Books > All the Flowers
Teri Ryan, a freshman at a Catholic college for women in the late 1960s, has a personal reason for opposing the war in Vietnam—she is afraid that her twin brother, a sensitive boy who has never won the respect of their father, will drop out of college and enlist in the army to prove his manhood. Teri is seen through the eyes of Andre Malinowski, a gifted young pianist who falls in love with her while overhearing her sing in a practice room at the music school in New York where she takes voice classes. Teri, a tomboy and a key player on her college’s basketball team, has never had a boyfriend before, so she is wary of entering into a relationship with Andre, but after a fierce fight with her father over the war she leaves her family home in Yonkers and goes to Andre’s apartment in the city, where they begin living together. Andre joins her antiwar group, and they try to maintain a nonviolent approach, but their values are challenged by events culminating in the massacre at Kent State. As the opposition to the war becomes more violent, Teri struggles with the temptation to join an urban guerrilla army in its war against the government. In a dramatic climax her values are put to the ultimate test.