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Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army…

Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives (2006)

by Tanya Biank

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858141,824 (3.5)3

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Not a great read, NOTHING like the TV series, the characters names aren't even the same. Can't say much about Army life, but being married to an Air Force Officer isn't remotely like the lives of any of the characters in this book. ( )
  amhamilt | Apr 9, 2013 |
I checked this book out so I could understand a show that was called "Army Wives" on lifetime. I knew the show was based on the book. So finally had checked it out to read it.

When I started reading the book. Tanya Banks starts by tell you about herself in terms of telling you a little of what going on around her and her breaking the news. She goes to a army post to get her reports and tell you about what going on. She also introduces four army wives and families.

Each family is tell their own story by the army wife. She goes from wife to many but she also tell tales as she is apart of the story as well. The story starts with her a bit and then you meet the families and she start each section of the book. You get the whole story of each family she talking about beging to end with her in it. She also close the book talking. I do recommend this book if you are Armywive fan as of the show on lifetime.

I was into this book. I felt each armywives heart and feelings. I felt I like was there in their house. You can certify feel the emotions to each armywives and family. It may be a bit confusing at first but you do understand as it goes from one family to the next. The show protrait the book a bit not completely but does goes with it. ( )
  Lindz2012 | Jun 28, 2012 |
Interesting look into the lives of military families. The book gives a lot of background information; however it moved to slow for my tastes. ( )
  Tc_Ward | Sep 7, 2011 |
I read this book initally because I enjoyed the television series, and it turned out to be nothing like the series, quite disappointing really!
It is written by journalist Tanya Biank after a seires of 4 murders carried out on an army base "Fort Bragg" in America over the course of one Summer. It tells the story of the wives of the army officers over the course of a year, and they're eventual deaths at their husbands hands.
It was Ok but I did find it a bit sickly sweet at times, the discriptions of the feelings between the couples etc. We were told about the clothes they wore, the cars they drove and the type of furniture in their houses!! All a bit much I felt.
The author jumped around the story a bit too much for my liking, back and forth, which was a little confusing, telling about her own time in the Army and her own opinions on the officers and their spouses.
The book was alright but I can only score it 3 stars as it wasn't a book you could get your teeth into. I do not think I would read another of Tanya Bianks books if I am honest. ( )
1 vote Glorybe1 | May 18, 2010 |
The author, a journalist by trade, explains in the prologue that she wrote this book after one summer saw five murders associated with Fort Bragg soldiers and marital discord. She then proceeds to present the lives of four army wives over the period of about a year, providing the reader with some interesting insights into army life that are not necessarily representative, despite the author’s claims that they are. The author asserts in the beginning that the lives of these four women are indicative of the lives of all army wives, but I think she is naive if she actually believes that. Albeit she attempts to get a good cross section by choosing women in various stages of their marriages with husbands in different ranks, but when one considers the many different personalities and unique situations in the world, it's not conceivable to think the experiences of these four women mimic those of thousands of other women married to men in the army (not to mention that women who are wives and in the army themselves are not addressed at all). The book should be viewed for what it is -- the stories of four individual women, which, in being told, shed some light on army life, particularly in terms of the effects it has on the family. That being said, I could not rate this book higher because I had some serious issues with the writing style. For instance, the author seems to flop between wanting to tell the women’s stories in a novelistic fashion and writing a book about her encounters with the army in a more journalistic manner. I personally found it annoying and unnecessary for the author to keep interjecting herself (personal pronouns and all) into the story. In addition, the author seems unsure whether she wants to write about these four army wives or about the ones that were murdered and consequently keeps going back to the murder cases (and basically repeats the same information over and over again). Speaking of repetition, the narrative is sometimes jumpy in its chronology and thereby repeats itself. The author also spends a lot of time writing about what the four army wives were thinking or feeling at a particular moment, as if she were literally in their shoes. At first I assumed she must have thoroughly interviewed all of the women to get this kind of information. However, later in the book it began glaringly obvious that she did not interview at least one of the women, so that made me suspicious about how she gleaned the other information used in the book (particularly those very intimate details). There were two additional minor annoyances with the writing style: 1) The author feels the need to refer to every black person in the book as “a black soldier” or a “black woman,” as if their most important feature is their skin color. She doesn’t feel the need to identify any other character by their race (as presumably they must be white or she would mention their skin color in their first description like with the African-American characters). I found this latent racism to be particularly irksome. 2) The author also feels the need to constantly describe (often in great detail) what the army wives are wearing at any given moment. It got excessive hearing about every item of clothing the women are wearing in each new scene and certainly didn't add anything to the narrative. Personally, I found the ending of the book a bit abrupt, although the epilogue with it’s “where are they now” explanations gave good closure. And finally, the narrator on the audio book was just not interesting or appealing in any way. Overall, it was an okay book but not one I would recommend because of its many flaws. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | May 13, 2010 |
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This is a story about Army life, but it was death - murder, actually, - that was the impetus for me to write this book.
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Biank tells the story of four typical Army wives who, in a flash, find themselves in extraordinary circumstances that ultimately force them to redefine who they are as women and wives. This is a true story about what happens when real life collides with army convention. --from publisher description.… (more)

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