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Army Wives: The Unwritten Code of Military Marriage

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  994 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
Army Wives goes beyond the sound bites and photo ops of military life to bring readers into the hearts and homes of today's military wives.

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 happened when real
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ebook, 288 pages
Published May 29th 2007 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published February 7th 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,045)
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Andrea Lynne
Dec 03, 2012 Andrea Lynne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: A Lawyer
Recommended to Andrea by: Ms. Biank
Since I am one of the women/characters in the book I can tell you what a disappointment ~ how inaccurate most of the story is on a personal level. I was never allowed to edit, have access to the narrative or even confirm some of the factual nature, let alone get a clue to the slant Ms. Biank took insinuating certain aspects of my views, family, friends or personality. This book was obviously written to be immediately marketed for a dramatic television series therefore the creative non-fiction st ...more
Cat
Jul 18, 2012 Cat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Quite honestly, I bought this because it’s the book the Lifetime TV series “Army Wives” is based upon. It was pure research (with a heavy dose of envy thrown in). I had one of those “if SHE can turn her book into a TV series, so can I, dammit!” moments. I had wrongly assumed Tanya Biank was a first time author who got lucky while I, an English major with dozens of published books to my credit, toiled away in obscurity.

Boy, was I wrong. It turns out Biank is a reporter based in Fayetteville, NC w
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Rachael Hartman
Apr 07, 2014 Rachael Hartman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't book this book down. The true story of four Army wives, along with shorter stories of other Army wives during the 2000-2002 timeframe. I lived in Fayetteville during the timeframe of this book. I worked on Fort Bragg during that time. The book hit home in many ways because I could relate to the Army culture (I grew up in it), as well as the fact that I remember the news reports of the Army wives killed by their husbands during that time. I didn't realize this book was a true story of ...more
Liz
Jul 21, 2010 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Picked it up because of the show based on this. The show is a far stretch from this book, most things are totally different. I rated this ok based on the book alone. The author claims to want to dispel some of the average stereotypes of Army wives, yet she feeds into others. This is a very "Go Army" type book, you'd almost think the Army was the only branch of military in the country at times. On the flip side, male spouses are virtually left out of everything as well.

The stories about the wive
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Sarah
Jul 06, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was recommended to me by one of my Army wife girlfriends, ans she felt it was amazing and should be read by all. I didn't realize the Lifetime series was based on a book that was based on the lives of actual women... as a non-fiction book, I found it a much more interesting story. I think you'd almost have to live that life to feel it as deeply as my girl did. Forgive me, but only two of my military spouse girlfriends were not active duty at one time themselves, and it is definitely a diffe ...more
Laela
To be honest I had a moment when I put this book down and didn't think I was going to pick it back up. There is a widow in this book and it hit a little too close to home. BUT, my mind really wanted to know how things turned out. SO I promised my heart that I would just skim through the burial details and carry on with the rest of the story lines.

This is what I really learned while reading this book. There is a class system in the military. It appears that your husbands rank determines everythin
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Doug
Jan 11, 2010 Doug rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book because I am a Military Brat and a vet. It confirmed what I already knew. There are people in the military (just like in the civilian world) who have no morals. I remember the guys who couldn't wait to go on temporary duty so they could cheat on their wives and I remember the wives who couldn't keep their pants on while their husband was away defending his country for a few months. Statistically military, cops, and miners have the highest divorce rates of any professions; it is ...more
Jennifer
Oct 07, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who has a spouse or significant other in the Military & for anyone who enjoys "Army Wives"
I am a HUGE fan of Lifetime's "Army Wives," and have wanted to read this book for quite a while now. I am glad that I did. Being a former Military significant other, I was able to relate to these women's stories and the whole story in a way I probably would not have been able to otherwise.

*Contains a Spoiler*
As for how the book relates to the TV Show, the characters in the book and not specifically based on any one character in the show. Several of the characteristics of the characters in the b
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Sarah
Jan 02, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it
It is with great reluctance that I mark this book as "read." I couldn't really get into it. I'm a huge fan of the Lifetime series, and was eager to read the book that inspired the show. I'm sad to say I was very disappointed, not because the book wasn't based on the same characters (as the show is, of course, fiction) but because of the style of the book. Even taking into account that the author was a reporter, and making allowances for that style of writing, I simply wasn't able to convince mys ...more
Jennifer
Dec 21, 2008 Jennifer rated it did not like it
I picked up this paperback at the Offutt BX. I enjoy the TV show, and so I thought I might enjoy the book. I was undergoing quite a bit of military-induced stress and needed some light reading. Little did I know, just how light it was. The story was very familiar, but not at all like the tv drama. Low and behold, I had already read the book years ago when it was called "Under the Sabres". And I was not crazy about the book then. Fortunately, the first time I checked the book out from the library ...more
Lana
Jul 17, 2010 Lana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any military spouses
I am an army wife and army brat. I watch the tv show but the book is completely different. Yes, there are some parallels, but it's more compelling to read the actual stories. I don't like the speculation she puts into certain conversations but I enjoyed the actual stories of the women she interviewed. I especially liked quizzing my husband on certain landmarks in Fayetteville and Bragg, ie Bragg Blvd where he blew $800 at a strip club, and how no one really dared go into the Green Beret Bar. All ...more
Jan
Apr 21, 2011 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-bought
Having been a Navy Wife this story rang so true to how it is to be a military wife. I knew this was the book that the tv show Army Wives was based on but I didn't know it was about the Fort Bragg killings too. Its a little different than the show but you can figure out who is being portrayed on tv even though the names are different. I couldn't believe how this turned out to be a tear jerker for me halfway through the book. Be aware there is a long prologue/intro at the begining. The story is ba ...more
Lara
Jun 07, 2014 Lara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
The basis for the television show, Army Wives.

Biank writes about the rash of murders and murder/suicides that swept through the army in 2002. She writes about one of the victims, but also about three other women whose lives were also forever changed by the army life of their husbands and sons. It is an honest accounting of the stresses that soldiers and their families face; the fighting that goes on at home and abroad. Some women fight loneliness while their husbands are away, and some fight aga
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Meghann
Jul 21, 2015 Meghann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to read this book because of the TV show, Army Wives, then this book probably isn't for you.

It doesn't follow the story line of the show, have the same names, or the same situations that occur in the show. This book INSPIRED the tv show. This book is quite interesting, and you can definitely figure out which characters in the book were the inspiration for the characters of the tv show.

I enjoyed it simply for the fact that it showed a different side to the military life of a wife. Pe
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Tiffany Slifka
The book was well written from the point of view of the journalist living near Fort Bragg during the string of murders in the years following 9/11. The author attempts to make it out like life in the Army is grand and describes the book as discussing the strength of the army wives, but in reality seems to make out a group of extremely vapid and gossiping women who are unhappy in their marriages.

It was an interesting read, particularly the murder case file aspect (I love some crime scene investi
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Pam Herald
Mar 25, 2014 Pam Herald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story, because it was a true, real life picture of four Army Wives. You can see how the TV show adapted their situations for the shows characters. Have a box of tissue handy, cause you go through a roller coaster of emotions!
Katie
Nov 07, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
As a civilian who has no military experience and limited knowledge on the subject, I appreciated that this book presented the hardships and joys faced by Army Wives. The four women described were fascinating to learn about and I would give the story itself 5 stars but was put off at times by the writing style. Army Wives is presented as a non-fiction account, but there are frequent accounts that are obviously fictional, or imagined by the author, as there is no way she was present for some of th ...more
Kathy
May 23, 2016 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Army Wives

Having been an army wife I found the book fascinating. I had the privilege of being around when the army attitude was "if we wanted you to have a wife and family, we'd have issued you one." By the time the army started having briefings for soldiers leaving on deployment, I resented it. I felt I had survived almost 20 years without one, why did I need it now. My husband was retired by the time Desert Storm and Iraq and Afghanistan came along. Instead, I've watched my nephew deploy repea
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Kristine Kohut
Oct 21, 2014 Kristine Kohut rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very journalistic in style. I usually prefer a more flowing fiction style, but I did get used to the feeling that I was reading a book-length article.

The content is amazing, well researched. The prologue is a bit redundant with the content of the book, to the point that the reader may choose to skip it, get on with reading the book, and not feel like they missed anything. I would almost say that this book is a must-read for women who are marring into the military who haven't previo
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Gloria
Apr 13, 2014 Gloria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb book! Excellent read!

I really loved this book. I am from and grew up in Fayetteville and so it was a true trip down memory lane for me to read about the different places mentioned. My father was an Air Force veteran, my husband is also retired Air Force, my son was in the Army and my son-in-law was a Marine. As the daughter of a First Sergeant I grew up hearing the phone ring at all hours of the night with calls from airmen regarding all kinds of issues. As a military wife I knew my role
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LeighAnne
Mar 17, 2011 LeighAnne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-books
I read this book because my husband met the sister of the author. And honestly, the tv show is one of our guilty pleasures (that we try to hide from friends....). The show has just enough authenticity to keep us watching the silliness.
I can't really write out a good review of the book, because I'm torn. On one hand, it was a fairly good representation of some of the "quirks" about Army life. (obviously not the murders--I'm talking about other things) But even though the author was raised in the
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Heidi Willis
Aug 17, 2010 Heidi Willis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up Under the Sabers because I knew it was the inspiration for the TV show Army Wives.

Under the Sabers is a non-fiction book that follows four Army wives stationed at Fort Bragg the two years prior to the shocking summer in which four Army wives were murdered within a 6 month period. The author does a great job in showing how the Army affects marriages and the role that it plays in a family without condemning the military.

I was afraid, starting the book, that the moral of the story wou
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Book Concierge
I don’t watch TV so never saw the show “Army Wives.” I was searching for a book to fulfill a reading challenge for an online book group, and this title popped up. I thought it was going to be a sort of chick-lit romance. It’s not what I expected … it’s MUCH better.

This is a nonfiction account of four women married to men stationed at Fort Bragg NC. It covers two years beginning in Dec 2000 in the lives of these families. But what happens has ramifications for the military and for the entire Ame
...more
Jennifer
Aug 10, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
A very interesting case study of four real-life Army wives, who were used as the basis for developing the characters in the TV series. I think perhaps I may have robbed the book for what it originally was since I have been an avid viewer of the show, and can identify where scenarios, and sometimes direct lines, have been drawn. I found myself very much wondering how closely the show plans on following these very real women, which creates some level of disappointment as I am unable to read the bo ...more
Hilary
Feb 11, 2011 Hilary rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
First off, let me say this very clearly: This is NOT the book of the TV series. A lot of people seem to think it is; the TV series is loosely based on this book. If you've seen the series you will be able to recognize aspects of the characters from these real women, but it's important to remember that they are not the same.

This non-fiction book, written by a journalist living in the area who grew up an Army brat, gives an interesting insight into the reality of Army life from the wives' viewpoin
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Mainon
Feb 22, 2011 Mainon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I didn't really read the synopsis of this book before borrowing it. As I'm in the midst of planning to become an Army wife myself, I was looking for something interesting on the topic, and the title plus the picture on the front (soldier and bride kissing under the saber arch) seemed to be what I wanted. Truthfully, I was thinking it would be a little sweet, a little gossipy, and sortof like a slightly-more-serious version of the TV show Army Wives.

I. Was. So. Wrong. The book starts off with
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Lindsay
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 sto
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Dana
Jun 26, 2013 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will be the first to admit that I loved the show Army Wives. Since most of the original cast members have left, I have stopped watching, but I was always intrigued by the fact that this show was based on a book. I wanted to see how the two differed.
The basis for the book came from the string of Army Wife murders in the spring and summer of 2002, that occurred in Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, North Carolina. The author, Tanya Biank, is a reporter who had covered the army base for years. Traveling
...more
Penny
Nov 01, 2012 Penny rated it it was amazing
I read this book initally because I enjoyed the television series. It was nothing like the series though and very 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 f
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Sarah
Feb 12, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
I've confirmed my assumption that I would absolutely hate this life. I haven't seen the TV show they made of the book, but I'm guessing there's less emphasis on the whole "oh, and your husband may well kill you" factor (at least I hope so). It's not clear to me why this should be the organizing principle of the book, unless it's a private fear of Biank's, who's an Army wife herself: despite one ugly summer in Fort Bragg, you're not actually LIKELY to be murdered, although you ARE likely to have ...more
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