In this book, Timberg chronicles his life post Vietnam War; he’s an Annapolis grad Marine who, just days from his going-home date, gets horrifically burned when the vehicle he’s on explodes a mine.
This story is at its best when Timberg is describing the procedures he endured and the people and experiences that motivated him to return to life, despite being physically disfigured. His bravery and intelligence, and those of his first wife, are pretty incredible. There’s a lot to think about — How much can a marriage bear? Which of your personal characteristics make you you, and what can you do without and still be you? What do you do when medicine has reached it limit of how much it can improve your condition?
Three stars because the book gets weird at the end. Timberg became a journalist and covered Washington. He spends many of the last chapters talking about the book he wrote on Iran Contra (Nightingale’s Song), and his wish to prove that North, Pointdexter, and MacFarlane were just swell guys who didn’t really do anything wrong. It seemed completely out of place in this book.