Novel Explores Ongoing Losses of Those Devastated by Vietnam War

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Beyond the Blue, a novel about international adoption by Leslie Gould, is released between the 30th anniversary of the Operation Babylift Crash and the anniversary of the fall of Saigon.

Thirty years ago on April 4, 1975 an Operation Babylift plane crashed at Saigon’s Tan Son Nhut Airport. Over half of the 300 passengers onboard perished, including Vietnamese orphans fleeing their war-torn country. Then, on April 30, 1975, Saigon fell to the Viet Cong, changing the lives of millions of South Vietnamese forever.

Author Leslie Gould is pleased to announce the release of her novel, Beyond the Blue (WaterBrook/Random House; $13.99; April 2005; ISBN 1-57856-822-6) during the 30th anniversary month of these two historic events. The novel opens with the fateful Operation Babylift crash in 1975, portrays the chaos of the end of the war and subsequent years, and ends in 2001 as two families merge through international adoption.

The novel, told from both the Vietnamese birth mom’s and the American adoptive mom’s points of view, explores the post-war chaos of Vietnam, the heart-wrenching losses of an American family, and the tragedy of a poverty-stricken, third-world woman unable to feed her children. Beyond the Blue is a story of loss and gain, perseverance and, ultimately, poignant hope.

Author Melody Carlson says, “We don’t always see how one life impacts another…especially when they are complete worlds apart. From the war-torn aftermath of Vietnam to the challenges of international adoption, Beyond the Blue reveals an authentic and gripping tale you won’t soon forget.”

If, as Jane Fonda claims, the Vietnam experience is an “oozing wound” for Americans, then Beyond the Blue is a salve. The novel doesn’t deal with politics or protests; instead, through believable characters, it presents strong women and resilient children who survive the worst heartache imaginable.

Nicky Losse, director of the Vietnam Program at Children’s Hope International, says, “In Beyond the Blue, Leslie captures the sights and sounds of Vietnam so vividly, you feel like you are right there walking the streets of Vung Tau and Ho Chi Minh City. Her insight into the birth mother’s feelings is amazing, and she captures all sides of the adoption triangle: the adoptive parents’ perspective, the adoptive child’s, as well as the birth mother’s. This is a must read for all adoptive parents.”

In 2001, Leslie Gould and her husband, Peter, adopted a daughter from Vung Tau, Vietnam. Beyond the Blue was inspired by the emotions of that experience. Leslie Gould lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and four children. Her first novel, Garden of Dreams, was released in 2003.

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