I was only a year-old when the Cuban Missile Crisis took place in October 1962. But I found myself interested in this time of history in May, while on a trip to Cuba. I was touring the bunkers and tunnels where the Cuban government had placed their anti-aircraft-weapons, artillery and soldiers ready for the Americans to invade the Island. It felt surreal. I was so grateful that President Kennedy and Soviet leader Khrushchev came to an agreement other than World War Three.
“But aren’t we all fools today? Going through the motions of normal life – as if everything and everyone doesn’t hang in the balance? As if the unspeakable – the unthinkable – isn’t staring us in the face just across the Florida Straits?”
“A Place We Knew Well”
In Susan Carol McCarthy’s novel, A PLACE WE KNEW WELL, Americans are on pins and needles after President John F. Kennedy goes on television and tells the nation that Cuba has nuclear weapons. Now they’re left to wonder if the United States is going to “kick the nukes and Castro out of Cuba,” and if they’re supposed to go on their merry ways. The country’s Defense Department has raised the threat level to Def Con-2 and it will stay there for at least the next thirteen days.
Wes Avery, retired from the Air Force. is living the American dream in Florida. He owns the local Texaco, but notices something BIG going on over at Fort McCoy. “Normally no more that a third of the wing (planes) was gone. Half the wing gone meant something was up. Something big.”
His delicate wife Sarah is working with the local ladies to prepare for this Sunday’s First ever Family Survival and Fall-out Shelter Show. She’s in charge of getting all the food lined up, but it seems the guests of honor, The Atomic Honeymooners are canceling due to an approaching hurricane. This sends her to bed with one of her headaches which keeps her in the dark for hours.
Wes and Sarah’s daughter, Charlotte can feel the building excitement and fear around town and worries for her “unstable” mother, but she’s been chosen for the homecoming court, and darn it, this is her time to shine!
McCarthy grew up in central Florida during the Missile Crisis and bases A PLACE WE KNEW WELL on her memories and others she’s collected. I felt carried away by the flowing narrative and enjoyed getting to know the characters, many of whom are quite quirky. I loved how McCarthy juxtaposed the seriousness of the potential disaster with everyday people going about their day-to-day lives. I couldn’t help but catch the irony.
For all things SUSAN, check out http://www.SusanCarolMcCarthy.com
Thanks to NetGalley http://www.netgalley.com for providing a copy of A PLACE WE KNEW WELL for an honest review.
Feel free to check out http://www.cindyroesel.com for more of my reviews and news about my novel, “Viewer Discretion Advised.” Have a great day.