Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Band of Sisters - Annette Lyon

Summary:  When the war on terror calls their husbands to duty, five LDS women are left behind to fight battles of their own: Kim, newlywed and pregnant, frightened of what the future might bring.  Brenda, struggling to manage three unruly boys and a crippling bout of depression.  Jessie, secretly grappling with mixed feelings about her emotionally abusive husband.  Marianne, wrestling with a rebellious teenage daughter.  And Nora, the seasoned Army wife with perfect hair, an immaculate home--and an ill-tempered mother dying of cancer.

Knowing that the separation of deployment is extremely difficult, Nora gathers the wives together every week to share lunch and burdens.  In good company, they worry over safety in the field and stability at home and offer one another counsel and comfort.  But as their personal crises build, each woman faces the risks of forming deep bonds of trust.  And when tragedy strikes, they must confront the painful realities of war that pull families apart and bring friends together as sisters.  (Image from http://rebeccairvine.blogspot.com and summary from back of the book.  This book was given to me free for review.)

My Review:  I'm torn on this book. The issues raised, the message sent, and the overall feeling the book evoked deserves a high rating. That said, the writing wasn't all that spectacular--errors that were hard to ignore and things that felt over analyzed--and there were times that I had a hard time wanting to even read it. I know some of that was because of the writing.  "Belabored" fits how the writing of the women's thoughts were portrayed, which after a while you could see coming a mile away. The only other explanation for why it was hard to read was simply because the book evoked the loneliness that I can only imagine a deployed soldier's wife would feel. I'd recommend it to people, but I don't think I'll ever re-read it again.

That said, by the 200th page I was very attached to the women and their specific needs and trials.  I felt my heart breaking with Marianne.  I felt the panic as Kim approached labor and delivery for the first time and without her husband.  And Nora's experience shedding the many facades she'd been taught to uphold, I believe, can't help but speak to many LDS women.  I believe all women deal with this to a certain extent or another, but how the book is written it is specifically directed toward the pressures LDS women face.  If you can stomach all the details that make up the thoughts of the women, you'll be able to get to the point in the story where you love the characters and race to the end of the story.  

My Rating: 4 stars--because it hit some very emotional chords with me.

 Sum it up:  A moving tale of women brought together by their husband's deployment in Afghanistan.

1 comment:

Heather B. Moore said...

This book is a hard book to read in some ways because the situations these women face are what many of us are facing now. I actually liked the thought processes the women went through because it defined their characters and explained their motivations (also it's a defining part of the genre of women's fiction).

I think I related to all the women for different reasons, even if some of it might be in the future and not what I've experienced yet.

One of those books that makes you think.

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