Going Overboard: The Misadventures of a Military Wife

Sarah Smiley, Author
Sarah Smiley, Author . New American Library $22.95 (260p) ISBN 978-0-451-21667-0
Paperback - 262 pages - 978-0-451-21851-3
Open Ebook - 978-0-7865-6083-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7865-6084-4
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-101-21066-6
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Smiley, who pens the nationally syndicated column "Shore Duty," is something of an Erma Bombeck for the military-wife set. She wittily and poignantly writes about being a navy spouse left on base with two young children while her husband is on deployment ("the D-word") overseas, just as the impending war in Iraq is dominating the headlines. Raised a navy brat, Smiley is no stranger to military life, but that doesn't preclude the fear, frustration and freak-outs that often accompany her predicament. Fellow military spouses will appreciate Smiley's humorous accounts of attending Spouse Club support meetings, handling household tasks ("My one saving grace was the toilet," she writes about a broken commode in her guest room. "A mental buffer military wives can depend on is the fact that household chores continue despite all else") and simply coping with the realities of having a husband thousands of miles away who might not return. Smiley's prose is simple and straightforward, and her humor is clever, often emerging in passages when she's at her lowest. Curiously, Smiley doesn't express her views about the Iraq war, and she often ignores the conflict's realities as her personal woes take over. Agent, Rick Broadhead. (Nov. 1)

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