Sparta

Roxana Robinson, Author
Roxana Robinson. . FSG/Sarah Crichton, $27 (384p) ISBN 978-0-374-26770-4
Reviewed on: 04/15/2013
Release date: 06/04/2013
MP3 CD - 978-1-4829-2372-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-2370-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-2369-8
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4829-4415-0
Paperback - 386 pages - 978-1-250-05017-5
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-374-70957-0
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Robinson’s fifth novel (following Cost) is a detailed examination of the inner life of a Marine returning home after combat. Classics scholar Conrad Farrell, wanting to do “something big,” enlists in the belief that, as a soldier, he will be continuing a tradition going back to the ancient world. Following officer training at Quantico, Va., and four years of service in Iraq, he finds coming back to his family in Westchester, N.Y., a disorienting experience. He can’t get used to the safety of civilian life and struggles to reconnect with his family and his girlfriend, Claire, feeling overcome by rage at unexpected moments. He stays in contact, though, with the men who served under him. Suspecting that he’s suffering from PTSD, Conrad contacts the VA, but his needs are ignored again and again. Robinson brings us deep inside Conrad’s soul, and inside the suffocating despair and frustration that can stalk soldiers even when they are ostensibly out of harm’s way. By letting the reader live in Conrad’s skin, Robinson creates a moving chronicle of how we fail our returning troops. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow & Nesbit. (June)
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