Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Validation for Navy Wives and Navy Girlfriends

                             photo credit: ▲Camille Richez via photopin cc
It’s hard being left behind. I wait for Henry, not knowing where he is, wondering if he’s okay. It’s hard to be the one who stays.

I keep myself busy. Time goes faster that way.

I go to sleep alone, and wake up alone. I take walks. I work until I’m tired. I watch the wind play with the trash that’s been under the snow all winter. Everything seems simple until you think about it. Why is love intensified by absence?

Long ago, men went to sea, and women waited for them, standing on the edge of the water, scanning the horizon for the tiny ship. Now I wait for Henry. He vanishes unwillingly, without warning. I wait for him. Each moment that I wait feels like a year, an eternity. Each moment is as slow and transparent as glass. Through each moment I can see infinite moments lined up, waiting. Why has he gone where I cannot follow?

For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, you probably caught on to the fact that I am a novelist, which means I am also a book lover, and I just really wanted to share my favorite novel with you today. I just started re-reading it for the umpteenth time, and as I was happily going along, I remembered how much I related to the novel simply because of my experiences as a Navy Wife and Navy Girlfriend and then thought of you.

It’s funny that in the prologue section, which I quoted above, Audrey Niffenegger writes: Long ago, men went to sea, and women waited for them, standing on the edge of the water, scanning the horizon for the tiny ship. I don’t know if she realized that we still do that. Or whether she realized that she was describing exactly the way we feel in such an accurate heartfelt and compelling way.

The Time Traveler’s Wife is not about a Navy Wife, but this book is one of those that isn’t exactly about what we go through and yet it reflects it in such a remarkable way. When you read this book, it’s not like going through our experiences again. It’s like finally being able to know and see how special and amazing we are, ourselves and our men, for going through it, how timeless and romantic it actually makes us.

This is one of those books that has touched me as a person in the deepest sort of way, and I think that’s mainly because of my history as a Navy Wife, and I just highly recommend it to any woman who goes through what we do as Military Wives and Girlfriends. It’s one of those things that validates your feelings and experiences. It’s comforting, supporting, and just one of those books that makes me feel like home, like I’m reading about myself, and yet through it, I’m so much more than I ever realized I could be.

I know this might be kind of an odd post for this blog, considering what I usually write, but this is one of those things that I just truly wanted to share with you from my heart.  

timetravelerswifeThe back cover blurb is below for those of you who haven’t heard of the movie or the book, and you have to read the book, not just watch the movie. I had seen the movie and didn’t have the experience until I read the book. It’s not just the story, it’s experiencing the perspective only archive through reading the character’s words and thoughts.

Don’t give me any of that, you don’t like to read stuff. You do like to read because you are reading this blog right now. You read online all the time. Trust me, novels are way better than the stuff you read online.

The Time Traveler’s Wife
By Audrey Niffenegger

A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

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About Stephanie Carroll
U&E Founder & Author
Buy Her Book A White Room!
Photo by Randy Enriquez
I dated and married my husband in 2004 when I was 19. I felt like an outsider for the first half of our marriage. He didn't understand what I needed to know about the Navy, and I didn't know what to ask.

After ten years of learning in the Navy, I founded Unhinged & Empowered. I wanted to spread the knowledge that I needed when I was new, to reveal what took years for me to learn.   
Cover Design by Jenny Q
In addition to being a Navy Wife, I am also a novelist. I write historical women's fiction.

My first novel A White Room debuted in 2013 and is about a woman forced to sacrifice her own ambitions of becoming a nurse to marry a man who can save her destitute family. He moves her to a strange, small town where she slowly succumbs to madness until she stumbles on an opportunity to nurse to the poor despite the fact that her husband prosecutes unlicensed practitioners.

Learn more at and connect with me @CarrollBooks on Twitter, Facebook, or on Pinterest!

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  1. Loved the movie and looking forward to reading the book!

  2. I loved this post. It's so fun when someone writes about why they LOVE a book! I have not read "The Time Traveler's Wife," but this makes me want to!

    I also love your line about novels being way better than the stuff you read online. TRUE!


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