You Know When the Men Are Gone

by Siobhan Fallon | Literature & Fiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0399157204 Global Overview for this book
Registered by lonerunner of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania USA on 12/6/2010
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by lonerunner from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania USA on Monday, December 06, 2010
Seldom do I finish a book in one or two sittings, but I did so with You Know When the Men Are Gone, by Siobhan Fallon.

These eight short stories depict the lives of the soldiers and the left behind wives of Fort Hood, Texas. The wives have various ways of dealing with the stress, worry, and pressure of keeping their families together by themselves, while their husbands dream of coming home and live for that phone call.

Fort Hood is a world within itself, and the families circle together closely, acting as a temporary family, supporting each other. They live under the same rules and are in many ways a tightknit community. Despite the closeness and support, though, they are also isolated from the outside world and tend to move on every couple years.
The future is never certain.

Each story has a different narrator and its own sets of stressors. One story takes place in Iraq, but the rest happen in Fort Hood. Some stories are told from a wife's point of view, some from the soldier's, but all show extreme emotional anguish. Some kind of doubt haunts them all, and none of the stories are resolved. Fallon has left them open-ended, for our consideration. I found them all riveting. Once I'd started a story, I couldn't put it down. A great book for discussion, and I would recommend it to anyone.

* I received this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program:)

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