Be Safe I Love You
By Cara Hoffman
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781451641318, 289pp.)
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
List Price: $26.00*
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Lauren Clay has returned from a tour of duty in Iraq just in time to spend the holidays with her family. Before she enlisted, Lauren, a classically trained singer, and her brother Danny, a bright young boy obsessed with Arctic exploration, made the most of their modest circumstances, escaping into their imaginations and forming an indestructible bond. Joining the army allowed Lauren to continue to provide for her family, but it came at a great cost.
When she arrives home unexpectedly, it's clear to everyone in their rural New York town that something is wrong. But her father is so happy to have her home that he ignores her odd behavior and the repeated phone calls from an army psychologist. He wants to give Lauren time and space to acclimate to civilian life.
Things seem better when Lauren offers to take Danny on a trip to visit their mother upstate. Instead, she guides them into the glacial woods of Canada on a quest to visit the Jeanne d'Arc basin, the site of an oil field that has become her strange obsession. As they set up camp in an abandoned hunting lodge, Lauren believes she's teaching Danny survival skills for the day when she's no longer able to take care of him.
But where does she think she's going, and what happened to her in Iraq that set her on this path?
From a writer whom "The New York Times" "Book Review" says, "writes with a restraint that makes poetry of pain," "Be Safe I Love You" is a novel about war and homecoming, love and duty, and an impassioned look at the effects of war on women--as soldiers and caregivers, both at home and on the front lines.