The setting is a college campus in Illinois, the time is 1969-1970, and the title refers to the first date chosen in the draft lottery while The United States was fighting a war in Viet Nam. The main character, Judy Talton, attends Central Illinois University , supported by a ROTC scholarship. At the beginning of the school year, she attends an anti-war meeting which will ultimately change the way she feels about herself, her family and her future. Should Judy give up the scholarship because it represents everything she no longer believes in, knowing that she cannot afford to attend college any other way? This is one of several dilemmas Dragonette poses in her debut novel.
This was a very chaotic, dramatic time, especially for college age individuals. I realized while reading The Fourteenth of September that there are few books written about that era and the life and death decisions young people had to make. Rita Dragonette writes a good story describing the turmoil, fears, anger and sadness of that time.