Flowers Are Better Than Bullets will whisk you away on an emotional journey of life, love, and loss set against the tumultuous backdrop of the late ’60s and early ’70s.
Follow Johnny, a teenager from Lima, Ohio, as he navigates the complexities of love, the awakening of sexuality, and the potent drive to stand by his convictions. Johnny carves a new path away from an oppressive home and the looming military draft by seeking refuge at Kent State University in September 1969. During the second week of classes, he finds Katie, a kindred spirit burning bright with her zeal for peace. Their shared dream of a harmonious world soon becomes intertwined with their burgeoning love, as fiery as the demonstrations they join.
However, May 4, 1970, stands as a dark day that would forever change their lives. The tranquil grounds of Kent State University erupt in chao when heart-wrenching gunshots ring out, leaving behind a legacy of anguish and a call for justice. This traumatic event propels Johnny and Katie into a soul-searching expedition where they grapple with life’s fragility and the hefty price of holding steadfast to one’s principles.
Flowers Are Better Than Bullets is more than a chronicle of love amidst strife; it stands as an homage to a generation that boldly defied convention. Immerse yourself in the intense emotions, the unwavering aspirations, and the essence of resistance emblematic of a transformative period in history.
If you have an affinity for evocative historical fiction, poignant coming-of-age narratives, or tales highlighting love and resilience amid tumult, this novel is tailor-made for you.
You’ve probably heard the song “Ohio” performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young with the refrain “Four Dead in Ohio.” It was written by band member, Neil Young, seventeen days after Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on unarmed student protestors at Kent State University on May 4, 1970.
Flowers Are Better Than Bullets tells the story of what happened that day through the eyes of Johnny, an eighteen-year-old freshman from Lima, Ohio.
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Rodney Dillman was born in Lima, Ohio, and is an author with a deep personal connection to Kent State University. He turned his talents to creative writing. This book is his debut novel.
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