“It’s been said that in the anti-war movement of the 1970s, the men stormed the barricades and the women made the coffee. 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 and Two if By Sea

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“Meet Judy Talton, college student during some of the worst moments of the 1960s. Torn between her duty to country and her antiwar friends, between her family and her desire to make her own way, Judy embodies every conflict of that tumultuous era. Long after you finish the last page of this beautiful, tautly written novel, Judy Talton will echo in your memory.”

–– Peter Golden, author of Nothing Is Forgotten

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“Set on a college campus at the time of the first draft lottery during the Vietnam War, Rita Dragonette’s The Fourteenth of September deftly captures the raw and various emotions of a generation on the cusp of an uncertain and unfamiliar future. The choices of Dragonette’s characters are difficult, their solutions complex. At times charming and funny, at others intense and heartbreaking, this debut novel depicts a unique era and complicated chapter in U.S. history with precision and depth, and Dragonette renders the story with compassion, understanding, and grace.”

–– Patricia Ann McNair, author of And These Are the Good Times

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“Rita Dragonette’s well crafted and deeply felt novel The Fourteenth of September took me back to that turbulent time in the life of my generation, 1969-70, when rock music was the new language of youth, when glimmering hopes of the future slammed up against the realities of war, and when the fate of young men was determined by the pull of a number in the Draft Lottery.  For those, like me, who were there, this novel is a re-immersion into a time of angst, discovery, tragedy and challenge.  For those who came after the ‘60’s, this is a book to learn what all the fuss was about.”

–– Patrick T. Reardon, author of the poetry collection Requiem for David and seven other books.

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The Fourteenth of September is a compelling, original book and a great read. It’s at once transporting to an incredible moment in recent history – the anti-Vietnam era of 1969-1970—and still distinctly modern, telling the story of a young woman finding her independence, her voice and her place in the world. The author puts us squarely inside the head of Judy from the first page, and it is an unpredictable, emotional and gripping ride through the end. The more you read, the more complex and interesting each character becomes, evolving from a gaggle of seemingly typical college students to a collection of fully-formed, deeply human and truly unique individuals. This is a terrific book for anyone who enjoys American history, women’s lit … or simply a great story.”

–– Josh Lohrius, author of The Breaking of Goody Boothe

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“Rita Dragonette’s novel, The Fourteenth of September,reveals what I have known for a long while—that she is a writer of great talent and integrity who infuses this debut work with an energy and vision that lifts it far beyond the ordinary coming of age story. This is an important book, not to be missed.”

–– Gary D. Wilson, author of Getting Right and Sing, Ronnie Blue

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“In The Fourteenth of September, Rita Dragonette transports readers to a college campus in the late ‘60s where youth across America questioned the status quo and flunking out meant front lines. When Judy intentionally crosses the Tune Room in her faded jeans, she isn’t merely joining those who claim to rebel against authority for the collective good. Her journey represents the complexity of every generation’s timeless effort to align conscience with action. Dragonette’s debut novel, neither idealistic nor fatalistic, offers the unique perspective of a young woman facing her own private rebellion.”

–– Elizabeth Wheeler, author of The Asher Trilogy

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“Set in the months before and after the 1969 draft lottery, Rita Dragonette’s The Fourteenth of September tells the powerful story of Judy Talton, a young woman who must decide whether to risk her military nursing scholarship to protest the Vietnam War, which she has become convinced is morally wrong. Dragonette brilliantly depicts how the urgency of political commitment complicates the self-absorption of adolescence, the intense bonds of family, friendship and love—often with devastating consequences. This is not only a novel for those of us who look back and marvel at the profound decisions we were called upon to make when we were so young, but for a whole new generation facing the crucial questions of a turbulent, changing world that will define them.”

–– Barbara Shoup, author of Looking for Jack KerouacAn American TuneNight WatchFaithful WomenWish You Were HereVermeer’s DaughterStranded in Harmony and Everything You Want

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“Rita Dragonette's debut novel gracefully and magnificently arcs the full distance between the deeply personal and the global. In its depiction of a seminal point in the history of our country – the deep divide over the Vietnam War that provided the backdrop for the seismic shift at the end of 1960's – her story paints a sharp portrayal of a place and time, while artfully tackling questions of universal significance: at what point must we find our own voice and speak up? How do we determine what is meaningful action and what is not? And how to we measure the need to act versus a personal cost to ourselves? In a novel that gathers momentum with each page, Rita Dragonette has given us a work of recent historical fiction with profound relevance for today.”

–– Barbara Monier, author of You, In Your Green Shirt and A Little Birdie Told Me

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“Rita Dragonette has crafted a compelling  first novel about the Vietnam War era, when successive presidents and administrations  continually covered up the true military situation in Vietnam, and numerous military advisers to  three presidents were overly optimistic about the US capabilities of winning that war. There is a morbid similarity to those events in today’s world. Ms. Dragonette paints a picture of the unrest in the student body across many universities, and their gradual realization that the American public was not being told the truth about Vietnam and that they were going to be asked through the draft to join in the slaughter, risking their lives at a time when nearly 40,000 Americans had already been killed. It is a coming-of-age story of students, their loves and fears, and the polarization of thinking that it is even wider in the US today.

This is a wonderful read for those who can remember the Vietnam era, and perhaps younger people that can identify with the student unrest, that led eventually to a capitulation of the Government to their demands.”

–– Ellis Goodman, author of Corona: The Inside Story of American’s #1 Imported Beer, Bear Any Burden and The Keller Papers

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