Top positive review
One person found this helpful
on 10 June 2016
A brief prologue ‘Tarawa’ refers to the World War II Pacific Battle of Tarawa with its great loss of American lives, after which new approaches to war and then terrorism were required. Readers are given a brief background to ‘The United States Navy SEALs’ (sea, air, land) which evolved as a new military special force to engage in secret and unorthodox missions. Information on the ‘warriors’ recruited and trained for these operations is presented by author Lea Carpenter and it is clear she has in-depth knowledge from the ‘Glossary’ and the ‘Bibliography’.
After the horrific event of 9/11 Sara, mother of Jason, has to accept his decision to become a SEAL. Sara knows little of what he trains for, where he serves, and what are his actions. She steeps herself in military and political issues to try and understand, but she shies from reality. She relies on lengthy correspondence with Jason, and yet though their relationship is loving they keep facts at arm’s length. There is a strong bond between mother and son, and a great respect for serving one’s country.
‘Eleven Days’ commences in May 2011 when Jason is missing after an assignment, and though the media spotlight falls on Sara she knows no more than the pressmen at her gate or her neighbourly well-wishers. The first insights to Jason are provided, before narrative then moves backwards and forwards again to inform readers of Jason’s absentee father, his upbringing and life with his mother and godfather, and his previous SEAL missions. As a mother-son story it is moving and affecting, and based on the author’s credentials it can be accepted as authentic commentary on military matters, and she introduces factual references – but this mixture makes me feel uncomfortable – too many characters with emphasis on themselves – I didn’t like it.