The Bookworm Sez

Book Review: You Know When the Men Are Gone

By Terri Schlichenmeyer
Real AspenJanuary 22, 2011
You Know When the Men Are Gone

Rumors have been flying around for days, but you don't need them to know that something's going on with the neighbors.

You've got two eyes, and you can plainly see that he's deploying soon. He'll be gone for awhile, so he's fussing at the house, doing small chores, cleaning up, making sure she won't have to worry about anything. But she's worrying anyhow and – as you can see – crying an awful lot, too.

Wouldn't you like to know what goes on behind closed doors? Get a glimpse by reading the new novel, “You Know When the Men Are Gone” by Siobhan Fallon (c.2011, Amy Einhorn Books – $23.95 / $30.00 Canada – 240 pages).

When you're an Army Wife living on a base like Ft. Hood in Texas, you learn to get along with others, even though you might never see them again after this deployment. You'll be moving in six months or a year or two – but that doesn't mean you won't babysit in a pinch. That doesn't mean you won't watch one another's backs.

Sometimes, though, other wives have issues you can't fix. Sometimes, the Army does things you can't do anything about, like when they send women to a forward operating base. Single women, near a platoon filled with lonely husbands. Sometimes, things happen and you just don't want to know.

And then there are the times you do want to know. You'd be interested in talking to the soldier whose life your husband saved before he was killed by an IED. You'd want to hear about your husband's last minutes. You'd want to hang on to every memory you could.

And speaking of memories, just calling them up can keep a man sane over there.
Author Siobhan Fallon

All the time, he's thinking about his troops, himself, and making sure that neither gets hurt. He's dreaming about toilet paper, your smell, the kids, fresh socks balled up in a drawer, food that hasn't sat on a truck for six months. And he's thinking about a clean bed, and hoping that you're not sharing one with someone other than him…

Be careful where you are when you first pick up this book. Make sure there are comfy chairs around, good lighting, and you've got room in your schedule because you'll have an impossible time tearing yourself away from it once you start it. Briefly put, I was stunned at how incredible “You Know When the Men Are Gone” truly is.

The characters in this collection of short stories – each connected by the thinnest of threads – will put a lump in your throat after they've taken your breath away. Author Siobhan Fallon spent lived at Ft. Hood during her husband's two tours of duty, so she created those characters with the voice of one who's Been There. That lends a particular feeling of reality here, even though this is a work of fiction.

If you don't mind having your heart broken by a debut novel, “You Know When the Men Are Gone” is the one you want. To be sure, this is 2011's first can't-miss book.

comments: 0 Comments on "Book Review: You Know When the Men Are Gone"

Be the first to comment below.

Comment Form Info  Comment Information
Real Aspen encourages you to post comments on our articles and blogs. Logged in email is required for monitoring purposes. Your email will not be published and will not be distributed to any third-party. Abusive, obscene, profane, threatening, libelous or defamatory comments are prohibited. By posting a comment, you agree to this policy and our terms of use. To report an abusive posting, please contact us.

To make a comment, please log in or create an account. This helps us prevent spam and other malicious attacks.

Please log in to comment


Create a user account to comment

Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
More Weather Reports
Vail powder day snow snake
Airing it out at Crested Butte
Feb. 17, 2011 Surprise 14 inches of Fresh Powder