From Publishers Weekly
Smiley, who pens the nationally syndicated column "Shore Duty," is something of an Erma Bombeck for the military-wife set. She wittily and poignantly writes about being a navy spouse left on base with two young children while her husband is on deployment ("the D-word") overseas, just as the impending war in Iraq is dominating the headlines. Raised a navy brat, Smiley is no stranger to military life, but that doesn't preclude the fear, frustration and freak-outs that often accompany her predicament. Fellow military spouses will appreciate Smiley's humorous accounts of attending Spouse Club support meetings, handling household tasks ("My one saving grace was the toilet," she writes about a broken commode in her guest room. "A mental buffer military wives can depend on is the fact that household chores continue despite all else") and simply coping with the realities of having a husband thousands of miles away who might not return. Smiley's prose is simple and straightforward, and her humor is clever, often emerging in passages when she's at her lowest. Curiously, Smiley doesn't express her views about the Iraq war, and she often ignores the conflict's realities as her personal woes take over.
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“Often funny and always humane, an unexpected voice in a world long defined by ironclad rules and abhorrence of emotion. It is that wry take on the life of a military spouse...one that questions the rules and regulations of the shadow military she embodies, that Smiley does best.”—The New York Times Magazine
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