A great book for military families or anybody interested in knowing what life is like during deployments. Home and Away: A Story of Family in a Time of War by David and Nancy French was an enjoyable read.
David, a 37-year-old lawyer, feels the tug that he should join the military after reading a story in the newspaper of a father being wounded in Iraq. He tells his wife and shortly thereafter we find him joining up with the Army Reserves and practically volunteering for a deployment. Nancy is left alone with their two kids facing a new life she never imagined for herself.
The book chronicles the year long absence. It is interesting to see insight on what was really going on "over there" from a JAG Officer point of view; dealing with detainees, losing comrades, information on how the war was being raged, and life at the Forward Operating Base. But you also get the other side with the wife taking on more responsibilities, staying busy, getting help where needed, trying to uplift her children in their times of need, and doing what she can to support her husband. Readers are shown what special things David and Nancy did to maintain their relationship despite the distance. Difficulties were not sugar coated. And regardless of the homecoming dreams, things don't always work out the way you thought they would.
As a military wife myself I could relate to some of what Nancy's story was. For a part of the book I felt like she seemed a bit whiny -- but then I realized that she was completely new to the military, her husband was gone, and she was no where near a military base to get a lot of the support that others of us have. I think she took on the deployment well. David's story kept me riveted. Getting a glimpse into what life is like over there can be intriguing and he shares it plainly. Realizing so much of the cultural differences between our countries, it sort of clears up some of our public views on war. His emotions on the loss of his friends was pointed and I truly felt for him: the sadness, the rage, the need for justice.
Not too long of a read with plenty to think over even after the book is finished. I think many military families will find a lot to relate with and encourage this read for them.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255