Our team are looking forward to a great discussion around our latest Book Club pick. Before we begin, we wanted to share our own associations with the military, and what we're looking for from the discussions and issues raised around this book.
Andrew Losowsky, Books Editor: I have friends who serve in the British armed forces, and my grandfather fought in the trenches. But beyond movie and TV depictions, I have no real understanding of what soldiers go through on our behalf, nor of the great and terrible things that emerge from their efforts. While reading about it is surely far removed from the real thing, I hope that reading this book, and engaging in discussions around it, will help me understand and empathize a little more on that subject.
Annemarie Dooling, Community Editor: I'm a minority in America. I've never known anyone in war; I've never even known someone who has had a family member go to war. My grandfather and great uncles served in WWII but weren't around to communicate their experiences to me. I'm so excited to dive into this book and learn something personal about the men and women who serve our country.
Zoë Triska, Associate Books Editor: My great-grandfather was stationed at Pearl Harbor (before it was hit), and I also dated an Officer in the Marines for some time. I actually dated him while he was going through OCS (Officer Candidate School), so I have lots of letters about how difficult and rigorous the training is. So I, to some extent, understand the difficulty of loving someone who is in the military. However, he was never deployed and we weren't married with children, so I am far from understanding the full extent. I'm a bit scared to read the book, honestly, because he and I are still friends, and it terrifies me to think of something happening to him, or what he might have to face eventually.
Madeleine Crum, Assistant Books Editor: As a kid I was a tiny, inquisitive extension of my grandmother, following her around on trips to produce markets, libraries and the Tampa Bay Veterans of Foreign Wars post. Together we prepared Thanksgiving dinners for the soldiers (my grandfather, who joined the World War II efforts in Italy just after graduating valedictorian of his high school, among them) or eavesdropped on their pool table chatter. Although I grew up around veterans, my knowledge of their experiences is limited to shoeboxes of aged photos and letters. I hope this book will give me a more intimate understanding.