Official Review: I Married A Soldier

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Mercy Bolo
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Latest Review: I Married A Soldier by Shirley Condit Starkey

Official Review: I Married A Soldier

Post by Mercy Bolo » 25 May 2019, 06:08

[Following is an official review of "I Married A Soldier" by Shirley Condit Starkey.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Shirley Condit Starkey narrates her life in a heartwarming memoir that chronicles her experience as a military wife. The book, I Married a Soldier, opens with the Starkeys relocating to Iran in 1962 and follows their lives as they make a home in various locations.

Although she was conservative, the author was always open-minded. At the height of segregation in the United States, she was willing to go into a negro family's home to teach. That spirit enabled her to adjust to different environments and support her husband during trying times. She quickly learned the customs of Iran and attempted to communicate in Farsi, the local language. Since the author was pregnant when she moved to Iran, I feared that the pregnancy would present significant challenges, but I was relieved that she safely delivered her second child. A few years later, Jim Starkey, the author's husband, received orders to relocate to the United States to further his studies. The author was relieved to reunite with her family and was eager to introduce Pat, her second child, to them. Later, Jim was deployed to Vietnam, returned to Iran, and eventually Germany.

What I liked most about the book is that it focuses on the author's family life and doesn't include the perils of war. Her children were happy, and relocating didn't seem to affect them. One factor that enabled this is that the author was a fulltime homemaker. She cared for her four children, and the older ones looked forward to a new addition to the family. Her youngest child had all the attention, and his siblings couldn't wait for him to grow up. There are bouts of humor sprinkled throughout the book, accompanied by memorable moments. These enriched the reading experience and left me yearning for more. The author's time in Iran provided insight into the country's history and culture. She explored the landscape and visited historical sights, which added to her wealth of knowledge.

I was intrigued by the protocol within the military and marveled at how junior officers minded their manners when off-duty. The book also provides an insight into diplomatic affairs. Those who want to learn how governments interact with citizens in foreign countries will find many useful points. The author experienced the inconvenience of state-sanctioned censorship since the Iranian government monitored all broadcast media. I contrasted that to modern times where cellphones are readily available, and information travels in a flash. The author also highlighted the downside of her status as a military wife. In the US, she often had to conceal the fact that her husband was on tour in Vietnam since she feared backlash from people who were against the war.

Overall, this is a compelling read that will appeal to lovers of non-fiction and anyone who wants to learn about Iran. Since the author focuses mostly on her time as a military wife, the suspenseful ending left me yearning for more. I will award this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars because it is intriguing and well executed. The text is well edited, and the few errors I spotted don't detract from the reading experience.

I Married A Soldier
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Post by Fazzier » 31 May 2019, 07:56

A family life novel sprinkled with bouts of laughter and a couple of memorable moments sounds like an intriguing read. It seems this book can make a reader to gain insight into the life of a military soldier's wife. Thank you for this wonderful review!

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Post by kandscreeley » 31 May 2019, 09:43

I can't even imagine how hard it would be to be a military family - to adjust to moving, etc... Plus, those were not the most peaceful of times. It would be interesting to see how the author adapted. Still, memoirs aren't my usual genre. I'll think on whether I want to read this or not. Thanks for your review.
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Post by kdstrack » 31 May 2019, 11:02

We have a military couple in our family. They move a lot and have to adjust to new surroundings. I would like to recommend this book to them. I think Shirley's story would resonate with them. Thanks for the wonderful review!

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Post by CyndiA1 » 31 May 2019, 11:25

The author may not have thought the military moves had an impact on her children, but I'll bet they did.

You write well, and I enjoyed your review.

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Post by TuyetMai » 01 Jun 2019, 11:57

It's great that her family was able to enjoy a peaceful life in spite of the relocations and the wars. I think the book would be insightful for people who wish to learn more about Iran and the war there. Thank you for the in-depth review.

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Post by Wyland » 03 Jun 2019, 02:59

I like the inclusivity of other cultural groups in this memoir. Thank for the review.

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Post by Helene_2008 » 03 Jun 2019, 19:32

Married to a former soldier myself, this book review caught my eye. I like that the author focuses on her family life instead of the war. I give a lot of credit to women raising military families - doing most of it on your own, not sure if he'll even come home. Thank you for the review!

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