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The Day After He Left for Iraq: A Story of Love, Family, and Reunion Hardcover – October 17, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (October 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602392943
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602392946
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,763,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The author’s son, Elijah, was eight weeks old when the boy’s father, Melissa’s U.S. Army husband, David, went to Iraq. Their daughter, Amelia, was two. This touching memoir explores the day-to-day life of a woman who is suddenly a single parent, a mother who doesn’t know if her children will ever see their father again, a wife temporarily without a husband. The terrible possibility of the separation becoming permanent looms over Melissa’s life, provides a grisly context for everything she does—and yet, somehow, she soldiers on in the attempt to live a normal life for herself and for her kids. If Sue Miller, or perhaps Anita Shreve, were to write a novel about a woman’s struggle to maintain her sense of normality—and her spirit—while her husband was fighting a far-off war, it might sound a lot like this memoir: moving, intelligent, insightful, and timely. --David Pitt

Review

The author’s son, Elijah, was eight weeks old when the boy’s father, Melissa’s U.S. Army husband, David, went to Iraq. Their daughter, Amelia, was two. This touching memoir explores the day-to-day life of a woman who is suddenly a single parent, a mother who doesn’t know if her children will ever see their father again, a wife temporarily without a husband. The terrible possibility of the separation becoming permanent looms over Melissa’s life, provides a grisly context for everything she does—and yet, somehow, she soldiers on in the attempt to live a normal life for herself and for her kids. If Sue Miller, or perhaps Anita Shreve, were to write a novel about a woman’s struggle to maintain her sense of normality—and her spirit—while her husband was fighting a far-off war, it might sound a lot like this memoir: moving, intelligent, insightful, and timely. (Booklist -David Pitt ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I applaud the author for her courage in sharing her real emotions.
SarahArmyWife
As a military spouse, I wanted to read this book, to see if her deployment was comparable to my deployment.
Aimmie Jenkins
When you sit down to read this book, don't expect to get up without finishing.
Jennifer MackInday

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Emerson on April 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
of the many conflicting emotions experienced during a deployment. It's like someone is reading my mind and writing this all down. Excellent book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Grindle on December 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I appreciate the open and honest reality of life as a military spouce and mother that this book shares. This is a great tribute to mothers and spouces that gives a small insight to our lives. The book is for a wide audience, not just military. Showing some of the many thoughts, experiences and things we have in common with each other as wives and mothers is well depicted in the book. Not only did I read the book, but my husband did as well. Thank you to the author and her family for sharing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. C. Buhrer on August 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I just spent the afternoon reading this book and consider it time well spent. I feel as though I spent the afternoon with the author reliving her experience- sharing the laughter, tears, frustration, and joy. I have already shared parts of the story with friends- and they received a warm laugh or connection. I think every military wife should read this book- and suggest it to friends. By the end- the author feels like your friend-the sign of a very well written and honest book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kaycee Thackeray on June 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
this book was awesome, it was in great shape and reading it helped me alot
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer MackInday on May 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you think you know the story of Army wives, think again. This book takes you through every gut-wrenching step of a deployment from the soldier's family's viewpoint. Wives and children pay the highest price when daddy leaves for war. Author Melissa Seligman doesn't hold anything back, freely sharing sorrow, worry, anger, depression, and recovery. When you sit down to read this book, don't expect to get up without finishing. Grab your handkerchief, and maybe a stiff drink, and as you read remember the thousands upon thousands of American families who are living the same story.
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By Kat on January 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What an incredible book. My husband is currently deployed for the second time in two years. The first time he left when my daughter was two and a half weeks old and this time, a few days after her second birthday, so reading the author's deployment situations (minus the second child) was almost eerie.
Keep in mind that while I am an avid bookworm, I'm not someone who cries much during books or movies. It's a very rare occurrence for me. But in the first twenty pages of this book, I cried five separate times. The author put so many of the feelings running through my mind into words that reading them on the page was both heart-wrenching and validating.
My husband is my best friend and deployments are overwhelming for us. My daughter cries for her Daddy too and it compounds the sadness I already feel. That part is much harder than last time. I really saw my own family in the author's and it made me feel much less alone and gave me comfort. Thank you for writing this book. Thank you for your honesty and candor.
I would highly recommend this book to any military spouse going through a difficult deployment.
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Format: Hardcover
It was very powerful because she was so transparent. Being a military spouse myself, it was hard to read in a way because it was so real, but I couldn't put it down. It would have been helpful if she had shared at the end how to deal with your emotions in a more healthy way than she did (She mostly stuffed her emotions until she almost had a nervous breakdown.), to take care of yourself (She didn't call an ambulance when she busted the back of her head on the ice and had 2 children to care for.) and to reach out to the help that is out there for spouses (she didn't have a strong support network and was basically house-bound for months at Fort Drum from snow). I'm glad I read it, but it was pretty heavy.

This is a great resource for those who want to catch a glimpse into the sacrifice that military families make--the soldier, the spouse and the children. It shows the heart-wrenching range of emotions experienced throughout the deployment cycle, although not every spouse will have quite as dramatic an experience as the author. I hope many non-military people will read this book.
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