When JR Spears enlists to fight in Vietnam, he begins a journey that takes him from disengaged teenage loner to committed soldier to reluctant warrior to deserter to underground antiwar movement leader to self-assured community activist.
Body Not Recovered is a historical novel spanning the Vietnam War/Protest Movement years of 1964 through 1974. In a daring plan to desert, Spears and a small cadre of soldiers and aviators stage a helicopter crash to escape and surreptitiously return home to help stop the war they find abhorrent and unjust. These deserters are not the only ones whose lives are ravaged by the war--a disparate group of young men and women struggle to find identity and purpose during a decade of radical change.
When Maggie Blessings's brother is killed in Vietnam, she runs away from home to join the antiwar movement. John Muccelli, JR's high school classmate, fulfills his lifelong dream of becoming an FBI agent, only to be conflicted by the tactics his is ordered to use to hunt down protest instigators. Bernice Williams, who becomes Maggie's lover, turns from influential antiwar leader to fanatical bomber. Walter Rawlings, a black construction worker, becomes a mentor for young, white JR Spears and, before Walter is murdered, inspires JR to enlist.