You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon


I still have one more of these eight interconnected stories to read, but I had to write about Siobhan Fallon’s book now.  You Know When the Men Are Gone has forever changed the way I think about military families – not that I had an established lens through which to view them before reading this amazing book.  My experience with the military has been limited – to put it mildly. I didn’t know about FRG’s (Family Readiness Groups) and day to day life at Fort Hood, where most of these stories take place. Fallon’s compelling stories are about loneliness and fear and constant transitions.  In the story, “You Survived the War, Now Survive the Homecoming,” Fallon conveys the disconnect between women who have suffered though their husband’s long absences and men who are readjusting to civilian life after they have witnessed the horrors of war. I’ve heard about the support groups that help soldiers transition back to life on the homefront, but Fallon’s story gives the news a human face.  I couldn’t put this book down.

For more information about the book, visit Fallon’s website:


2 thoughts on “You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon

  1. Wow, Shelly, what a lovely review! Thank you so much for posting.
    As a director of a library and a teacher, you are my HERO (you are probably EVERY author’s hero!).
    I am so glad you found the stories compelling.
    Thanks again,

    • Hi Siobhan,
      Your comment made my day. I read the final story last night and then woke up to today’s news about Osama bin Laden. Of course,
      I was thinking of all of those families at Fort Hood…thanks again.

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