the protests, but I will admit it worked in the story rather well. Another element that bothered me is how the romance came to be. It is not about how it was written because I did like that is happened slow and naturally, but some of my moral boundaries were crossed in order for some of the pre-relationships key moments to occur. While it was a great story in many ways and I liked reading it, I did not love it. It was a sweet, well-written story that flowed nicely for the most part, but I have never been a fan of stories that wrap up nicely regardless of how sweet it is or how deserving the characters seem. I will say that Night Music gave me a whole new appreciation for those at war, returned soldiers and the wonderful sound of night music, and for that I am thankful. If you are looking for a lighter wartime romance that does not spend much time on battlefields, then I believe this is a good read. 

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Higgins

    When you can hear the night music, you know everything is safe. It’s when it stops that you know the storm is about to hit! In 1968, Joe Russo has been shipped off to Vietnam. He has done well to keep himself and his fellow soldiers alive. He doesn’t have any family and didn’t leave any friends behind, so when he gets offered a letter from a volunteer, he jumps at the chance. His pen pal is a young girl named Charlotte (Char) Parsons, whose older brother died earlier in the war. She writes to Joe When you can hear the night music, you know everything is safe. It’s when it stops that you know the storm is about to hit! In 1968, Joe Russo has been shipped off to Vietnam. He has done well to keep himself and his fellow soldiers alive. He doesn’t have any family and didn’t leave any friends behind, so when he gets offered a letter from a volunteer, he jumps at the chance. His pen pal is a young girl named Charlotte (Char) Parsons, whose older brother died earlier in the war. She writes to Joe of life in small college town that gives Joe hope after war. If he can make it back stateside, maybe he will find a small town like that to settle down. Fast-forward to 1970, Char is just starting her freshman year of college. Her friends are envious because she has a boyfriend that is a senior, who is very outspoken about ending the so called “Vietnam War.” Char never really thought much about his opinions until she meets the new student Joe, who is a vet that was wounded in the war. Joe brings a new perspective to Char and she starts to question her relationship with her boyfriend. As the anti-war movement grows more intense, so do the emotions within Char who must decide the direction her life will go once and for all. As usual, Sletten has crafted an emotional story centered with conflict that brings the characters to life. It happened so fast in this book, that the Joe, Char, and Deke had faces in no time. I could picture them with ease and I’m pretty sure that Deke looked like Geoffrey Blake from Forrest Gump. The conflict within Char was raw and made it feel very real throughout the whole story. I couldn’t help but root for her and Joe to be together and cringed when Joe kept Tony’s box because I knew what was going to happen and sure enough it did! Why Joe? Seriously, I can’t take things like that when I’ve fallen in love with someone’s relationship! All that to say, if you enjoy romances written around the Vietnam war (or if you’ve ever read another Deanna Lynn Sletten book), I recommend this one as you will not be disappointed. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I've been reading and reviewing Deanna Lynn Sletten's work for years, so when she asked me if I'd consider reviewing her latest novel Night Music, there was no way I was going to say no. Set in the very early 1970's this novel technically qualifies as a 'period' or 'historical' work, and yet, it feels absolutely contemporary, showing that young people nearly fifty years ago (wow, that was hard to write - I was born in 1970) had many of the same issues and conflicts that we do today when it comes I've been reading and reviewing Deanna Lynn Sletten's work for years, so when she asked me if I'd consider reviewing her latest novel Night Music, there was no way I was going to say no. Set in the very early 1970's this novel technically qualifies as a 'period' or 'historical' work, and yet, it feels absolutely contemporary, showing that young people nearly fifty years ago (wow, that was hard to write - I was born in 1970) had many of the same issues and conflicts that we do today when it comes to war - when is it appropriate, when does it go to far - and the way we treat veterans. As the granddaughter of a career Army officer and the daughter of an activist, as well as someone who is an activist herself, I was steeped in the concept of "love the soldier, not the war," from an early age, and I completely related to the issues in this novel. And yet, what Sletten has written in Night Music is not a war story, nor is it a political treatise. Rather, it's a lovely novel about love - the love of home, the love of family, and the love we feel for friends and romantic partners. As well, it's a coming of age novel. The three central characters, Charlotte, Joe, and Deke are all college students. Charlotte is young, and somewhat naive, and her journey is one toward confidence and a stronger sense of self, but Joe and Deke are also coming of age. The former, in processing his experiences as a young solider returned home injured from Vietnam, and Deke, a an anti-war activist. As ususal, Sletten has given us characters who feel three-dimensional, a setting that is almost its own character, and a story that entertains while also challenging us to think. Goes well with a burger, a beer, and a stimulating conversation. Or maybe a Hemingway novel.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Charlotte (Char) lives in small town "Grand Falls, IL", where everyone knows your name and everything about you. She loves her town, family and friends that are all so close to her. The only thing wrong with her life are that she lost her brother to the Vietnam War and is searching for answers. Charlotte joined a college group of girls and decided to send letters to Army men and try and find answers as to why young men are dyeing. She ends up corresponding with this soldier, Joseph (Joe) and oth Charlotte (Char) lives in small town "Grand Falls, IL", where everyone knows your name and everything about you. She loves her town, family and friends that are all so close to her. The only thing wrong with her life are that she lost her brother to the Vietnam War and is searching for answers. Charlotte joined a college group of girls and decided to send letters to Army men and try and find answers as to why young men are dyeing. She ends up corresponding with this soldier, Joseph (Joe) and other than Char, he has no one. They write for a long time and Char tells him all about her wonderful small town and about her life until one day his letters just stop. Joe is living day by day through the letters from Char, after a war injury, he is sent back home and decides to start over in the small town that he's been dreaming of. Thinking he may get a glimpse of the girl that has stolen his heart, he moves into this rental and starts school. What he doesn't expect is to see more of her than he expected. Char is dating a loud and obnoxious boy that is very anti war. Deke is trying to get everyone on his side, start rallies and do everything possible to stop the war. Deke is not a friendly person to any of the war veterans especially the boys coming back from Vietnam. When he sees Char hanging around Joe, something snaps and sends him into an even more crazy state. This was a wonderful story that I can't say enough good things about. I read it in just over a day and will happily read it again soon. The romance between these characters is so sweet and real, the story paints such a clear picture in your mind and the story holds you captive until the very last page. This isn't one of Deanna's normal stories like she has written lately but for sure one of my favorites!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hayley

    This book was really sweet it started out with our main character Char writing letters to a soldier in war. She wasn't sure this was really what she wanted to do after the devastating loss of her brother, however she gave it a try. Living in a small town she is very against the war. Things change however when she meets Joe. Joe is ex-military and also unknown to Char the man that she has been writing. While Joe is the embodiment of what the war stands for Char's boyfriend (Ron) is head of the la This book was really sweet it started out with our main character Char writing letters to a soldier in war. She wasn't sure this was really what she wanted to do after the devastating loss of her brother, however she gave it a try. Living in a small town she is very against the war. Things change however when she meets Joe. Joe is ex-military and also unknown to Char the man that she has been writing. While Joe is the embodiment of what the war stands for Char's boyfriend (Ron) is head of the large anti-war movement in town as well so the contrast is jarring for her. When her feelings for Joe start to change into something more romantic she doesn't know what to do anymore. This book had almost a movie feel about it with the town where everyone knows everyone, no one locks their doors at night and the family that's suffering because of the war that took away their son and brother. I also enjoyed the contrast between the main characters they were together nicely but they also kept their differences and stuck to their own morals no matter what. Really enjoyable. The only criticism I have and its not really a criticism at all is if you don't like stories with soldiers don't read this book as it focus a lot on different stances of the war both pro and con as well as how he dealt with life after his time in the war was over. However in my opinion that is part of what makes it so good it isn't just the one voice. With lots of different topics such as death war, suicide PTSD and of course love this book will last a long time I feel and help reach a variety of audiences. Very well done I didn't want it to end.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Teena in Toronto

    It's 1968 and Joe is a soldier in the Viet Nam war. He is pen pals with Charlotte, a stranger who lives in a small town in Illinois. Joe gets hurt, discharged and sent back home to the States. Charlotte had made her town sound ideal so Joe moves there and enrols in college. He meets Charlotte and they become friends. Her father gives him a part-time job in his hardware store as Joe doesn't have a lot of money. Charlotte's brother had been killed in the Viet Nam war and she is now dating his best It's 1968 and Joe is a soldier in the Viet Nam war. He is pen pals with Charlotte, a stranger who lives in a small town in Illinois. Joe gets hurt, discharged and sent back home to the States. Charlotte had made her town sound ideal so Joe moves there and enrols in college. He meets Charlotte and they become friends. Her father gives him a part-time job in his hardware store as Joe doesn't have a lot of money. Charlotte's brother had been killed in the Viet Nam war and she is now dating his best friend, Deke. Deke is against the war and extremely vocal about it. He's not happy when Charlotte and Joe become friends, especially since Deke sees all the Viet Nam vets as baby killers. This leaves Charlotte conflicted because she knows her brother wasn't a baby killer but Deke is so dedicated to his cause. This is the fourth book I've read by this author and I liked it. I like the writing style and it is written in third person perspective. As a Canadian, the Viet Nam war doesn't have the same relevance to me as it does/did for Americans (I'm assuming) so I didn't really get caught up in that part of the story. I liked the characters and their small town interactions and 1960s innocence. I wasn't crazy about Deke (I'm not sure I was supposed to like him, though) and I had a hard time relating to his active in-your-face opposition to the war (again perhaps because I'm Canadian?). I look forward to reading other books by this author. Blog review post: http://www.teenaintoronto.com/2018/02...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Overall, this book was okay. I really enjoyed the perspective of the past during the Vietnam War. The characters themselves were interesting, and I liked the major plots points of the book. I would recommend this for someone wanting a real life look into the past, especially the time during the Vietnam War. Even though I liked the plot points themselves, I felt like the plot advance too quickly at times and things weren’t explained as much as I would have like. I also did not entirely enjoy how Overall, this book was okay. I really enjoyed the perspective of the past during the Vietnam War. The characters themselves were interesting, and I liked the major plots points of the book. I would recommend this for someone wanting a real life look into the past, especially the time during the Vietnam War. Even though I liked the plot points themselves, I felt like the plot advance too quickly at times and things weren’t explained as much as I would have like. I also did not entirely enjoy how Charlotte acted. She wanted to be a strong woman, but then her actions spoke the direct opposite. I understand that her actions were already a bit out there for women at the time, but I felt that her character could have been more progressive. Otherwise, there isn’t much wrong with the book. Joe, a former soldier in the Vietnam War, was an amazing character and I loved reading about him. He stood up for his beliefs and his fellow soldiers, which is something I deeply admire. I’m no history buff, so I couldn’t say how historically accurate the book is, but it definitely felt like you were living in the past. This is a good, easy read for those looking for a peak into the past, and the lives of real people during the Vietnam War. I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    2.5 Stars. When you can still hear the sounds of animals at night, you know everything is going to be fine. I haven’t read too many books about the Vietnam War, so that was a nice change from your typical WW2 books. This book features Joe, who received letters from a stranger from a small town during the war. When he is wounded and sent home, he goes to live in this small town that seemed so idealistic and peaceful compared to what he is used to. He meets the author of the letters in real life, Ch 2.5 Stars. When you can still hear the sounds of animals at night, you know everything is going to be fine. I haven’t read too many books about the Vietnam War, so that was a nice change from your typical WW2 books. This book features Joe, who received letters from a stranger from a small town during the war. When he is wounded and sent home, he goes to live in this small town that seemed so idealistic and peaceful compared to what he is used to. He meets the author of the letters in real life, Charlotte. He falls in love with her. It was interesting to read more about the United States controversial feeling on the war, especially those who were college aged. I found Joe’s character to be uninteresting though. The books was fairly slow, not that that is always a bad thing. I enjoyed that the love story was not insta-love and progressed slow. **There is non-detailed sex, smoking, drinking, suicide, and violence. I read an advanced unfinished digital copy I received from the publisher through Net Gallery for my honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    3.5 - Enjoyable story for what it is. A love story set against the backdrop of the Vietnam war. Char and Joe meet through the letters she sends him from a pen pal program while she's still in highschool. She introduces him to the bucolic setting of small town life and he falls in love with the idea of it while in war torn Vietnam. After an injury sends him home with a medical discharge, he goes to the small town and decides to enroll in the college, ending up in the same college as Charlotte. Sh 3.5 - Enjoyable story for what it is. A love story set against the backdrop of the Vietnam war. Char and Joe meet through the letters she sends him from a pen pal program while she's still in highschool. She introduces him to the bucolic setting of small town life and he falls in love with the idea of it while in war torn Vietnam. After an injury sends him home with a medical discharge, he goes to the small town and decides to enroll in the college, ending up in the same college as Charlotte. She's dating a vehemently anti-war college senior but after a cruel "prank" ends their relationship, Joe and Char end up together. The book is mostly boy meets girl happiness from there, with a few rifts and mends needed to further the plot. There's no real meat considering the richness available just in the time period, but it's an easy read, the characters are likeable, and it's a cute story. Worth a read. *Thank you for the ARC, NetGalley!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ☕

    The Author did a wonderful job explaining what life felt like in the late 60s to early 70s concerning war and the draft. Interwoven throughout were the negatives concerning war, horrific things that can come from it, including heartbreak and loss of life. Everyone certainly has their opinion of war whether good or bad and this story shows that in the characters and in their beliefs. I enjoyed the sweet and tender romance throughout the story concerning the main couple. You will be drawn into the The Author did a wonderful job explaining what life felt like in the late 60s to early 70s concerning war and the draft. Interwoven throughout were the negatives concerning war, horrific things that can come from it, including heartbreak and loss of life. Everyone certainly has their opinion of war whether good or bad and this story shows that in the characters and in their beliefs. I enjoyed the sweet and tender romance throughout the story concerning the main couple. You will be drawn into their relationship and feel how they genuinely loved one another. I couldn't put the story down. I kept thinking about it as I went on throughout my day. I cannot think of a negative thing to say about the book. It drew on my heartstrings more than once. Thank you NetGalley and Deanna Lynn Sletten for allowing me to read this Advanced Reader Copy in exchange my honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    One of my favourite books of 2017 was Atonement by Ian McEwan, so when I read the synopsis for this one, I couldn't help but to draw a few resemblances and hit the request button. I was in the mood for a love story set in the past, and this book didn't disappoint. It's definitely a slow burn type of book, and although it does deal with topics of veteran PTSD and of war opposition, it overall is a light, innocent book. I would even go as far as to qualify it as a "cute" story even though it does One of my favourite books of 2017 was Atonement by Ian McEwan, so when I read the synopsis for this one, I couldn't help but to draw a few resemblances and hit the request button. I was in the mood for a love story set in the past, and this book didn't disappoint. It's definitely a slow burn type of book, and although it does deal with topics of veteran PTSD and of war opposition, it overall is a light, innocent book. I would even go as far as to qualify it as a "cute" story even though it does get quite intense at times. I loved the characters, though. From protagonist Char all the way to secondary characters, they were all quite complex and I got attached to most, if not all, of them. I'd like to thank Deanna Lynn Sletten, as well as Netgalley, for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. #NightMusic #NetGalley

  25. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    Night Music tackles a hard subject with some favorable results. Even 40 some years after America withdrew from Vietnam, there is hurt and misunderstanding. Having lived during that period in America’s history, I can tell you it was tough on everyone. Most of the characters were believable. There was a sweet love story between Char and Joe. Some of the anti-war rhetoric was quite unbelievable. The character of Deke was more of a cartoon character when it came to his anti-war activities. Things we Night Music tackles a hard subject with some favorable results. Even 40 some years after America withdrew from Vietnam, there is hurt and misunderstanding. Having lived during that period in America’s history, I can tell you it was tough on everyone. Most of the characters were believable. There was a sweet love story between Char and Joe. Some of the anti-war rhetoric was quite unbelievable. The character of Deke was more of a cartoon character when it came to his anti-war activities. Things were much more organized and more violent in reality. Char was wishy-washy when it came to how she felt about the war. Joe, having lived it, knew exactly what he believed. I received a free copy of the book from NetGalley and Deanna Lynn Sletten in exchange for my honest review. Thank you.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Donna Kale

    Living and being married to a army guy in the 70’s this book struck a cord with me, he was drafted and the Vietnam war ended just after he finished his training. I worked with a lot of men that had served and would never speak about what the saw or witness while they were there, I found it sad that they were never given the welcome home, thank you for your service that other vets had received. I’m glad that for the most part our nation is now realizing how wrong we were to treat our soldiers thi Living and being married to a army guy in the 70’s this book struck a cord with me, he was drafted and the Vietnam war ended just after he finished his training. I worked with a lot of men that had served and would never speak about what the saw or witness while they were there, I found it sad that they were never given the welcome home, thank you for your service that other vets had received. I’m glad that for the most part our nation is now realizing how wrong we were to treat our soldiers this way when in fact that were made to go, fight a war that no one ever thought we should have involved in, only to come home and be treated so inhuman for serving their county,this book was well written and kudos to Deanna for telling the story so well!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marvie Ross

    Totally falling in love with Deanna Lynn Sletten! She writes of love, faith, and the human condition in beautifully crafted stories that She writes of love, faith and the human condition in beautifully crafted stories that are spiritually gratifying exactly like a crisp walk in the fall or a day on the lakes she describes so well. Love! Though free in Kindle Library Im going to purchase her entire collection just to show my appreciation and encourage her writing. Kudos Ms. Sletten!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. a man in viet nam accepted letters from a pen pal in the states. she lived in a small town. after he was wounded he went to college in that same small town and met her, they fell in love and married. it depicted a time when people were for or against the war, but then there were others who were conflicted, supporting our boys who went to war to defend us, while at the same time hating the war that should never have happened. it was a disgrace that the men who came back were not honored.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    This is the fifth novel have read by Deanna Sletten. All the characters are easy to identify in real life situations. I especially enjoyed Night Music as I was in college and my father was an officer serving in Vietnam. Each story draws its reader inward and I find myself reading late into the night to learn what will happen next.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Terri Mastraieni

    A visit to a Vietnam vet A great story that takes us back to the late 60's .It tells the story of a young Vietnam vet who moves into a small town. We learn about the unrest that takes place around Vietnam and how it affects the town's people. Good read! A visit to a Vietnam vet A great story that takes us back to the late 60's .It tells the story of a young Vietnam vet who moves into a small town. We learn about the unrest that takes place around Vietnam and how it affects the town's people. Good read!

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