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One of the best things about “Blue Stars” is that none of Tedrowe’s characters, be they the heroic soldiers and Marines or their stalwart family members, are perfect. Lacey and Ellen are each flawed and terrified in their own way... Tedrowe’s characters struggle with infidelity, substance abuse, job loss and maxed-out credit cards. She fearlessly plunges into the realities of life on the homefront and the pressures of being a single parent while dealing with the stress of having a spouse dodging bullets and land mines in Iraq.
A penetrating novel about the Iraq War’s inevitable collateral damage—the lives of the mothers and wives left behind.
Tedrowe paints a distressing picture of the military complex that seems to take a distanced approach from those injured in war, and presents a sophisticated, nuanced portrayal of the family members who care for them and the price they pay to do so.
Tedrowe (Commuters, 2010), a deeply perceptive observer of family dynamics complicated by social and moral concerns, offers staggering insights into the struggles of military families and the ghastly conditions at Walter Reed that erupted into scandal in 2007. Tedrowe’s sensitive parsing of questions of loyalty, honor, and sacrifice illuminates the wrenching conflicts inherent in women’s lives and a nation at war with a clear, searching light and pinpoint humor, resulting in an enormously affecting novel guaranteed to generate much thought and discussion.
A timely and engrossing novel of the challenges faced—and connections formed—on the home front during wartime.
Tedrowe is an exceptionally adept first-time novelist, creating a thoroughly engrossing plot, redolent settings, and intriguing characters coping valiantly with fear, terrible decisions, and the bewitchment of money. Tedrowe’s tale of family conflict, shelter, love, and loss is suspenseful, funny, and tender.
Shows great promise in her compassionate, nuanced depiction of love—among the old and young alike—and her confident handling of alternating, multigenerational narrators.
In her wonderfully cohesive debut novel, short-story writer Tedrowe graduates to elegant novelist. . . . A lovely and literate family drama that wins bonus points for its sincerity and open-hearted delivery.