[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: CreateSpace
Heaven Help Us All is the story of love in the time of war. Marj Llewellyn is a young clinical therapist in Washington D.C. working with veterans, primarily of the Vietnam War, to which she tragically lost her own father. Marj loves her work; she finds peace with herself and her tragic loss through helping these men who have gone through the same things. She empathizes with the turbulence of their lives, but is understandably concerned when Charles “Pinky” Pinckney, a patient dear to her, goes missing. When Gary, a mysterious but handsome vet, shows up in her clinic claiming to have information about Pinky’s whereabouts, Marj is intrigued. When she follows Gary to the Gathering – part small bicycle messenger business, part commune – she must admit her interest in Gary runs deeper than a desire to recover contact with Pinky. As she struggles to maintain her professional boundaries, Marj and Gary’s lives become more and more entwined as their search for their missing friend leads them all over the city.
Set on the eve of the Gulf War at the end of 1990, Heaven Help Us All analyzes the war machine and how it touches all of our lives. Eliot’s prose is poetic, but subtle and understated. Marj’s story draws you in and then gently buffers you around in its current, guiding readers through Marj’s attempts to engage her reservist brother in a real conversation about the impending military action all the while reassuring her anxious mother that he won’t be called up. Marj’s unsatisfying love life, her creative struggles, and her deep commitment to her family after their shared tragedy all ground the story firmly in an immediately familiar reality.
The novel starts slowly, but quickly finds its feet in Marj’s journey. Eliot’s nods to the music of the era, the artful depictions of post-Vietnam counterculture and civil disobedience, and his loving treatment of D.C. make Heaven Help Us All a thoughtful meditation on the anxiety of war and the healing power of love.
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