After reading all detective and spy novels I decided it was time to open my horizons. This book did that. “ The Junior Officers’ Reading Club” is a memoir by Patrick Hennessey copyright 2009.
Hennessey chronicles his military training and then his deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. With his own “Band of Brothers” he describes the monotony and the excitement of deployment in the middle east. A very personal journey fresh from college excitement and arrogance, to the coming home after his time in Afghanistan and not fitting in with “regular” society.
The book club comes into fruition during Hennessey’s tour in Iraq. Searching for a diversion and some kind of personal space, friends find a number of books to help them. During the book club time they can talk about what is happening around them and relate to each others daily needs or problems.
I can’t go into this book a lot without telling the whole story. This is a view that Americans don’t see. Hennessey is British. Being British added difficulty to the reading, for me, due to the different slang and a whole batch of new initials. FYI there is a glossary of terms in the back of the book. This would have helped me if I had read to the bottom of the Contents Page. (Every day is a learning experience.)
While not an easy read, I found it worth the time spent. Now when speaking to the young people that have been deployed in a War Zone I have a better idea of what they really went through. Not ever being in the military I can’t comprehend, but this helped.
Next up “A Time for Patriots” by Dale Brown. I’ve got to say, it’s a hard turn from the realism of the last memoir to the fiction of a almost post apocalyptic Nevada. It’s taking me a while to get into this new book. We will see what happens.