This is a vel about an American soldier who goes to war, fathers a son, and abandons him. He is taken captive by the Viet Cong and held in a cave in a tunnel underground. Sick, starving, and alone, he gradually loses his grip on reality and becomes convinced that one of his captors is his lost son. In clear, lyrical prose, Joanna C Scott has written a book that is at the same time mythic and believable. Although a number of fine Vietnam war vels have been published, Charlie and the Children is unique in its concern and its surpassing quality.