Aka Catherine Jones and Kate Lace

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Soldiers' Wives (2014)

For Chrissie Summers the army offers the perfect answer after the death of her mother. Unfortunately she's in for a bit of a rude awakening, training as an army medic, but Chrissie has the will and determination to succeed. Life as an army wife leaves a lot to be desired for new mum Maddy. With a degree from Oxford under her belt, getting used to playing second fiddle to her husband's career doesn't come easily, especially with a screaming baby. Jenna has wanted nothing more than to be an army wife - well nothing more than the perks of a house of her own. It's far from the cushy pad she wanted though, but never mind she'll just make some alterations even if her husband tells her it's against army rules. Set in and around an army base, Fiona Field has created a really great and different context for women's fiction. Whilst the prospect of seeing the lives of various women involved in army life was appealing, unfortunately Maddy is rather underdeveloped as a character and Jenna somewhat caricatured. Chrissie, however, not a soldier's wife but a soldier herself, was a more compelling character as too was her story. The writing and dialogue is quite macho and stylised, in part to be expected from the setting and I would have liked a bit more drama, a few more ups and downs. For me, it was the portrayal of women's lives in the army rather than as soldiers' wives that was the real success of this story. (JC)

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