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Book Review: You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon

You Know When the Men Are GoneYou Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a military wife, so perhaps I’m a little more biased than some–but I have to say, I LOVED this book. A quick read, as it was a series of short stories told from the various viewpoints: the wives of deployed soldiers, the deployed soldiers themselves, the ones left behind. We are an Air Force family, and I am an Air Force vet, so things operate a little differently for us than for the Army. But we are all a part of a common enough culture that every thought, every emotion that Fallon described in her stories resonated.

I wept for the families these stories represented and for their soldiers who didn’t come home. And I felt the familiar anxiety from when my own husband was deployed to the theater (as well as a resurgence of gratitude that he was asleep beside me as I read this). But most of all, I felt proud–of my own service, of my husband’s, of every man and woman today who is serving. A hokey sentiment? Perhaps. But then, I’ve always been a sucker for patriotism. These fictionalized stories–which all rang true to life–show the ugliness and the beauty of the military family, and Fallon did a fantastic job relating both sides.

(This review originally appeared on

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About Cate Tayler

Mom, Wife, Writer, Catholic, Thinker, Reader, Amateur Gourmand, 'Phins Fan, Superwoman--not always in that order. Fueled by passion and too much caffeine. Lost my cape--it's buried somewhere under that mountain of laundry. Once I find it, look out world!



  1. Pingback: A Memorial Day Salute « A Common Sea - May 28, 2012

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