THE WAR AT HOME by Rachel Starnes


A Wife's Search for Peace (and Other Missions Impossible): A Memoir
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A Navy wife shares intimate details of what life in the military really means for the family behind the enlisted man.

Starnes never expected to become part of the extended military family or to be married to someone who was often gone for long stretches of time. She grew up with a father who was often absent, out working on oil rigs, and she wanted a more stable life for herself and her yet-to-be-born children. But she married a man who wanted to fly Navy fighter jets and suddenly found herself moving across the country after a quick wedding so her husband could attend training school. What unfolds over a period of 10-plus years is an honest portrayal of the difficulties military wives face while their husbands are deployed or so deeply embedded in top-secret trainings that they are unavailable emotionally or physically. With compelling prose, Starnes delves deeply into the emotional ups and downs she experienced as she formed new friendships only to have them torn apart when they needed to move again, of the hurdles she faced raising her two sons for months at a time by herself, and of her own desires to be a writer, to be more than just a military wife, and to have some identity of her own. The author also discusses her struggles with depression, her inability as a child to adjust to her father's long absences, and the painful moments she endured as she and her husband tried to reconnect after each of his many returns. The writing is often dramatic, providing readers with a behind-the-scenes look at military life from a unique perspective: that of the silent partner who endures separation, secrecy, and the fears that her husband may be the one who doesn't make it back.

A gripping and guileless account of being the wife of a TOPGUN instructor.

Pub Date: July 5th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-14-310866-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2016


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