I Love a Man in Uniform: A Memoir of Love, War, and Other Battles by Lily Burana ****

  This was one of the most unlikely things I’d ever have guessed I would read. I found it in my favorite home-town used book store, and I read the blurb on the back. Huh. Might actually be interesting.

Though I myself come from a family with lots of military folk, I have opposed every modern war in which the US involved itself, and I consider the American Civil War the last truly righteous US war. But I could see that this memoir had an outsider’s point of view, and from my (strangely many) friends who do come from military backgrounds, I had figured out that the military is a culture unto itself. So…how would a former stripper accommodate herself to a military lifestyle? And just how does a former exotic dancer end up marrying into the military…to an officer, no less?

See what I mean? It really does leave a swirl of question marks dancing in the air around it.

I can’t quote from the book, because I bought it, read it, and gave it to (who else?) a friend whose family was military, before I began writing reviews. But I will tell you this: it is a story like no other. And if, like me, you want to avoid smut in your reading material, relax. This story is not about sex. It’s about the fear many of us have of what would happen if someone important to us finds out who we really are, or at least, used to be.

In the author’s case, the problem is exponential. Not only is her marriage on the line (because she kept this nugget to herself until after they’d both said “I do”), but all of the new friendships she has found on the base may fold up around her and exclude her, talk about her if this thing becomes known.

It’s enough to drive a woman to a nervous breakdown.

Whether you are military, a peacenik, or just a person who loves an absorbing memoir, this is unique and very readable. Recommended for all, except children.

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