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Hardcover Hero Mama: A Daughter Remembers the Father She Lost in Vietnam--and the Mother Who Held Her Family Together Book

ISBN: 0060721480

ISBN13: 9780060721480

Hero Mama: A Daughter Remembers the Father She Lost in Vietnam--and the Mother Who Held Her Family Together

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

I don't remember Mama crying when Granny Ruth died, but the day after she was buried, Mama gathered together all the pillows in the house and went into the room where her mother's foot-pedaled sewing machine stood silent. Taking a pair of black-handled scissors, she cut open the tops of Granny's pillows. Aunt Blanche asked Mama what in Jehoshaphat's name did she think she was doing, cutting up all the pillows like that. Mama answered something about...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Excellent book

After hearing the author on NPR, a friend suggested I read this book. I doubt I would have ever picked it up on my own- I felt like I'd seen all the Vietnam movies and I was not affected by the war. However,I can honestly say this is one of the best books I have ever read. I have a new perspective on not only Vietnam but how I feel for the soldiers in Iraq now. It's not only about the consequences of war- it's about family, grief, perserverence and forgiveness. It's one of those books you think about for days and wish you had more of it to read.

The Real Thing

Perhaps the most difficult story that any of us will ever tell, is our own. There are chapters in each of our stories that we wish that we could forget. Chapters that we wish would have never happened. But each chapter written in our lives makes us who we are. We can all learn from one another stories, but there are few people that ever take the opportunity to share theirs with the people around them. There are even fewer people that can tell their story with the realization that theirs is just a small part of a much bigger story being told. Karen Spears Zacharias has done what few others have been able to accomplish through her book, "Hero Mama." She tells her whole story! The straight-up, unabridged version of her story! She invites the reader to walk alongside her and her family on their journey through life. You truly feel a sense of desperation with her as you are forced to realize what the death of a parent/spouse can do to a family. She shares her account with an authenticity that is rare! The Vietnam War began and ended long before I was ever born, but "Hero Mama" has caused me to realize the obligation that we have as a country to the families of those that have been killed in past wars and the war that we currently face. It is our responsibility to support them, especially since their loved ones died fighting for our freedom. This book will cause you to laugh and to cry and perhaps even to do both of these things at the same time. It is a story of love, loss, and triumph. A long, hard journey, but one that has brought freedom which extends far beyond the very essence of what David Spears fought to give his family and his country. Take the opportunity to learn from someone that knows the true cost of freedom. You will leave with a sense of gratitude that is hard to explain.

Hero Mama...Seeing our life in a book

Having picked up a copy of Hero Mama in the Borders' Store at Dulles Airport in DC,the cashier asked me why would I want to read something about an unpopular event such as Vietnam. I shared with her my story having just been to the "Wall" to see my Dad's name "James C. Mitchell Jr. KIA 01/08/1970" and the significance of "Our Story". The story of sons and daughters who lost their Dad's in Vietnam. As I began to read on the plane-I laughed, cried, and said several "OH MY GOD!!'s" This is my life, or at least a greater part of it in print. Several people on the plane notice how intense my facial expressions were while reading the book. I literally could not put the book down. The author captures many of the raw and truthful emotions that children of the Vietnam War have felt and currently feel. These are the emotions of joy, sadness, fear, lonliness, and pride as we have learned to face our lives with the scars of a Nation that did not welcome our fathers home, a Nation that did not understand how to deals with War Orphans and a generation of grieving wives and children, and a Nation that is just now acknowledging the sacrifices of that generation as we begin to heal. It is just now that we see the needs of the next generation of Hero Mamas. Thank you Karen for sharing your story with all of us Sons and Daughters of the Vietnam War. You make us and our Dads very proud. This review is writen by Susan Mitchell Mattera, the proud daughter of James C. Mitchell Jr US Navy who served in Vietnam and was killed in action 01/08/1970.

Raw-edged and rewarding

"Hero Mama" is a raw-edged look at the other victims of war: families. It is a bluntly honest book. It is an unmistakably "southern" book. Above all, it is a thought-provoking book that will help those of us on the outside understand what happens once the flag has been folded and handed to the widow. Zacharias is that rare writer who is immensely gifted, and yet doesn't let herself get in the way of the story. "Hero Mama" is a superb book about reconciliation, resiliency and, ultimately, triumph. It is sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always compelling. As the author of a book about another hero involving war ("American Nightingale," about the first nurse to die after the landings at Normandy), I've read hundreds of books about war. This is among the two or three best.

A Daughter's Shared Healing

Karen Spears Zacharias has honored both her killed-in-action Vietnam Veteran father and her war-widow mother immensely by telling their story, a rare ability these days. This is not a syrupy, sugar-coated account. Rather, it is almost a tell-all. But by sharing her raw, emotion-filled story, she has enabled us to peak into the process of grief itself. We are allowed to look inside the casket at the body with her. We are allowed to feel her shock, dismay, and loneliness. We are allowed into her family circle. And we are taught to care. We are all benefited by her candor and would be wise to observe what happens in families who lose a loved one suddenly, especially in the line of duty. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has loved and lost; for those still reeling from the Vietnam War; for those afraid of losing now; and for healers of various disciplines who might need to know more about how grief is manifested and how support can be given. The Vietnam War is a difficult and often avoided subject. We owe it to Vietnam Veterans and surviving families to listen to their stories and hear what they have learned. We also owe it to those who have just experienced the loss of a loved one in combat more recently to attempt to apply the lessons learned post-Vietnam War to here and now. Karen gives us the prescription to do just that.
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