Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Dangerous Age by Ellen Gilchrist

The attacks on 9-11 changed things for most Americans.  In this novel, Ellen Gilchrist explores how things change in the lives of several women, all cousins, after this time in our country's history.  The Hand family has been through several wars in their long history.  This generation has strong females and most are affected in some way.

There is Olivia, who has Cherokee blood mixed with the Southern blood of the Hands.  Olivia is a newspaper editor in Oklahoma, too busy for love and marriage.  That all changes when she meets Bobby, marries him and becomes pregnant.  He is in the military but safely in the States, where he flies drones whose actions take place overseas.  He takes information from those on the ground and finds and targets insurgents.  Louise is married to a recruiter who travels the country talking to young men and women and persuading them to consider joining the Army.  Winnie meets and marries a wounded soldier, several years younger than herself but someone she feels a connection with instantly.

There are other cousins, like Tallulah, who is a tennis coach on the college circuit.  There are fathers and grandparents, a whole web of family that encircles the cousins.  But this is their story, how they live their lives, find love and start families and how they deal with war.  What is it?  Is it ever an appropriate response?  What does a country do when attacked?  Each of the women must work through their own thoughts and ideals to determine how they feel about the war and the degree to which being married to a military man affects their outlook.  This book is recommended for those interested in strong family relationships and those interested in reading about how events affect those who live through them.


Becca Lostinbooks said...

Everyone remembers where they were when 9/11 happened, but I doubt everyone has examined how 9/11 has changed them over the course of the years since, unless they were personally impacted by the deaths or the war that followed. It's interesting to really think about how my life changed. I know one thing that happened was I finally understood the feeling of powerlessness and helplessness that follows a catastrophic and horrific event like that to your own country, your own people. I never really felt a since of pride for my nation until that happened. Perhaps it was because I was just on the cusp of adulthood, or because I never really saw a need to be patriotic. I know I would not have been able to understand my brother-in-law or John as well. Interesting to think about.

Sandie said...

I agree, Becca. I think it was the beginning of the upsurge in support for our military as opposed to the disgraceful way Vietnam veterans were treated. I think it brought home for many the real possibility that terrorism could touch them; that it wasn't just some headline of something that could happen overseas to someone they would never meet.