September 2, 2009

I Love a Man in Uniform by Lily Burna Review

Although I claim to be a big fan of the memoir genre, I will admit that eventually in every memoir, I find myself irritated. I start reframing the story the author was trying to tell in coulda, woulda, shoulda. Memoirist authors re-construct their feelings and reactions into a narrative arc, and we get so deep into their thought processes that I face the threat of the too familiar, and that kind of knowing kind of becomes annoying. This was particularly the case with I Love a Man in Uniform (cute title). Why was I so bothered by a former stripper/Playboy model who married an Army Officer and their bouts with PTSD and depression? Then it hit me. I didn’t want to know. I don’t want to think about the men and women who actively serve and fight in our country’s name (and indirectly for me and my children). It is hard to confront the idea that while these men are risking their lives that the marriages they’ve built and the women that they love are falling apart.

These women are expected to endure long lapses away from their husbands, are forced to constantly fear for their loved ones safety, and are routinely subjected to the deaths of friends and colleagues. Military women must hold strong when there husbands come home changed. They alone answer their children’s difficult questions. They do all of this while single handedly maintaining a household which they are expected to do perfectly and with a smile. What is the likely outcome of that sort of pressure? Of course it is depression.

The book’s first half starts with a lot of details of military life and the expected protocol for a wife, and there is also the obligatory ‘perspective thoughts on stripping’ chapter. While these stories are entertaining, it takes some time for Bettina to come to the meat of her story. So all the cute kitschy titles and anecdotes aside, this book is an honest look at the long term costs of war and service. Honestly told as only someone who was accustomed to putting herself out there could tell. So as well-written, and smart as this book is, it is still tough to read. Eye-opening, though-provoking, and gratitude inducing--this story works its heart breaking affects long after you’ve finished reading.

1 comment:

  1. I have just installed iStripper, so I can watch the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.


Thanks for joining our discussion of this book!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...