The Fourteenth of September Tour – Review

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About the Book

On September 14, 1969, Private First Class Judy Talton celebrates her nineteenth birthday by secretly joining the campus anti-Vietnam War movement. In doing so, she jeopardizes both the army scholarship that will secure her future and her relationship with her military family. But Judy’s doubts have escalated with the travesties of the war. Who is she if she stays in the army? What is she if she leaves?

When the first date pulled in the Draft Lottery turns up as her birthday, she realizes that if she were a man, she’d have been Number One—off to Vietnam with an under-fire life expectancy of six seconds. The stakes become clear, propelling her toward a life-altering choice as fateful as that of any draftee.

The Fourteenth of September portrays a pivotal time at the peak of the Vietnam War through the rare perspective of a young woman, tracing her path of self-discovery and a “Coming of Conscience.” Judy’s story speaks to the poignant clash of young adulthood, early feminism, and war, offering an ageless inquiry into the domestic politics of protest when the world stops making sense.

Praise for The Fourteenth of September

An often fresh take on the collegiate anti-war movement in small-town America.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“The ebb and flow between a nineteen-year-old’s mistakes, vulnerability, and surprising moments of insight ring achingly true. The Fourteenth of September is a moving tribute to lives altered by chance. The draft lottery and its rippling effects highlight a generation that came into adulthood amid devastating uncertainty.” –– Foreword Clarion Reviews

“Rita Dragonette has written a strong-hearted and authentic novel about a naive young girl and her struggle to reconcile the dissonance between the world she sees and the world she was raised to believe in. Judy is truly a quiet hero; you won’t forget her.”  –– Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean


This book provides a vivid portrayal of a tumultuous time within the US as well as tumultuous feelings within one individual trying to find her way during this time. Taking a much needed fresh approach to a typical wartime story, The Fourteenth of September focuses on a young female as she navigates college, joining the anti-Vietnam war movement, and her role within the military. So, as you can tell, it’s highly engrossing.

The emotions that are found within this book is what sets it above many other stories set in this time. Entering adulthood is a difficult time for anyone without a war, but being forced to face even more warring opinions could make anyone break. Dragonette is extremely successful in conveying not only the time period, but the feelings associated with finding your own beliefs about a war killing many on each side. As you read this story you will easily find yourself empathizing with Judy as she struggles to navigate two very different sides of her life and herself.

I believe that what makes The Fourteenth of September such a moving read is the experiences that Dragonette went through herself and infused within this story. It is an extremely realistic and plausible tale that will leave you with a renewed understanding of the time and its people. Although the events in this book may not have been all that long ago (in retrospect), they can provide some outlook on many of the current issues in our society.

About the Author

Rita Dragonette is a writer who, after spending nearly thirty years telling the stories of others as an award-winning public relations executive, has returned to her original creative path. The Fourteenth of September, her debut novel from She Writes Press, is based upon her personal experiences on campus during the Vietnam War. It has received the Beverly Hills Book Award for Women’s Fiction (2018), National Indie Excellence Awards for New Fiction (finalist 2019) and Best Cover Design (finalist 2019), American Book Fest Fiction Awards for Literary Fiction (finalist 2018) and Best Cover Design (finalist 2018) and the Hollywood Book Festival (honorable mention 2018, general fiction). She is currently at work on three other books: an homage to The Sun Also Rises about expats chasing their last dream in San Miguel de Allende, a World War II novel based upon her interest in the impact of war on and through women, and a memoir in essays. She lives and writes in Chicago, where she also hosts literary salons to showcase authors and their new books to avid readers.

Tour Schedule

Sept 9th – Lindas Book Obsession

Sept. 10th – David L Morgan

Sept. 12th – Ya It’s Lit

Sept. 12th – Miss W Book Reviews

Sept. 13th – Hannah Reads

Sept. 13th – Gingerly Reading

Sept. 13th – Flight Nurse

Sept. 14th Bookoholic Cafe

Sept. 14th – Bookish Heidi

Sept. 14th – Nurse Bookie

Sept. 15th – Book Chara

*I received a copy in exchange for a review*

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