Book Review: American Wife

 

About American Wife

• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (May 4, 2015)

unnamedAuthor: Taya Kyle

The widow of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle shares her private story: an unforgettable testament to the power of love and faith in the face of war and unimaginable loss–and a moving tribute to a man whose true heroism ran even deeper than the legend.

In early 20
13, Taya Kyle and her husband Chris were the happiest they ever had been. Their decade-long marriage had survived years of war that took Chris, a U.S. Navy SEAL, away from Taya and their two children for agonizingly long stretches while he put his life on the line in nearly every major battle of the Iraq War. After struggling to readjust to life out of the military, Chris had found new purpose in redirecting his lifelong dedication t
o service to supporting veterans and their families. Their love had deepened, and, most special of all, their family was whole, finally.

Then, the unthinkable. On February 2, 2013, Chris was killed while attempting to help a troubled vet. The life they fought so hard to build together was shattered. In an instant, Taya became a single parent of two. A widow. A young woman facing the rest of her life without the man she loved

Now, with trusted collaborator Jim DeFelice, Taya writes in never-before-told detail about the hours, days, and months after his shocking death when grief threatened to overwhelm her. Then there were wearying battles to protect her husband’s legacy and reputation.

And yet throughout, friendship, family, and a deepening faith were lifelines that sustained her and the kids when the sorrow became too much. Two years after her husband’s death, Taya has found renewed meaning and connection to Chris by advancing their shared mission of “serving those who serve others,” particularly military and first-responder families. She and the children now are embracing a new future, one that honors the past but also looks forward with hope, gratitude, and joy.

Memoir is one of my favorite genres, and this is one of my favorite reads within the genre. Taya Kyle writes with truth and insight. She allows herself the ability to be vulnerable and open, which, given her circumstances, probably took incredible strength. I haven’t read American Sniper or seen the movie adaptation. I briefly followed the trial of Kyle’s husband’s killer, so her memoir is really the first inside look I’ve had at Chris Kyle and their story.

Kyle’s memoir does much more than tell the story of her relationship with her late husband though. Through her words, the reader gets a sense of the intricacies of war, the layered effect it has on family, and the strength that military families embody. I found myself drawn in and emotional when she spoke of how she dealt with Chris being away at war. I also found a new perspective on war through her explanations of what happens to people in war.

Tara Kyle’s memoir is a much needed addition to the literary canon. Stories like these—rich, vulnerable, real—are an absolute necessity to truly convey the human experience. Kyle does an incredible job at giving humanity insight into the complicated life of a military wife. Recommended.

About Taya Kyle

Taya KyleTaya Kyle founded the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation in honor of her late husband Chris Kyle, legendary U.S. Navy SEAL and author of the bestsellers American Sniper and American Gun. The foundation is devoted to strengthening the marriages of veterans and first responders. An active public speaker, Taya Kyle makes frequent appearances at fund-raisers and other events, inspiring others to find strength and persevere through struggles. She and her two children live in Texas.

 

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