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A Year of Absence: Six women's stories of courage, hope and love Hardcover – November 1, 2005


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A Year of Absence: Six women's stories of courage, hope and love + Surviving Deployment: A Guide for Military Families
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Elva Resa Publishing LLC; First Edition edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965748316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965748315
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,343,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

...Heart-felt look at real-life experiences of military spouses. People from all walks of life should read this book... -- MilitaryWives.com Inc

An unflinching look at military wives...and reminds us again that there are heroes on the home front too. -- Tom Miller, Military.com

Explores what every soldier’s wife knows...how much long separations...test the strongest, most self-sufficient and resilient wives. -- Stars and Stripes, October 9, 2005

Gives voice to very intimate and private struggles of military wives. It's hard not to cry...Their stories...are heartbreaking. -- Yvonne Latty, author of We Were There

Perseverance, love, camaraderie...a story I cannot imagine being conveyed with more compassion or eloquence than in this incredible book. -- Andrew Carroll, author of Behind the Lines and editor of War Letters

Provides an important window for anyone who wants to understand those who are left at home. -- Dr. Margaret C. Harrell, RAND National Defense Research Institute

Skillfully parades a cast of six endearing characters...deft narration...always telling insights causes us to cheer for them all. -- Karen Spears Zacharias, author of Hero Mama

From the Inside Flap

"A powerful, absorbing account. Redmond skillfully captures the emotion and reality of our wartime homefront. These women’s fears, heartache, and endurance will resonate with anyone who has been separated from a loved one." – Karen Pavlicin, author of Surviving Deployment

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Customer Reviews

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See all 37 customer reviews
Too little has been written about this and Ms. Redmond brings their stories to life with clarity and depth.
E. Markowitz
The title of the book is an apt description of the scope of the story: "A Year of Absence - Six Women's Stories of Courage, Hope and Love."
Alan L. Chase
As a military wife in Germany who also is left behind while her husband has gone off to Iraq, I loved reading this book.
J. Burgess

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Alan L. Chase VINE VOICE on November 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Jessica Redmond's riveting new book opens a panoramic and long-overdue window into the lives of the spouses and children left behind when soldiers are deployed to Iraq. Jessica has worked as a journalist, teacher, Peace Corps volunteer and community organizer. In 2003, Jessica's husband of less than a year, Jon Redmond, was sent to Iraq as part of the Army's First Armored Division. One of the ways that Jessica chose to cope with the anticipated year-long absence of her husband was to channel her energies into chronicling the lives of other woman and other families who had been left behind when the First Armored Division was sent to the Persian Gulf. Eventually, Jessica chose to focus on telling the stories of six of these women. She writes authoritatively and with great empathy for the emotional rollercoaster ride that she both observed and experienced. In the rich tradition of Margaret Mead, Jessica took advantage of her unique role as a participant/observer in painting a composite picture of six women - who are given pseudonyms in this book. The resulting collage serves to show the reader a microcosm of the U.S. military in time of war as seen through the eyes of those who stayed behind. The title of the book is an apt description of the scope of the story: "A Year of Absence - Six Women's Stories of Courage, Hope and Love."

During the course of the deployment, the women left behind at the U.S. Army base in Baumholder, Germany, struggled with a full range of challenges - emotional, medical, relational, familial, parental, financial, logistical and existential.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jena Rice on November 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As one of the wives featured in this book, I can tell you firsthand that this is a perfect portrayal of what military wives face during extended deployments. Our husbands proudly serve their country, and so do we. However, the families left behind are too often not given credit for their sacrifices. Thanks, Jessica, for having the forethought and courage to write this book. Hopefully it will serve as a celebration of our brave soldiers and their families and their perseverance in all circumstances!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By E. Markowitz on November 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Not a book I thought I would read until a friend recommended it to me. These womens' stories had me entralled. This book should be read by anyone who is concerned about the war in Iraq. It illuminates the experiences of the troops and the families they are forced to leave behind. Whether you are for the war or against it, whether you are directly connected to the military or not, one fully understands the struggles of these women and what they are going through when their husbands are deployed. Too little has been written about this and Ms. Redmond brings their stories to life with clarity and depth. As my friend recommended it to me, I am strongly recommending it to you!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on November 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The author Jessica Redmond is a military wife whose husband Jon was deployed to Iraq from their hone base in Baumholder, Germany.

The Year of Absence was researched during his absence. She wanted to better understand what was gong on around her as families lived this year as "single parents," surrounded by the fear, stress and uncertainty.

Work opportunities for the wives were scarce, and many returned home to find support among extended family members. But many stayed in Germany.

The women she interviewed were Beth, Kristina, Diane, Teresa, Jena and Tasha. The husbands of the last three belong to the same company.

As I was reading I was struck by the tremendous need for support that these woman sometimes found among the other wives--but how many also turned to family members back home. One woman watched CNN every morning, and when she saw a bombing in the Iraq area where her husband was, she freaked. Calling her mother back in the states, her mother didn't answer. "Pick up," she screamed into the telephone. Then her little daughter took the phone and cried, "Grammy, pick up, Mommy needs you."

Each of these six women found ways to handle the stress--often by helping others, new arrivals, etc. to adjust and adapt as they all marked off the days on the calendar.

What gives one person the ability to handle the stress while others turned to inappropriate ways to handle their stress of an absent spouse: drugs, alcohol, being unfaithful? Redmond's up close and personal with these six women was affirming the strength of these military wives.

Most women talked about their faith in God, that He would watch over their soldier...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Furness on November 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Whatever your feelings about the war in Iraq or the current administration, this is a very important book to read. The way war impacts the lives of the families of deployed soldiers is a topic too often overlooked, and the author has done these families a great service by allowing us a window into their experiences. I was amazed and impressed by the wives' strength and resourcefulness, especially in the face of an unexpected and unfair extension of deployment. Jessica Redmond tells their stories with wonderful compassion and grace. I highly recommend this book.
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