The Boy with the Best Laugh by Naomi Elizabeth Kennedy


.…. the train made a stop at the border. My heart was pounding. Two military policemen boarded the train and searched each car, finally taking a person into custody. My car was spared, but …. What‘s going on?

1970, Vietnam era. Adam’s life changes forever when his lottery number is selected. Terrified, he flees to Canada as a draft dodger. He leaves behind all that matters to him ‒ his childhood sweetheart, Liz. Desertion of his country fills him with disgrace. Alcohol becomes his escape.

After college, Liz starts her own business, Elizabeth Bloom Advertising. Soon after, she meets Tom, a book developer. A whirlwind romance quickly leads to marriage. Does she know him well enough to trust him?

Six years later, when Adam returns home to the United States, an affair with a woman results in the birth of their daughter, Lillie. By the time she turns one, she is enamored with classical music, especially violin sonatas. As time passes, Lillie is diagnosed with autism. In an age of unawareness society shuns her. Does she let this stand in the way of her dream to become a violin virtuoso?

Six years earlier, unbeknownst to Adam, Liz is pregnant and raises their son, Will, on her own. Does Will know who his father is? At 9 years old, Will has run away from home, and now he is in danger.

Liz’s college friend, Anne, finds her identity after her husband leaves her for another woman. A court fight begins when a judge questions her ability as a lesbian to raise her two children. Does she have the fortitude to persevere and fight?

All their lives are connected by one man.

The Boy with the Best Laugh is a moving story in a turbulent time in history when our country is at war; an unnecessary war of atrocity.


Good Emotional Read
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 22, 2023
There has been numerous books that covers war and post-war. How about those individuals that decided to dodge war. “The Boy With The Best Laugh” by Naomi E. Kennedy gives you a close look inside a draft dodgers life, and the guilt that followed. The story takes you on an unpaved road with many pot holes. On this journey the author controls your comfort level. Naomi makes you feel for the troubles of a broken family, while dealing with a disability like autism.

The authors shares the raw realities of life we can’t hide nor disguise. Lost hopes, failed relationships, and the triumphs we manufacturer in between.

She delivers a moving story where in the end, the children are left to carrying the torch of hopefulness unto victory.
Thank you for your review.

5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good read
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 20, 2022
Such an interesting perspective on how the Vietnam War affected people’s lives. We start of with one man’s decision to dodge the war by fleeing to Canada and the impact that it has on the ones who love him over time.

5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fantastic.. Engaging.. ! Must read!
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 15, 2022
I don’t write book reviews often but this one really deserves 5 stars. Very very well written and everythng about it seems so realistic and adpats to circumstances that anyone can happen to live through. It keeps the reader engaged throughout.. You just really want see what happens next. Well done to the author. I really recommend this one!

Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Can love overcome fear, pain and disillusionment?
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 25, 2022
A moving human story about love that struggles to endure the ramifications of a senseless war, childhood demons and broken trust. Told mainly through the main characters, Adam and Liz’ voices, as they cling to hope, and that change may come. A compelling read!

5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Enjoyable read!!!
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 20, 2022
I normally like historical fiction and this one was pretty good. Gave me a glimpse of my parents’ generation and what went on with the Vietnam War and the hippie scene back then. I also liked the children’s characters. They were realistic. I related to the boy, remembering my youth. I know an autistic child, so that part was interesting for me too. An easy fast read. Very enjoyable

Michael Schulman
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fascinating book!
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 17, 2022
I don’t normally write book reviews, but I had to do it for this one. I loved this book! I dont want to spoil the plot or any of its twists and turns and surprises, but it had me completely hooked and I read it so quickly. Seeing how the different characters dealt with the Vietnam war and its aftermath, I feel like there are valuable lessons to be learned here that are applicable to today’s world, and wars. So it was an education… but also just a really fun read, the author has a way of making people and their inner worlds seem so vivid. They feel like real people, with their own will and motivations, rather than fiction. I think that has to do with the creative structure of the book, but also the language, it’s like eavesdropping in people’s lives and situations. I hope there’s a sequel.

Suzanne Brahm
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Full of compassion
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 23, 2022
I am always looking for a good new author. This is not my genre, but was intrigued by the subject matter, especially the part about the autistic child. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a realistic love story woven into an historic setting. Lots to think about–sadness, compassion, tragedy, triumph–one man with a grave illness whose life affects two women that he loves and three children. I lived through this horrible “war” and know how difficult the times were. A good read for sure.

Lisa Lombardi
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Couldn’t put it down!!
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 15, 2022
A very fast read for me. Instantly hooked. I usually don’t have time, but I couldn’t put the book down. It had me wanting to know what happens to the draft dodger and his sweetheart, and especially his daughter from the other woman.
The author brings to life that period of time of baby boomers and war with her characters. I felt like I was right there with my friends. Riveting from the get-go.
Looking forward to the author’s future books.
Highly recommend! 

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