Engaging Read.

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The Wives is a memoir that illustrates the trajectory of Simone Gorrindo's life once her partner joins the military in a special combat unit. The story is earnest, intense, and it reads like a novel, rather than a memoir. I had to keep reminding myself that the places and events being described were real, which made me even more invested in the words on the page.

The writing is really strong, and the portrait of Simone's life is gripping and engaging. There are lots of references to alcoholism and physical/emotional abuse that were definitely a little triggering for me, personally.

It's hard to criticize the people on the page because they actually exist, but I found Andrew to be insufferable. The incredible turmoil he put Simone through was just unacceptable, and then he comes home and puts her in totally preventable situations that were dangerous for both of them. It was downright reckless, selfish, and irresponsible. That was about the point of the novel where I had to stop reading because it was too much for me. I did skip to the end, and I thought that the book had a very strong ending.

Ultimately, this just wasn't a story that resulted in a good time for me. The writing is lovely, and I can really see this story being important to people who are left behind when their loved ones deploy, whether they're soldiers' wives or not. Having also waited for a soldier to come back home with bated breath, I did appreciate the way she addressed the military aspects of the book. It was a well-crafted story that was handled with care. It just didn't land for me. That being said, I can also see it being a really great book club pick or comfort book for people experiencing similar struggles to the ones that are highlighted in the memoir.