"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The American Wife by Taya Kyle (TLC Book Tours review)

The American Wife
Author:  Taya Kyle
Published:  May 2015
Publisher:  William Morrow
Pages:  304
Genre:  memoir
Source:  a complimentary copy was provided by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

The widow of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle shares her private story: an unforgettable testament to the power of love and faith in the face of war and unimaginable loss--and a moving tribute to a man whose true heroism ran even deeper than the legend.

In early 2013, Taya Kyle and her husband Chris were the happiest they ever had been. Their decade-long marriage had survived years of war that took Chris, a U.S. Navy SEAL, away from Taya and their two children for agonizingly long stretches while he put his life on the line in nearly every major battle of the Iraq War. After struggling to readjust to life out of the military, Chris had found new purpose in redirecting his lifelong dedication to service to supporting veterans and their families. Their love had deepened, and, most special of all, their family was whole, finally.

Then, the unthinkable. On February 2, 2013, Chris was killed while attempting to help a troubled vet. The life they fought so hard to build together was shattered. In an instant, Taya became a single parent of two. A widow. A young woman facing the rest of her life without the man she loved.

Chris and Taya’s remarkable story has captivated millions through Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster, Academy Award-nominated film American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper as Chris and Sienna Miller as Taya, and because of Chris’s bestselling memoir, in which Taya contributed passages that formed the book’s emotional core. Now, with trusted collaborator Jim DeFelice, Taya writes in never-before-told detail about the hours, days, and months after his shocking death when grief threatened to overwhelm her. Then there were wearying battles to protect her husband’s legacy and reputation.

And yet throughout, friendship, family, and a deepening faith were lifelines that sustained her and the kids when the sorrow became too much. Two years after her husband’s death, Taya has found renewed meaning and connection to Chris by advancing their shared mission of “serving those who serve others,” particularly military and first-responder families. She and the children now are embracing a new future, one that honors the past but also looks forward with hope, gratitude, and joy.

American Wife is one of the most remarkable memoirs of the year -- a universal chronicle of love and heartbreak, service and sacrifice, faith and purpose that will inspire every reader.
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First there was the bestseller American Sniper written by Chris Kyle.  Chris Kyle served as a sniper in the U.S Navy Seals.  He earned a reputation for being cool under fire and for his incredible marksmanship.  Tragically, Chris was killed by a fellow returned vet at a gun range.  His legacy lives on with his wife and two children.  The American Wife is Chris' wife Taya's story.

The American Wife, written with the assistance of Jim DeFelice, chronicles Taya's and Chris' life together as a married couple madly in love.  Taya shares the days of their courtship, marriage and parenthood.  The struggles of being the one left at home while her spouse served overseas are real and relatable.  Through two pregnancies for which Chris miraculously was home to support her through childbirth, Taya writes of months being home alone.  Pregnancy, raising children alone for months at a time, all unfathomable to me but Taya, like so many other military wives, did it.  

Chris rarely spoke about his missions to Taya while he was serving in the Seals.  The horrors he faced, the lives he defended, the people he saved were things he kept to himself while he was gone.  It wasn't until he left the Navy Seals that Taya learned what it was really like out there.  Of course he wasn't alone as a returned "soldier of war" and this is where Chris found a new purpose at home, serving other returned vets.  Sadly, one day one of those vets would be so scarred, not only from war, that he took Chris' life at a gun range.

Left alone, a widow and mother of two, Taya struggled to live on.  The love of her life had ironically lost his life at home while trying to help another vet.  Taya shares her sorrows, her grief, and the road to learning to live her new life without Chris.  The pain is palpable, and the reader feels it keenly as we share her experiences.  Her struggle back to living and finding a new purpose is encouraging and courageous and certainly an example of strength and perseverance.  

Taya's story is one of love and faith and endurance.   She is a modern day example of strength under adversity. American Wife is an encouraging read for women everywhere.

About the author:

Taya Kyle founded the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation in honor of her late husband Chris Kyle, legendary U.S. Navy SEAL and author of the bestsellers American Sniper and American Gun. The foundation is devoted to strengthening the marriages of veterans and first responders. An active public speaker, Taya Kyle makes frequent appearances at fund-raisers and other events, inspiring others to find strength and persevere through struggles. She and her two children live in Texas.


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