Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category


Tough girl Ceejay wants to be bad like her older brother who is stationed in Iraq. She takes on anyone, verbally and physically, to prove her ferocity. Friends start reporting to her that they have seen Bobby in town, weeks before he is to be released from duty. Once Ceejay finds him, Bobby has begun to hang out with the local wacko who dodges through the battle zone of the nasty Nogo Gatu and the heroic Yimmies. Bobby makes other strange choices. Ceejay watches with unbelief as her brother and Captain Crazy come to terms with the horrors of war.

ENDERS’ Rating: ***

Tim’s Website

The Long Road Home by Martha Raddatz

Posted: January 18, 2010 in Families, Iraq, war



“In April 2004, soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division were on a routine patrol in Sadr City, Iraq, when they came under surprise attack. Over the course of the next forty-eight hours, 8 Americans would be killed and more than 70 wounded. Back home, as news of the attack began filtering in, the families of these same men, neighbors in Fort Hood, Texas, feared the worst.”

Martha shares the terror of the unexpected of the patrol and in the lives of families left at home. She spares no description of the attacks.

ENDERS Rating: War is brutal and a high cost. This makes me again wonder if I am worth it.

Martha Raddatz’s Website



Whoo hoo!

I have found a wonderful young woman character in Arden Vogel whose quest to do the things that must be done, as her father instructed, is fulfilled in High Dive. Arden high dives into impulsiveness by aborting her trip to Germany, dropping into Paris with three Texan co-eds she met on the flight to Europe. Katie, the organizer, reserved a hostel at a great price for the Texans. With no room at the inn, Arden is reduced to paying an exorbitant price, in cash, for a sleazy room in a dive hotel. I worried that the foursome were going to crash and burn any second, but they successfully made it to Florence where the girls had reservations and a curfew in a convent. Arden’s rapture of the statue of David was priceless, and her comments about the beauty in Florence was great for anyone planning/hoping for a visit there.

The crash and burn happened when Lola, one of the Texans, ran into two guys from home. After sneaking them into the convent and a disgusting night with two drunk guys in her room, Arden packs up and leaves for her original destination: the family vacation home in Sardinia. With her father dead and her mother on duty in Iraq, Arden has to do what has to be done, and dives into preparing the home to sell. Wonderful events interlace the heartache of leaving her childhood memories.

Each of the four girls brought great life to the story. The wrapping of Arden’s childhood memories around her current grief and anxieties show how bitter herbs are mellowed by the sweet. We need more Ardens! Write more!

ENDERS Rating: Refreshing, great characters, amazing story!

Tammar Stein’s Website