Top critical review
70 people found this helpful
on 9 February 2012
As someone who is married to an Army officer, I found this book disappointing. Although some of the observations and emotions are accurately articulated and well phrased, generally I thought it was too simplistic and did not reach the heart of the issues.
I found both the plot and the characters very thin and did not find an emotional attachment with any of the characters. I also found people too simply observed - it's not just as simple as the man comes home from a tour and isn't communicative and busy at work, there is far more to it than that.
I also found the views expressed about the main character's wife unrealistic. Everyone from her in-laws to her husband's senior bosses seem to adore her and blame her husband for being uncommuncative. I think the reality is that whilst the Army hierachy is sympathetic to the pressures on the families, their husband is expected to perform and do well and she would be expected to support that. In addition, although hopefully in-laws would be supportive of their child's spouse, the reality is that they would give far more sympathy to the person returning from a hellish operational tour. I think there would be much more of the wife being expected to provide support to the serving person.
I don't wish to give away too much of what plot there is but I also found the "answers" to the issues overly simplistic and easy. I had hoped that the book would really tackle the issue of being married to someone in the Army who you love desperately but their job is so all encompassing that you are really married to the Army but felt it only skimmed the surface. It felt like the first episode of a serial drama and I was waiting for the plot and characters to really bed in when the book ended.