Monday, November 16, 2015

Audiobook Review: Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War

Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War
Helen Thorpe
Dreamscape Media, LLC
Narrated by: Donna Postel
Length: 15 hours, 54 minutes

4 Stars

Synopsis: In Soldier Girls, Helen Thorpe follows the lives of three women over twelve years on their paths to the military, overseas to combat, and back home, and then overseas again for two of them. These women, who are quite different in every way, become friends, and we watch their interaction and also what happens when they are separated. We see their families, their lovers, their spouses, their children. We see them work extremely hard, deal with the attentions of men on base and in war zones, and struggle to stay connected to their families back home. We see some of them drink too much, have illicit affairs, and react to the deaths of fellow soldiers. And we see what happens to one of them when the truck she is driving hits an explosive in the road, blowing it up. She survives, but her life may never be the same again.

My view on the book:   I found this book extremely interesting.  It covers from before the women enlisted with the National Guard, either the late 1990s or early 2000s, even before 9/11 had occurred up until 2013 or so.  Why they enlisted, what was going on in their lives at the time through the time that were sent over to Afghanistan and for 2 out of 3 of the women also later to Iraq, as well as when they returned home.  Just seeing how their lives caused then to enlist and later as they faced deployment to the Middle East and how they coped upon their return to their lives in the United States.  At nearly 16 hours of audio, it seemed long, but at the same time very thorough as it described the effects on both the three women and their families.  The narrator at times seemed to robotic and I found myself several times having to replay parts of what I just heard because I tuned out.  But other times, I stayed focused if not enthralled and narrating a non-fiction book, I would assume would be more difficult than navigating a fictional book. 

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