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Apache is a girl's book...
on 19 October 2009
Apache is a girl's book! Ok, ok, so it's really a boys book but don't be fooled by the stereotypically masculine cover and the macho hard hitting words, it really is a girl's book too.
How did I end up reading it? 3 grown men in my family have read it and they've all had big crocodile tears rolling down their faces, I swear. I've seen them punch the air in triumph, explode in raucous hilarity and then sit giggling for hours as they read on. I even had to endure the constant "you're never going to believe this", "this is incredible" and after catching them try to hide their damp cheeks "you're going to have to read this". If that wasn't bad enough I was then shown the footage online. "Yeah alright, I get the point; it's a true story..." I thought my hubby was arguably sad for sitting up until 3am in the morning reading and finally when he'd finished it I was a happy lady.
Apache was sat on the kitchen table waiting to be loaned out (yet again) and whilst waiting for a cake to bake (sorry, they don't all come from the supermarket!) I had a peek at the pictures. By pure accident I started reading the text next to the pictures on page 102. I burst out laughing and found myself engrossed in no time (a girl Apache pilot, never!). For the next 2 days I couldn't pull myself way from it. I tried, I really couldn't and he had to put up with the bedroom lamp on until 3 in the morning for once.
I took it to book club and all the ladies reluctantly purchased it and began reading. Remarkably they ended up sitting up until all hours too and it's the first time we've all completed a book in the same week. The comments were unanimous. We all experienced every emotion possible and couldn't quite believe we would like a book about a current war. This isn't for the faint hearted either. If you have a family member serving in Afghanistan and don't want to know the very scary truth, give it a wide berth; it will suck you in and before you know it you will be crying with worry. I've never felt so compelled to write a book review before, despite being an ardent reader. Pleasingly it doesn't go into politics or question what we are doing in Afghanistan in the first place. It just tells the story of what it's like to fight in the world's most hostile country. It's a firsthand account of what it's like to do the job so many of us wish would never have to be done in the first place. You will really feel like you're in the helicopter and that you're making Ed Macy's decisions for him. It's surreal to be that immersed and absorbed in another world. In fact, so bizarre I found my heart racing and often worried if I would make it out alive - 'IT'S JUST A BOOK' for Christ's sake! Whether you're for or against the armed forces, or the war in Afghanistan, or of a need to fight instead of talking, you will have no doubt after you finish Apache that this is simply a book about what our young men and women have to put up with everyday. Rightly or wrongly, they're our children getting paid to do a job, that's all. If there's one thing I've learned (and I learned a lot reading Apache) it's that our troops are compassionate and care for the Afghans. There is no macho attitude or killing spree going on. The Apaches are governed by very strict rules when it comes to shooting and the pilots always think about the effect they will have - often choosing not to shoot rather than risk hitting a house (just in case there's someone at home in the warzone/greenzone!)
Afterwards I felt like I could fly an Apache but then I pinched myself and decided to stick to cakes. It's a real rollercoaster of a ride so don't say I didn't warn you.
PS. I'm new to reviewing so I hope I haven't gone on too much. Oh, have a box of tissues ready when they go into the fort (men included) and don't put a cake in the oven....