The Outside Lands by Hannah Kohler (A Review by Bianca Verbeek)
The book is a story about siblings Jeannie and Kip, who lost their mom at a young age. Where Jeannie comes by early marriage and motherhood, Kip enlists for the Vietnam war. When Kip is accused of a military crime, the stories intertwine as Jeannie tries the find a way to save him and make up for her disregard of Kip after their mom died. It is a story about family and how the choices you make, influence everyone around you.
I never really knew a lot about the Vietnam war. I choose this book hoping to read more about how this war influenced the lives of so many people. However, the book turned out a little different than I thought: the focus is not so much the war (although it is a running theme), but rather the private drama of (mostly) Jeannie and Kip. From unexpected pregnancy, a lesbian love affair to a mini love story based on guilt – there is a lot going on in this book. I would even say that there is too much going on and the book would have benefitted from being a bit more focused. That’s said, it’s a well-written book and a nice read.
I think it would be very interesting to see the opinions of others about the chooses that Jeannie (and Kip) make during the book. There is a lot to be discussed!
A Review by Bianca Verbeek