I've always been fascinated by military spouses and the challenges they face when their partners are away for long periods of time, often out of reach and facing constant danger. I am therefore intrigued by Standing By: The Making of an American Military Family in a Time of War, by Alison Buckholtz, a book about being the wife of a Navy pilot on active duty. Buckholtz read at Politics & Prose last spring, but I wasn't able to attend the reading.
Many of the reviews I have found online of Standing By are by other military wives who have found a lot in common with the memoir, such as Marrying the Navy. Here is a guest post from Buckholtz on Blue Star Families about the effect of deployments on children.
One of my favorite parenting blogs, StrollerDerby, wrote about Standing By last spring – here's an excerpt:
The power of Buckholtz's book remains in the stories of her children, Ethan and Esther, the reminder that her story could be ours. In her frankness, she is both eminently likeable and identifiable. She is just a mom. She's careful to assure single parents that she doesn't want to diminish their battles by claiming to be one (she has a partner . . . even if he's thousands of miles away), and yet she is. My already hearty respect for single parents who juggle it all grew with each page.
Buckholtz is also careful to remain apolitical, making this a book about the military family – not a book about the war. You won't find the names Bush or Obama in Standing By. And as a liberal mother who has always been pro-military personnel but decidedly anti-war, for that, I'm grateful. It let me read about a family and their love.
I'd love to read this.