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The Patience of Rivers
by Whitney Scott


Oh, that summer of '69! Eighteen-year-old Nick Lauria works on the family campgrounds as what will be known as Woodstock takes shape on a neighboring farm. All isn't peace, love, understanding, and music for Nick, however, as he leads canoe trips on the Delaware River. His family's overextended finances become increasingly precarious because of pressure from a business partner given to secrecy – the father of Nick's best friend, Charlie.

The distant drums of Vietnam come closer in letters from Nick's pal Felix, who writes of being pinned down in heavy fire and saved by an old C-47 – "Puff the Magic Dragon" – sending red tracer lines of "pure hot dragon breath" into a tree line filled with enemy forces. There is a certain pure joy in youth saved from wartime slaughter, and there is another kind of pure sensation in this novel's setting amid a crowd of campers as rain storms threaten to raise the river.

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