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Red, White, Blue

by Lea Carpenter

Red, White, Blue by Lea Carpenter X
Red, White, Blue by Lea Carpenter
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  • Published Aug 2018
    320 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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There are currently 23 member reviews
for Red, White, Blue
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  • Karna B. (Long Beach, CA)
    Red, White, Blue
    A compelling read! Well-written, suspenseful, and hard to put down, we explore the world of espionage and a daughter's search for understanding of who her father really was. Anna, the daughter of a CIA case officer, is trying to come to terms with his questionable death caused by an avalanche. In a "chance" meeting with a man who indicates he has known her father and a package later received containing cryptic information about her father, Anna begins to wonder who her father really was. The juxtaposition between Anna's third person narrative and the first person narrative of the CIA agent, propels this story of espionage, love, family and loyalty.
  • Sharon J. (Raleigh, NC)
    Red, White, Blue
    I really liked how the author structured this book alternating between the two main voices and found the succinct chapters like a metaphor for their lives. While the darkness and betrayal are an undercurrent, the story is told with with focus on the complexities and more human side of the CIA's secret world. The juxtaposition of Anna's life next to the story of her father's secret life in the CIA brings the reader into a tale of duplicity, loyalty and betrayal. It left me wanting to know more.
  • Peggy A. (Morton Grove, IL)
    A spy novel not made for TV
    If you're looking to read a thrilling, page turning book about the CIA and it's exploits abroad, this is not your book! Instead, Lea Carpenter has written a provocative tome on life and loss and the choices one makes in life. The plot is secondary to the character development of Anna...the daughter of a former CIA operative who struggles to make sense of her fathers death.
    I must admit to struggling with the disjointed narrative style Carpenter uses but I felt rewarded by her brilliant philosophical musings. Also impressive was the strong connection depicted between Anna and her father. He calls her at one point "his finest asset".
    This is a novel that one waits to see what will percolate in your consciousness when you finally put it down and walk away from the last page!
  • Norma R. (Secaucus, NJ)
    Red, White and Blue
    Red White and Blue is novel told from two alternating points of view. The narrators take turn telling two parallel stories. This creates a fast paced read. The main character Anna has a loving father she knows very little about and a mother who left when she was a young child. As an adult Anna finds out that her father was a CIA agent. You don't really get to know much about the characters in the novel: Anna, her father, her mother, her husband or her father's co-worker who is the other narrator. This keeps the book interesting as it moves back and forth in time. While not a traditional spy novel this reads like one and keeps you wondering until the end.
  • Marianne Drumm
    Nesting dolls
    “Espionage is not a math problem...It’s a painting.” And nesting dolls don’t always fit neatly into each other. That is an accurate description of the covert side of the CIA and other parts of the intelligence community, based on my knowledge of both. Official relationships and operations don’t always add up. Also, so much depends on who is in office. I finished Red White Blue a day or two before watching “American Made,” a biopic about Barry Seal, a TWA pilot who went to work for the CIA. Seal’s story reveals how the same man can be considered a wealthy patriot one minute and then be convicted for criminal action the next. This novel, while similar in its zigzag storyline, was far darker and more unsettling than Seal’s story. It certainly kept my attention but was not always easy to follow. This is a novel I might well read again because of its many complex layers.
  • Borderlass
    An Auspicious Beginning?
    Once past the discovery - that in our young author Lea Carpenter - Margaret Atwood meets John LeCarre - I could see my path through the woods and found my reading journey delightful. Through Atwood-like literary devices, she utilizes a female point of view in her brilliant yet vulnerable main character and deft handling of varying points in time in the crafting of this highly emotional yet controlled story. Told in two voices, one - the third person female of the lead character, and the other - a young male CIA case officer's detailed first person account of his experiences as they shed light on the lead character's father's sudden death and shadowy employment history, the story is propelled by the lead character's life events and painful losses, the least of them any pretensions to privacy in this media-focused, highly scrutinized world into which she is thrust.

    Just as in LeCarre's novels - ethical ambiguity, expedient bureaucracies, insightful distillations, and timely 'political global atmospherics' take center stage - with individuals trying to hold fast their humanity.... I look forward to more from Ms. Carpenter and her main character Anna... an auspicious beginning for reader and writer alike?
  • Peggy K. (San Diego, CA)
    Agency Scars
    This is a very analytical book. It is the story of a daughter's search to know who her father really was. Anna's father was not who he seemed to be and only a chance encounter after his death reveals the truth. It isn't Anna's story alone. There is the young agent, the protégé who perhaps was the reason for her father's downfall in the Agency. There are two conversations going on here, one with that agent talking about the process of becoming a spy and Anna's search for herself through understanding her father.

    It is a fascinating journey with much information about the murky world of espionage and what being an agent does to a person over that period of time. It would appear that Anna's father wanted her to know about his real life. The question in the end is will finding out the truth make Anna stronger and allow her to make her own life.

    In today's world this is an idea that is full of questions about truth and what justice really is and how far we can go for our country.

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