Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Review: "You Know When the Men Are Gone" by Siobhan Fallon

Read this book! This woman is a seriously fabulous writer.

The book is a series of semi-related short stories.  The setting is Fort Hood, Texas, anytime between about 2003 and the present. In razor-like prose it presents a series of vignettes (some of which are almost tableaux) of brief episodes in the lives of the soldiers and their families before, during and after deployment to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Unlike the 800 page novels I prefer to read, this 200 page jewel picks the reader up on the first page and takes her on a Mr. Toad's wild ride through fear, loneliness, jealousy, betrayal, and grief -- with just enough glimpses of the compensations of love and family to understand why the hell people do it, and compassion for the ones who can't.

It was not intentional, but very appropriate reading during the week of Memorial Day.

Close this blog and buy the book here.

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