cover image The Soldier's Wife

The Soldier's Wife

Joanna Trollope. Simon & Schuster, $15 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4516-7251-0

In Trollope's dull newest (after Daughters-in-Law), British Army Major Dan Riley has just returned home from a six-month stay in Afghanistan. His wife, Alexa, has been holding down the fort, juggling young twins and an older daughter, Isabel, who is desperately unhappy in boarding school. And though Dan is glad to reunite with his family, his homecoming is marred by his inability to readjust to civilian life. Dan spends the bulk of his time at the base with his best friend, Gus, whose wife has just left him, while Alexa yearns for a life apart from the Army%E2%80%94one in which she can seek out her own career as a teacher. But with a potential promotion on the horizon, Dan struggles with the prospect of giving up a career that his father and grandfather before him proudly pursued, and to which he has become deeply linked. While the subject matter is timely and rife with possibilities, Trollope fails to adequately engage with the complexities of PTSD or the reentry of veterans into domestic life. Trollope's writing is consistent but consistently unexciting. (June)