Monday, September 5, 2016

The War at Home: A Wife's Search for Peace (and Other Missions Impossible) by Rachel Starnes

Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Penguin Books

When she fell in love with her brother’s best friend, Rachel Starnes had no idea she was about to repeat a painful family pattern—marrying a man who leaves regularly and for long stretches to work a dangerous job far from home. Through constant relocations, separations, and the crippling doubts of early parenthood, Starnes effortlessly weaves together strands from her past with the relentless pace of Navy life in a time of war. Searingly honest and emotionally unflinching—and at times laugh out loud funny—Starnes eloquently evokes the challenges she faces in trying to find and claim a sense of home while struggling to chart a new path and avoid passing on the same legacy to her two young sons. 

At once a portrait of the devastating strains that military life puts on families and a meditation on what it means to be left behind,
 The War at Home is a brave portrait of a modern military family and the realities of separation, endurance, and love that overcomes.

My Thoughts…

The War at Home is an unique look at a wife’s perspective on military life and the challenges it will bring to your life.    Most military books I have read focus on the one who is serving in the military and the challenges that they face, in this book it is told from the person left home.    I am not a military wife and have no experience with being in the military other than a few good friends who are part of military families.   This book is a great eye opener to what a family goes through with the decision to be made, the separations, the  stresses, and just the way of life when the military is involved.  

The story is not fast moving.   There are details that would have got lost if the book had moved too fast.   I appreciated that Rachel took the time to share the details and the feelings of her life.    The history of Rachel is also important even though it was pre-marriage and pre-military.    I enjoyed the stories of her childhood, especially the teenage years.    That history gave a perspective into why she had some of the reactions she had. 

This is a great look at the other side of life in a military life.    The life of a mother and wife are often overlooked.    This is a great memoir and I recommend picking up your own copy.

Book Links
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Praise for The War at Home:

“Rachel Starnes’s
 The War at Home navigates the joys, fears, compromises, and casualties that create the terrain of marriage. And if you are a military spouse, her memoir will reveal thoughts you never even knew you had. This is a wise and fearless book.” —Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone

“One of the most honest and genuine memoirs I’ve ever read, as well as one of the most finely written. There’s not a false note in these pages. Rachel Starnes’s story is at once both singular and emblematic. . . . 
The War at Home is that rare thing: a book about the here and now that promises to last well beyond next month or next year.” —Steve Yarbrough, award-winning author of The Realm of Last Chances and Safe from the Neighbors 

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