The incidents described in the book make up a very harrowing and realistic picture of a war that both sides failed to understand. Myers succeeds not only in showing the suffering on both sides but also the bewilderment.
At first, this could be seen as just a coming out story, but soon we realise that we are reading about a character who is trying to find his (sexual) identity. Darren is shy but observant, a sensitive character slowly making his way into the world of adult hood, and he doesn’t know who to voice his feeling sand worries to. Oates knows how to tell this in a way that should make it easy for many readers to empathise with Darren.