Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War (英語) ペーパーバック – 2015/7/7
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“A raw, intimate look at the impact of combat and the healing power of friendship” (People): the lives of three women deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and the effect of their military service on their personal lives and families—named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly.
“In the tradition of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Richard Rhodes, and other masters of literary journalism, Soldier Girls is utterly absorbing, gorgeously written, and unforgettable” (The Boston Globe). 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 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.
Deeply reported, beautifully written, and powerfully moving, Soldier Girls is “a breakthrough work...What Thorpe accomplishes in Soldier Girls is something far greater than describing the experience of women in the military. The book is a solid chunk of American history...Thorpe triumphs” (The New York Times Book Review).
"A breakthrough work... What Thorpe accomplishes in SOLDIER GIRLS is something far greater than describing the experience of women in the military. The book is a solid chunk of American history -- detailing the culture's failing, resilience and progress... Thorpe triumphs." (The New York Times Book Review)
"In the tradition of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Richard Rhodes, and other masters of literary journalism, SOLDIER GIRLS is utterly absorbing, gorgeously written, and unforgettable." (Boston Globe)
"A dynamic understanding of what it’s been like for Guard members who unexpectedly found themselves shipped off to the front lines of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq... highly complex matters are all made palpably real through the prism of this book’s three heroines’ lives." (The New York Times)
“With a novelist’s perception of character, drama, and telling detail, Helen Thorpe magically weaves together the stories of three very different but equally compelling women soldiers. Taken together, their stories provide an intimate window on life in the military, the impact of war, and the difficult transition to home. This is an absolutely terrific and important work.” (Doris Kearns Goodwin)
"Thorpe follows three women, tracking their ups and downs withfaithful detail in a brilliant tableau of their overlapping lives for 12 yearsas they do multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and readjust to civilianlife...Soldier Girls raises important questions about how men and women serve together and thedifferences in how they experience war, enabling us to see the subtle challengesfemale soldiers face — the hardships that don’t make easy headlines." (The Washington Post)
"A thoughtful, fascinating and often heartbreaking account... Thorpe manages to burrow deeply into the lives of these women...incredibly intimate." (Miami Herald)
"A nuanced look at the lives of female soliders that is as intimate as it is groundbreaking." (O Magazine)
“A raw, intimate look at the impact of combat and the healing power of friendship.” (People magazine)
"A vivid and intensely personal account of the lives of three women whose only common denominator had been that they joined the Indiana National Guard never imagining they might end up in a war zone... Thorpe's matter-of-fact tone and clear and concise prose make the book all the more riveting... a captivating read, an important book and a stunning accomplishment." (Lorraine Dusky, Military History magazine)
"Heart-breaking... absorbing, funny... a cry worth attending, sounded by a band of sisters put in harm's way." (Newsday)
While the word "girls," of the title, is appropriately chosen, the experience of the reader is to personally be with a depth of women human-beings. It's a gift of the actual women – real and true – that they engage in sharing the substance and conduct of their lives.
One academic colleague once had a fixation of regaling her governing Board of Trustees with the comment, "Women are not human-beings." Her point appeared to be that "Women are victims," though, shockingly, no one ever asked this self-proclaimed feminist to explain her choice of language.
In serious contrast, the women-human-beings of Helen Thorpe's book, are not "victims." Being with the flesh of their lives, their courages, is a privilege for which I am greatly thankful. They become friends.
I found the topic interesting, but the writing very mediocre.....sort of a long laundry list of "she did that and then this and then that." For that reason, I found the book hard to finish.
Finally, there should be no guilt about choosing the Guard over other choices- parents, people make choices for themselves all the time. Should a nurse working night shift blame herself if anything goes wrong with her kids? A workaholic father, an airline pilot never home? I think someday the children in this book will have a lot of apologizing to do to their parents. A good book, good read, good education.