After the Vietnam war Nguyen Thi Lan rose from humble beginnings to become one of Vietnam’s most influential women. Now Lan and her granddaughter are being hunted by the Peoples Public Security for prodemocracy activities. For in communist Vietnam, the most serious crime is advocating democracy. Those that do are considered enemies of the state. Imprisonment, torture, and execution await those unfortunate enough to be arrested.
In hiding, with no means of escape, she turns to her ex- American lover, James Britton, for help as repayment of an old debt. As he now travels to Vietnam he knows it was a debt, whose details were only known to Lan and himself, that must be repaid.
The author is a graduate of the Airborne school at Ft.Benning and the Unconventional Warfare school at Ft. Bragg. He served with the 7th Special Forces Group at Ft. Bragg and the 5th Group in Vietnam. His other works include a book of poems about the Vietnam War experience entitled“ No Slack Authorized “.
He is now a retired physician living in North Carolina with Maria, his wife of 42 years. His
time is spent volunteering, kayaking, golfing and visiting family.
Reviewed By Viga Boland for Readers’ Favorite
Reading a novel like Escape From Vietnam: For Some The Vietnam War Never Ended by Howard Cohen is so much more than enjoying an intricate, riveting plot and engaging with realistic and touching characters. It’s an opportunity for enlightenment, not just about the horrors experienced by both soldiers and those they tried to help during the Vietnam War, but about what it is like to live under Communist rule. And it is the last factor that propels the action in Escape From Vietnam and leaves readers grateful they don’t live there, even today. The key characters, a beautiful Vietnamese woman, Lan, and James, a Green Beret, became lovers during the Vietnam War. The war separates them, each eventually marrying someone in their own country. Now, in 2018, after years of non-communication between them, Lan tracks James down in North Carolina and asks for his help. James obliges, flies to Vietnam, and what he learns shocks him. Lan, and members of her family, desperately need James’ help to escape unscrupulous and cruel members of the powerful Communist Party. Aided by Lan’s trusted servants, James follow Lan’s plans that involve two separate escapes. The chances of success seem more unlikely with each turn of the page and readers are breathless, wondering what will happen next. It’s interesting that while Lan and James are the main characters, some of the minor characters, like Chang, are impossible to forget too. There are so many characters who touch you with their loyalty and strength, and others who make you shudder with their cruelty. The depictions of torture used to extract information make one cringe. Escape From Vietnam will engage readers' interest from start to finish. Recommended and unforgettable reading.