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The Soldier's Wife

3.25  ·  Rating Details ·  1,326 Ratings  ·  245 Reviews
After six months away in Afghanistan, the soldiers come home to their girlfriends, wives, parents, and children. After six months of hell, being home will surely be heaven. Except that it isn't. When Dan returns home to Alexa and their children, it's still the army that comes first.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 2nd 2012 by Doubleday (first published 2012)
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Dec 16, 2012 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I will start this review by saying I am a Navy wife so I understand the issues faced by Military families.

I found this book to be very true (from my own experiences.)
The homecoming after a deployment is always difficult, the excitement at seeing your loved one again is often plagued with doubts about what will they be like, have I changed, have they changed?

The kids adjust quickly to having their parent back but the adults often find it harder to adjust. The serving parent doesn't know how quick
Jul 12, 2012 Star rated it liked it
It is difficult to be the family member of someone in the military whether they are deployed or not. The military always seems to come first and non-military family doesn’t understand what their loved one is going through. My brother was in the Army and was deployed overseas two or three times. I know it was difficult for our parents and even more so for his wife. It was hard for him adjusting when he returned to the States and at times I did not recognize the man my brother had become. Many ...more
Sheena Wilkins
Jul 18, 2013 Sheena Wilkins rated it did not like it
I have a thing about finishing every book I start, otherwise I would have closed this and sent it to the charity shop.
I have read a couple of her books and quite enjoyed them but I was totally BORED by the storyline which I found extremely laboured and I did not warm to one single character. Not one. I get the message - my bother in law was an officer in the Royal Navy for over twenty five years, served in Korea and the Falklands and the family moved around 16 times. My niece eventually boarded
Joanne D'arcy
Mar 07, 2012 Joanne D'arcy rated it really liked it
Dan is husband to Alexa, father to twin girls, Flora and Tassy, stepfather to Isabel, son, grandson, son in law, friend and soldier. On return from a six month deployment in Afghanistan Dan cannot seem to find what he is anymore. Being a soldier is the easiest for him than returning to family life, the army life gives him more structure, purpose and plenty of knowns. Families bring plenty of unknowns and no orders on how to deal with them.

Alexa adores her husband and knew exactly what she was g
Dec 23, 2013 Dana rated it liked it
Ah, finally! I think 3 stars are fairly enough.

I like The Soldier's Wife for many reasons:
-It employs creativity.
-It sends you into the world of soldiers and the army. You get to know many stuff you thought were totally the opposite.
-The main theme is captivating, "Couples have got to TALK. Taciturn, long life between couples is rather dangerous."
-It uses marriage as the relationship between all characters, not the date-then-marry one.

However, this book has given me a hard time while I was re
Oct 15, 2014 Nicholas rated it it was ok
When Joanna Trollope is good, she can actually be great. But when she's not it's a bit of a slog. And unfortunately that was the case with this one. I'm sympathetic to the themes here -- how do modern military families cope with the fact that soldiers' wives have ambitions and careers of their own in the face of an overly traditional military that assumes they will drop everything for their husbands' careers? -- but it all felt a bit didactic and heavy-handed. I also did not quite understand the ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Juliet rated it really liked it
I love Joanna Trollope's novels for their insightful examination of human relationships and human frailties. The Soldier's Wife is set mostly on a military base in the UK, and focuses on the challenges facing personnel in the modern Army. What sacrifices must a woman make when she commits to the life of an army wife? What compromises are necessary? How does a long deployment impact on the emotional health of both partners? Through central couple Dan Riley, a major in the British Army who is just ...more
Steve lovell
Mar 02, 2012 Steve lovell rated it really liked it
A writer such as Trollope can take a reader and place her (more likely)/him (considerably less likely) into a groove from page one and transport seamlessly through a three hundred or so pages to, invariably, a neat, satisfying resolution. When on song, as she is in this novel, the reader will lose all track of time as this skilled practitioner inveigles the reader to care about her protagonists to the degree that there is always an unsatisfactory sigh emanating as the book is placed to one side ...more
Tia Bach
Jul 10, 2012 Tia Bach rated it it was amazing
From the first page, I wanted the Rileys to make it through as a unit. Dan Riley knows all about protecting the unit as part of his British army training and experience, so why can't he keep his family unit together and happy? Alexa Riley has lost one husband already and can't bear to lose another one.

It's amazing how two people so in love can stop talking, stop listening. But that's exactly what happens to them. Thanks to wonderful friends and family, help is never far away. But in the end, it'
Jun 14, 2012 Jean rated it really liked it
Another excellent novel by Joanna Trollope. In this novel she examines the difficulties faced by soldiers returning from a dangerous tour of duty in Afghanistan. One would imagine that reunions with wives and families at home would be joyous for everyone concerned, but in this novel, this is not the case.

Joanna Trollope explores the difficulties faced by soldiers and the families who have waited to welcome them at home. In this day and age it is not enough for many soldiers' wives to be home-ma
Andrea Galbusieri
Dec 03, 2014 Andrea Galbusieri rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
I could personally only relate to some of the struggles Alexa goes through as the wife of a British Army officer, but I think Joanna Trollope did an excellent job describing the conflicting emotions military wives go through continuously and the different ways they cope with those emotional challenges. Although I often wanted to throttle Alexa for her indecisiveness, I like how Trollope eventually makes her characters - and her readers - remember what we all know to be the main factor in any ...more
Reading Fool
Nov 13, 2012 Reading Fool rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
The story of Alexa Riley and her husband Dan, who is a major in the British army. Dan has just returned from a 6-month stint in Afghanistan, and the Rileys are trying to adjust to life after his return. Alexa is considering the offer of a teaching job but is torn between the desire for a career and her loyalty to her husband and the Army. Dan is struggling with life back on base while trying to help his fellow soldiers. The entire family is on the verge of breaking down.

This was my first Joanna
Dec 02, 2012 Tima marked it as started-but-abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I won this book from First Reads in May of 2012. Two Three almost four months later and it has still not arrived. Hmm..

I've contacted the publisher and Goodreads support and still have not received the book. I think we can consider this my negative review.

Final Edit: Not only have I contacted the publisher but contacted Goodreads support 3 additional times and they ensured me they would get back to me about it. It's been just shy of 7 months now and there's been no responses or book. I give up o
Jul 24, 2012 Lynn rated it really liked it
A great insight into military families and the difficulties they face when a loved one returns from a war zone. But, most importantly, a story of "family" in all its variations: nuclear and extended, friends, military family, and the many kinds of support each can offer. This is my first Joanna Trollope novel, but it won't be my last.
Jul 15, 2012 Jane rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012
The usual Joanna Trollope thing - people make bad choices then endlessly discuss those choices (or inadvisably refuse to). Well written, easy read.
Lynne - The Book Squirrel
Mar 14, 2012 Lynne - The Book Squirrel rated it really liked it
Can really relate to this book as an army wife. I like how the name of the camp was a mixture of Larkhill and Bulford - Larkford as I knew exactly where the setting is.
Apeksha Bhateja
Aug 30, 2014 Apeksha Bhateja rated it really liked it
A random pick, The Soldier's Wife was actually interesting. I was cheering for Alexa throughout the book. Too hard not to empathise with her.
Apr 03, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
I hadn't read any Joanna Trollope for a while and I was really pleased with her return to form with this book.
Nov 05, 2016 Mya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a story I could really relate to. I also had to keep reminding myself that it was set in England and not the US: I think movies, etc. have me always associating armies, army wives and the army life-style with America. The characters are all very likeable which in some ways makes it a hard story because you sometimes really want someone to blame for the situation that arises. If army life and army families really are like this (and part of me can see how they very much could be), then it must ...more
Harry Tomos
Nov 12, 2016 Harry Tomos rated it it was amazing
paradox of a good but difficult read, difficult in some parts subject wise not the writing
Oct 13, 2016 Ann rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this thought provoking book. My husband travelled a lot with his job, admittedly his life was never in danger, but I could understand some of the problems Alexa had. I found the lack of understanding by the top brass quite concerning. I feel that if we send our young people to war the very least we should do as a nation is to look after them and their families. I include mental health problems in this. If we are not prepared to do so we must stop getting involved in wars.
Sep 29, 2016 Laraine rated it really liked it
"The Soldier's Wife" by Joanna Trollope was an engrossing and interesting book and I'd rate it a 4-4 1/2 star read. Trollope tells the story of a couple, Alexa and Dan Riley and their family. When Dan comes home from his third tour overseas with the Army, after Afghanistan, his marriage to Alexa goes through a particularly bad patch. Dan might be back in England in body, but his mind is with his men and all they have experienced. Alexa has been keeping the home fires burning, managing to do all ...more
May 03, 2012 Jane rated it liked it
The Soldier’s Wife by Joanna Trollope is a slow-burn read. Almost so slow-burning that the story failed to catch alight. But slowly, slowly the characters and their problems drew me in and I found myself reading avidly.

The soldier in this story is Dan Riley – a major in the British Army. He has just returned home after a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. His wife, Alexa, has been left caring for twin toddler daughters and Isabel, her twelve-year-old daughter from her first marriage. The sto
Sep 23, 2016 Joan rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 12, 2012 Rachel rated it it was ok
I listened to this book on audio and three of the CDs in the middle of the book were misnumbered. I ended up listening to a good portion of the book out of order before I realized the error. I thought it was just really disjointed story! Anyway, I listened to a review copy so I'm assuming (hoping) that the CDs are labeled correctly on the final copy.

Charlotte Anne Dore did a good job with the narration. I'm not familiar with the different regional accents in England but I did notice that some of
Jul 23, 2014 LindyLouMac rated it really liked it

I am a long time fan of Joanna Trollope. Have been reading her novels since her first 'The Choir' was published in 1989 and always found her novels to be light and entertaining, 'Aga Sagas' used to be the popular term for them. In fact it is many years since I last read one, though I have a few reclining on my bookshelves, somehow they never got read whilst I was living abroad! Having now rectified this by reading this latest title, I now intend to catch up with her back catalogue just as soon a
Mar 12, 2013 Helen rated it really liked it
Book jacket summary:
Dan Riley is a major in the British Army. After a six month tour of duty in Afghanistan, he is coming home to the wife and young daughters he adores. The outside world sees those reunions as a taste of heaven after months of hell. But are they? Can a man trained to fight adjust again to family and domestic life? And how will the family cope, if he can't? To what extent can Alexa, Dan's wife, sacrifice her own needs and fulfilment to support his commitment to a way of life tha
Oct 03, 2012 Dorothy rated it liked it
I enjoy books by Joanna Trollope. Mostly they involve family life in the UK and often have a current issue to be explored. In the novel, Trollope takes on the difficulties faced by the families of active servicemen in the armed forces.

The novel opens with the return of a regiment to Britain after deployment in Afghanistan. What should be a happy reunion with immediate families turns out to be problematic. The soldiers themselves find it hard to adjust to family life and are still closely attache
Jun 15, 2014 Cyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe 3.5 stars. This is at its heart a perfectly competent Joanna Trollope novel. It delivers most of the things a Joanna Trollope fan has come to expect in her books. It is somewhat reminiscent of Trollope's Rector's Wifein that at the centerpiece is a woman whose own dreams and ambitions are thwarted by the expectations and restraints placed on her by her husband's career. The difference though is that in The Soldier's Wife we are told rather than shown most of the constraints on Alexa. I kno ...more
May 30, 2014 Samantha rated it liked it
I was once an Army wife, so thought this would be an interesting one, and it's the book we're discussing in next week's book group.
Alexa and her neighbours are waiting for their officer husbands to return from Afghanistan. Having coped alone with families and households for six months they face practical and emotional challenges, as do the officers themselves.
I do like the way the author explores marriages and relationships, and really tries to get the reader inside the minds of her characters
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Joanna Trollope Potter Curteis (aka Caroline Harvey)

Joanna Trollope was born on 9 December 1943 in her grandfather's rectory in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, England, daughter of Rosemary Hodson and Arthur George Cecil Trollope. She is the eldest of three siblings. She is a fifth-generation niece of the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope and is a cousin of the writer and broadcaster James Trol
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