SNAKE'S DAUGHTER by Gail Hosking Gilberg

SNAKE'S DAUGHTER

The Roads In and Out of War
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A poignant memoir of loss by the daughter of a career soldier who died in Vietnam. Charles ``the Snake'' Hosking ran away from home when he was in high school to join the Canadian army and fight in WW II. He was discovered by his parents and discharged, with the intervention of his congressman, and he joined the Coast Guard until, at 17, he was given permission by his parents and the government to enlist in the US Army as a paratrooper. He went on to fight at the Battle of the Bulge and elsewhere, developing great skill as a warrior and an even greater affection for the army. Hosking married and had four children, Gilberg being the oldest. Until she was in her teens, Gilberg lived the life of an army brat: moving from fort to fort, learning new languages, making new friends, attending 12 schools in as many years. Perhaps as a result of her experience, she became a deeply thoughtful woman, looking inward to explain the many contradictions in her father's life. Why did this man with an extremely high IQ and a startling facility with language never become an officer? How could Hosking reconcile his rigorously disciplined way of life with his uncontrollable and dangerous drinking habit? Why did he reenlist time and again to fight in a war that he knew was unwinnable? And, perhaps hardest for Gilberg to accept, how could he justify all the time he spent away from his family for the army? In fact, in his third tour of duty in Vietnam. Hosking sacrificed his own life to wrestle an enemy soldier with a hand grenade to the ground--his final choice of the army over himself and his family. The simple structure of this annotated photo album belies the depth of the work, shaded and shadowed with layers of meaning and sentiment.

Pub Date: May 2nd, 1997
ISBN: 0-87745-585-6
Page count: 232pp
Publisher: Univ. of Iowa
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1997