Blue Stars by Emily Gray Tedrowe

Blue Stars

Book group fiction at its best, Blue Stars explores the bonds of family and the limits of fidelity, to tell the story of life on the home front in the twenty-first century.Emily Gray Tedrowe has written an extraordinary novel about ordinary people, a graceful and gritty portrayal of what it’s like for the women whose husbands and sons are deployed in Iraq.Blue Stars brings to life the realities of the modern day home front: how to get through t...

Details Blue Stars

TitleBlue Stars
Release DateFeb 17th, 2015
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
GenreFiction, War, Contemporary, Historical, Historical Fiction, Military Fiction, Family

Reviews Blue Stars

  • Diane S ☔
    Lately, there has been quite a few books published by those or about those who have served in the armed forces. This book is about those left behind, those who are often the ones to pick up the pieces or have to adjust to the reality of having to worry constantly, or having the one who comes out not the same one that left.Ellen and Lacey were the unlikeliest two women to ever become friends. Ellen, a professor whose area of expertise is Edith Wha...
  • Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
    Inspired in part by the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center scandal that exposed a shocking litany of bureaucratic neglect in the care and housing of injured returned soldiers and their families in 2007, Blue Stars, by Emily Gray Tedrowe, is a story about the realities of the modern day home front for two women.Ellen is a Midwestern literature professor, who is drawn into the war when her legal ward, Michael, enlists as a Marine. She str...
  • Siobhan Fallon
    A strikingly nuanced portrait of military family life, Blue Stars examines the battles women face when reunited with their soldiers. Emily Tedrowe opens up a world of spouse support groups and 'mandatory fun,' acronyms and hierarchies, maxed-out credit cards and hospital waiting rooms, relationships that last the long separations and those that don’t. Her characters are gutsy, flawed, and incredibly real. If you’ve ever wondered what happens ...
  • Patty
    Key characters...I believe that the key characters are Ellen and Lacey...each are surrounded by a unique tangle of family and friends that are also an integral part of this book.Settings...The settings vary and only make this book more interesting. We are in various homes and places of work as well as bars and hotels and veterans hospitals. The war in Iraq and its desert conditions are always present in this book.Simply put...what's going down......
  • Kat
    When I first picked up Blue Stars, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve read a lot of novels set during historical wars, but I don’t recall reading one set during modern warfare, so I have nothing to make a direct comparison to, but the themes are so similar no matter what the time period that I was instantly drawn into the story.Told in alternating perspectives of the two main characters, Ellen and Lacey, I found myself equally invest...
  • Nan
    I was lucky enough to get a copy of this lovely novel from BookBrowse as a part of their First Impressions program. It was a wonderful read. For the past six years I worked as a therapist with National Guard military members and their families and watched as the soldiers were deployed, some for the second, third or fourth times. I waited with the families, providing support to them as they lived each day hoping their loved one would return safely...
  • Debbie
    I put this book down when I was about a quarter through it. I was just having a hard time getting into. I picked it back up a few days later and I'm glad I did. The story gives you a very incite full look into what was going on with our Wounded Warriors and the bureaucratic red tape that becomes their life, if they make it. The story also tells of a mother whose guardian (she adopted him at the age of 17) signs up for awe much to her chagrin as o...
  • Kasa Cotugno
    There have been several fine books written about the current wars, each with its own focus. Inspired by a Washington Post Pulitzer winning articles by Dana Priest and Anne Hull, Emily Tedrowe has crafted a beautifully realized novel concerning the Walter Reed scandal of 2007. The central two characters are two women experiencing the trauma of having the men in their lives facing trauma followed by outpatient treatment at Walter Reed. Jumping off ...
  • Jennifer
    As a regular reader of war/military fiction, I was curious to see how Tedrowe would tackle the subject. Her focus on the families left behind was something I hadn't seen much before, and she handled it beautifully. I especially related to Ellen, whose not-quite son joins the Marines and later gets wounded; her inability to understand her own feelings and to allow herself to even have feelings about his enlistment and then injury was fascinating a...
  • Ann
    I absolutely adored this book. I love military stories that deal with the home front. The family is often overlooked when they talk of stress of war. Dealing with family, bills, jobs and school are difficult for any married couple but when one is in combat and the other is left to deal with their life at home, anything can happen. This book has a woman for every age group. Lacey with a young son is the middle generation, Ellen whose son(legal war...
  • Lesley
    I gave this book 3 stars because in my opinion, this book didn't get interesting until part 2,(page 155-thats a lot of reading to get to the good parts) when the men came back from Iraq with their injuries. it really is just ordinary lives of the people in military life. I also felt the two women were so night and day, not sure what to think but so stereotypical in their descriptions and life! The bureaucratic stuff at the military hospital seeme...
  • Sheri
    I have no idea how this ended up on my to-read, but I live in Madison WI and I think someone must have recommended it as a "local" read. I wish they had not.I had to literally force myself to sit down and read this book. It held absolutely no interest for me; the characters were so stereotyped and not a single interaction rang true for me. The epilogue was the best part; Tedrowe explains a bit about the Walter Reed scandal from 2007. Certainly, w...
  • Heather
    I almost put down this book after fifty pages. It was difficult for me to get into, I didn’t understand where it was going, and I wasn’t connecting with the characters. Had I done so, I would have made a huge mistake because Blue Stars is a truly great book and, although it didn’t have that punch at the beginning, the rest of the novel more than made up for the rocky start.This is a difficult one for me to review because I found the reading...
  • Tonya
    Book group fiction at its best, BLUE STARS explores the bonds of family and the limits of fidelity, to tell the story of life on the home front in the twenty-first century.Emily Gray Tedrowe has written an extraordinary novel about ordinary people, a graceful and gritty portrayal of what it’s like for the women whose husbands and sons are deployed in Iraq.BLUE STARS brings to life the realities of the modern day home front: how to get through t...
  • Amber
    I liked the concept of this book. As a military wife, I understand what it's like to say goodbye to a husband when they deploy.However. You could tell the author wasn't a fan of President Bush. It's set in 2005, so it's during the Iraq war, and quips are made about the oil and other nonsense. Maybe it wasn't the author. Maybe it was just how she wanted Ellen, one of the characters, to be like. Ellen, after all, doesn't understand the military. Sh...
  • Joan
    In “Blue Stars,” two families are brought together at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as a direct result of the catastrophic injuries suffered by their loved ones in the Iraq war. The narrative is personal, gritty, haunting; the price of conflict is much too high. Theirs is a powerful story that focuses on the interactions between the soldiers and their families, on the realities of life when soldiers are deployed, on the struggle through uni...
  • Gina
    A moving story about war, initially told from both sides of the political spectrum, about how people react when our men are deployed in war zones. But when 2 men are injured, Lacey and Ellen, two women with virtually nothing in common bond over the red tape, never ending dilemmas, and terrible conditions that the United States puts our wounded veterans in after coming home from war. Loosely based on a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative story by...
  • Louise
    I couldn't put it down! This is a beautifully written novel about two women coping with having a relative serving in the Iraq war when most of the country has no interest in the war overseas. One woman is a college professor whose ward has joined the Marines and the other is an Army reservist's wife. Their backgrounds are very different but their lives converge when both their soldiers are wounded and share a room at Walter Reed hospital. Tedrowe...
  • Tiff
    Received this copy from Goodreads First ReadsThis book was really, really sweet.Something that hooked me immediately was the believability of the characters. Some of them were so freakin' annoying, I wanted to reach into the pages and strangle them, which told me that I was into it ^^I like it whenever a character in a book makes me angry, because that means the author is doing their job.There were a lot of depressing moments in this book, and th...
  • Megan
    Overall I liked the book, which tells the story of two families whose paths cross while their soldiers are recovering at Walter Reed. There were some details that could've been fact-checked, though (it would've been easy for the author to determine that Yo Gabba Gabba didn't come on the air until 2 years AFTER this book was set!), as well as some details related to the ages and experiences of Ellen's kids that I didn't think lined up. At points I...
  • Josephine
    A very well-written book about life for the women of soldiers who are injured in the war in Iraq. Set in 2006-7, and mainly at Walter Reed Hospital during the time the appalling conditions there were just beginning to reach the rest of us, it is the story of Eileen - 50ish, a college professor, and Lacey, a 30ish personal trainer and the friendship that is forged as they both struggle with the injuries their soldiers have sustained. More than tha...
  • Karen Allen
    I received this book as a Goodreads first read. This is a well written story of the stress military life puts on the families of our service members. It follows two women, and their unlikely friendship, as they struggle to cope with conditions at Walter Reed where their injured loved ones are recovering. The book details the bureaucratic nightmares, the mental anguish, the physical conditions families deal with. This book makes an important state...
  • Kerry
    This is a great engaging book. You are split between two stories - Ellen and Lacey - as they both deal with having loved ones on active duty in Irag. The idea of love and friendship - both lost and found - is strongly explored and the two main characters are well written.
  • Sweetpea
    I received a free copy of this book from the GoodReads First Reads giveaways in exchange for an honest review. Very insightful book about military family life, a great read.
  • Chris
    This gives a good perspective of the terrible injuries soldiers have suffered in recent years. I did really not enjoy reading the exploits of the wives!
  • Debra Weisberg
    This is an excellent read about the war in Iraq, the people left behind and the aftermath following.
  • Angelique Simonsen
    good writing.
  • Kim
    2.5 stars, really wanted to like this book but had a hard time getting into it.
  • Stephanie Pieck
    A compelling, clear-eyed depiction of the ambiguities of modern warfare, both for soldiers and their families. This book was filled with sharply-drawn characters, portrayed in all their glorious and shameful complexities. The two main characters, women from seemingly opposite ends of every spectrum imaginable, learn that no amount of culture and psychological self-fabrications can shield them and their loved ones from the random brutalities of wa...
  • Terri Barnes
    Those of us inside military life are often so used to our way of life we are incapable of recognizing some of its absurdities. Emily Gray Tedrowe’s book, Blue Stars, brings some of these to light, and it’s not always comfortable.Blue Stars takes place from 2005-2007, when two wars were raging and not enough attention was being given to the care and well-being of those who were sent home injured. Reading this book, for a military wife like me,...