Her Husband Signed Up for the Military. She Didn’t.

THE WIVES: A Memoir, by Simone Gorrindo

“Sometimes I think about joining the military,” Simone Gorrindo’s boyfriend, Andrew, tells her early in their relationship.

“I would leave you,” Gorrindo says.

But six years later, Andrew is on a mission with a special operations unit in Afghanistan, and the couple, now married, have moved from their Manhattan apartment to a rented house in Columbus, Ga., near Fort Benning.

Gorrindo’s memoir, “The Wives,” tells the story of the years she spent adjusting to a new culture and to a new role: military wife. Arriving in Columbus with an editing background and a master’s in journalism, she’s immediately attuned to the language that keeps her subservient: “I didn’t want to be a dependent, my presence in this world sponsored. But dependent I was. Already, my days revolved around waiting for him to call.”

Those days are hot and long. There are loops in the park. Bike rides to the Piggly Wiggly, where groceries cost too much. And there are those Gorrindo is left with for company: the wives.

But despite its title, “The Wives” is a self-portrait. We meet the other women and share in Gorrindo’s deepening connections with her own unit. But even as Gorrindo becomes one of the wives, she remains an observer.

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