3 out of 4 stars
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Safe in the Perimeter of His Hands by Thomas North and Daisy Willard is a memoir about Tom’s twelve-month tour of Vietnam that began in March of 1968. Father and daughter worked together to compile the stories of Tom’s harrowing experiences while serving in the Vietnam War and included many photos from that year. This collaboration helped to build family bonds and overcome the effect of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by Tom’s experiences in an active combat zone.
From the light-hearted moments to the tragic deaths of many men Tom served with, this memoir remains an honest account of the events that the author experienced, free from politics and agendas. I loved how the authors shared Tom’s experiences and helped the reader understand the emotions he dealt with while serving in another country. I appreciated how the authors told each event in easy-to-understand language with minimal acronyms. I also appreciated how the authors explained the military terms and made it simple for the reader to understand more about the operations in Vietnam.
My favorite part about this memoir was how the authors brought tears to my eyes with the stories told about soldiers and friends killed in action. It was tragic that some of these men were killed or wounded in senseless accidents. It was also emotional to read about the innocent villagers caught up in the war. Yet, in the end, it was very fulfilling to read about how Tom made it safely home to discover his faith and start a family. He had often wondered why God helped him get home safely while others had died. His youngest daughter answered that question at the end of the book with a satisfying answer that gave this personal story a perfect ending. You’ll have to read the book yourself to learn what she had to say!
I was disappointed that some of the pictures included throughout the book were hard to see. However, considering that Tom took them in 1968 and they were over 50 years old, it was easy to understand that the photos would lose clarity as they were transferred into the book and enlarged. There were also quite a few proofreading errors despite his family’s admirable efforts to format and edit the writing. For these reasons, I give Safe in the Perimeter of His Hands three out of four stars.
I’d recommend this book to readers who enjoy military memoirs. The authors shared a brief testimony of Tom’s acceptance of Christian faith in the final chapters of the book and used very few instances of swear words. There were, however, depictions of several war-related incidents that may be hard for sensitive readers to stomach.
Safe in the Perimeter of His Hands
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