Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Five O'Clock Follies: What's a Woman Doing Here, Anyway?- Theasa Tuohy

The Five O'Clock Follies: What's a Woman Doing Here, Anyway?

Theasa Tuohy

Calliope Press, Oct 15 2012, $14.99

ISBN: 9780984779918

In 1968 freelance writer Angela Martinelli arrives in Saigon as a rare female war correspondent. Her male counterparts ridicule the tall classy looking Angela in her high heels and long red hair as out of place in Vietnam. Only Chicago journalist Nick O’Brien gives her a chance to prove herself if she acclimates to life without American upper middle class “luxuries” like a lovely summer dress.

Angela adapts to the ups and downs of war reporting. She bravely covers a covert operation in Cambodia and escapes from the Viet Cong while the military deny any breaching of the boundaries. Her male counterparts continue to scorn her as they reject her accounts as female fanciful fabrications except for Nick.

This is a powerful military historical thriller that focuses on journalists covering the Vietnam War especially a feisty courageous woman crashing through the glass ceiling. The excitement occurs during the major events like the Tet Offensive and the insight into the psychological and physical injuries sustained by the soldiers and reporters. When the storyline concentrates on the mundane between the key war moments the plot slows down yet is even more discerning as the audience observes the journalists (and soldiers) dealing with ennui yet anticipating the next bipolar explosion to report on. The Five O'Clock Follies answers “What's a Woman Doing Here, Anyway?” with reporting the news.

Harriet Klausner

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