THE SOLDIER'S WIFE
The research that was done on this novel is probably its best selling point, as Trollope presents the life of the modern British officer in a realistic and detailed manner. Portrayals of the sense of responsibility felt by the command staff and the horrible ways multiple deployments affect families are all spot-on. Unfortunately, the characters are difficult to enjoy; few of them are easy to relate to, save the grandfather figures. Dan and Alexa in particular are too stand- offish and dispassionate, carrying their own martyr complexes aloft. The ending reads trite and a bit too neat.
Dan and Alexa had what seemed to be the ideal marriage, until Dan’s multiple deployments with the British Army began to wear on their marriage, their extended families and particularly their children. As Alexa struggles to remember who she is outside of the definition of soldier’s wife imposed upon her by the military, Dan must remember that family is as important, if less exciting, than the bonds made in the field. (SIMON & SCHUSTER, Jun., 320 pp., $15.00)