Sunday, July 6, 2008

Shooting the Moon Frances O'roark Dowell

Shooting the Moon by Frances O'roark Dowell. What is war? This question is answered for Jamie Dexter. She's almost fourteen loves her family and living the Army life. Her father is Colonel Dexter, he is in charge at Fort Hood, Texas. Jamie's 18yr old brother T.J enlist in the Army because he wants to do his part and fight in the Vietnam war. Jamie is excited by her brothers decision. She still sees war as game they used to play with plastic army men. Vietnam is a place where T.J will go for a while and come back a hero. Rather then send Jamie letters T.J sends her film. Shooting the Moon is beautiful for many reasons and the photographs are at the top of the list. Jamie learns how to develop the black and white film in the rec center darkroom. T.J. starts off slowly sending Jamie pictures of the barracks and other soldiers. Eventually he begins to send pictures of injured soldiers. With each film roll Jamie reconsiders what war is, you can almost feel her growing up. I love artistic expression I believe it allows a person to open up and be heard. Dowell allows the reader to be in on the developing process.

"I remembered what Sgt Byrd told me the first day we worked in the darkroom together, that he was a process guy. I knew what he meant now. Every part of the developing process was interesting to me. Whenever I made a discovery - a certain kind of paper worked better, or that I got better results if developing chemicals were a degree or two cooler- I was in a good mood for the rest of the day."

It nice to think someone will discover a hobby thanks to this book. After the second chapter its close to impossible to put Shooting the Moon down. Dowell's writing is beautiful with a purpose. I am very happy I didn't let Shooting the Moon pass me by.

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