Saturday, January 15, 2011

(6)You Know When The Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon

I have always believed that we owe the men and women of our military a debt so large that it can never be repaid. But what I have recently come to realize is that we also owe the families of our military personnel a huge debt of gratitude as well.

Siobhan Fallon has written a compelling collection of stories loosely connected about the families left behind at Ft. Hood during a deployment. They are powerful snippets of what life is like at Fort Hood when the men are gone. Her stories tell tales of loneliness, adultery, PTSD, sisterhood, and so much more.

I think Remission, the story of Ellen Roddy, whose husband stayed behind at Ft. Hood because she had been diagnosed with cancer was my favorite. It was emotionally gripping and given my family's history with cancer this past year, it really touched my heart to the point of tears.

The other story that really got my attention was Leave. Nick Cash is convinced that his wife is cheating on him, rather than tell her he is coming home, he arrives, breaks into their home and stakes her out from the basement of their home, waiting to catch her in the act. It is so chilling that, at first I felt cheated by the ending, then I realized the brilliance of the decision to leave it up to the readers imagination.

You Know When The Men Are Gone was far more powerful than I thought possible. The husband of a very dear friend of mine will be deploying at the end of the month and Siobhan Fallon has given me some insight as to what she will be going through. It makes me want to deploy to North Carolina to help her while he is gone. I always used to thank military personnel for their sacrifices, but in reality, the sacrifices their family make for our country are just as great. To them, the wives and children of the deployed, I say emphatically, THANK YOU.

You Know When The Men Are Gone will be released on Tuesday, January 20th, and you can purchase it at any of your local bookstores.


Siobhan said...

Wow, Charlotte, thank you!
I am so happy my book is ensnared in your web!!!!

Amused said...

3 years - that's awesome! Keep up the great work!

Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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