Reading has always been a love and how I learned, experienced different worlds, and came to understand view points different from my own. Lately, I’ve put myself into a “reading box”, turning to the same types/genres of stories. I need to stretch myself more and experience something different…especially new and new to-me authors. This feeling of wanting something new along with the comfortable is that a big change is coming up in my life and I’m nervous. Scared. My youngest graduates high school next year and plans on going away for college. My middle child who’s been attending a local community college will also be leaving for a 4 year university next fall. My husband and I will be empty-nesters. That’s a huge change itself, but it will also be the first time that it’s just us…husband and wife.
When I graduated from high school, I joined the US Army and was stationed in Germany. I met my husband there and we got married overseas. A few weeks after we were married, Desert Shield (later turned into Desert Storm) happened. He was deployed to Saudi, and we section was to follow a few days later. Before I left, I discovered I was pregnant so remained in Germany. He returned home about three months before our daughter was born. The majority of our marriage has been us and children.
During this next year (school year), I want to step outside of my reading comfort world. Not that I will stop reading my favorites (mysteries), I just want to “live” through some new experiences in my books while I start navigating the ones in my real life.
I was drawn to the book Dependent when I heard about it on a board because I felt a kinship to the heroine. Ellen is also at a point where her life is starting over. Everything she knows is being changed and she has no say in the matter. She has to work through her heartbreak in a world than the one she was lived in. Below is the blurb that grabbed my attention and heart.
DEPENDENT by Brenda Corey Dunne: When 45-year-old Ellen Michaels loses her husband to a tragic military accident, she is left in a world of gray. For 25 years her life has been dictated by the ubiquitous They—the military establishment that has included her like chattel with John’s worldly goods—his Dependents, Furniture, and Effects. They—who have stolen her hopes, her dreams and her innocence, and now in mere months will take away the roof over her head. Ellen is left with nothing to hold on to but memories and guilt and an awful secret that has held her in its grip since she was 19. John’s untimely death takes away her anchor, and now, without the military, there is no one to tell her where to go, what to do—no one to dictate who she is. Dependent deals with issues ever-present in today’s service families—early marriage, frequent long absences, the culture of rank, and post traumatic stress, as well as harassment and abuse of power by higher-ranking officials. It presents a raw and realistic view of life for the lives of the invisible support behind the uniform.