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: www.siobhanfallon.com