(Garden of Heaven Trilogy)
by Malcolm R. Campbell
When conscription and the Vietnam War pull pacifist David Ward away from Montana, mountain climbing and magic, he leaves for Navy boot camp with a suitcase of regrets. His fiancé ignores him, a close friend callously tells him to kill bad guys and have sex in every port, and an old flame sends devastating news that wrenches his life from its foundations.
Friends and family warned that if he dodged the draft, he would let down his church and country and become an embarrassment to everyone. Canada offered war resistors anonymous safety one hundred miles north of his ranch; a Swedish friend offered him the loving safety of her home and bed 4,500 miles away in Göteborg.
Rather than choosing a tempting offer for the wrong reasons, David serves onboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of Vietnam. Unlike his pilot friend Jack Rose, he’s more vulnerable to letters from home than from the war. His fiancé ignores him, a close friend callously tells him to kill bad guys and have sex in every port, and an old flame sends devastating news that wrenches his life from its foundations.
His spare-time work on a mountain climbing novel anchors him, a vision quest with a Hawai’ian sorceress in the warm waters off Oʻahu brings him hope, and an unexpected relationship with a Filipino bar girl saves his sanity. His best friend will never return home from the war. When David returns, no family and friends meet the plane or help get David’s life back together. They enjoy hearing funny stories about the ship, teaching him to remain silent about everything that matters.