“In her first novel for adults, Farish ( Shelter for a Seabird ) powerfully conveys the sights and sounds of the Vietnam war as experienced by a “doughnut dollie,” one of the women sent to run Red Cross mobile recreation units. Diana Seymour, an unsophisticated 19-year-old college girl from Texas, signs up with patriotic fervor for a stint in Southeast Asia. Her best friend there is cynical yet sensitive Pearly, whose life so far has been “one catastrophe after another.” Told that their job is to be a “mix of storyteller/social worker/entertainer” to the soldiers, the women soon realize these duties present many contradictions. “If you came over as a cute college girl with nice skin and neat values, you wouldn’t go home as one. This was war,” says Diana, who falls in love with a soldier and loses much of her naivete. Diana’s narrative crosses freely between her inner and outer worlds, resulting in a dreamlike and haunting, though sometimes confusing tale.
“Farish exhibits a fresh, original, and intensely appealing voice in this first adult novel-a female addition to the Vietnam genre that is as moving as it is wise.”