By Michael Knight
(Atlantic Monthly Press, Hardcover, 9780802119506, 190pp.)
Publication Date: August 2010
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When Francis Vancleave ( Van ) joins the army in 1944, he expects his term of service to pass uneventfully. His singular talenttyping ninety-five words a minutekeeps him off the battlefield and in General MacArthur's busy Tokyo headquarters, where his days are filled with paperwork in triplicate and letters of dictation.
But little does Van know that the first year of the occupation will prove far more volatile for him than for the U.S. Army. When he's bunked with a troubled combat veteran cum-black marketer and recruited to babysit MacArthur's eight-year-old son, Van is suddenly tangled in the complexand riskypersonal lives of his compatriots. As he brushes shoulders with panpan girls and Communists on the streets of Tokyo, Van struggles to uphold his convictions in the face of unexpected conflictespecially the startling news from his war bride, a revelation that threatens Van with a kind of war wound he never anticipated.