Check This Out

A Sharon Gold Novel

Earlier this year I read and reviewed Mrs. Lieutenant by Phyllis Zimbler Miller.  Phyllis has a blog that you can find HERE.  She has done a great job with her blog and I enjoy catching up with what Phyllis is up to through her posts. 

This week, one of my best friends, Dr. Summer Watson was asked by Phyllis to write a guest post about her experiences as a military spouse.  Summer’s wonderful hubby is a Chief Warrant Officer (CWO-2) in the U.S. Marine Corps and they are now stationed back stateside.  We met while they were stationed here in Okinawa for the last three years.  Summer has written an interesting post about her view and experiences as a military spouse.  You can read Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE.  My review of Mrs. Lieutenant can be checked out HERE.

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Mrs. Lieutenant


“They had their whole lives to look forward to if only their husbands could survive Vietnam.  In the spring of 1970…four newly married young women come together at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, when their husbands go active duty as officers in the U.S. Army.”

                                       A Sharon Gold Novel

I received the novel, “Mrs. Lieutenant” in the mail last week from the author Phyllis Zimbler Miller.  Thanks to Books on the Brain for recommending me as a reader/reviewer for this title.  I spent three days reading “Mrs. Lieutenant” from cover to cover and needless to say, I didn’t get much else done in that time.  The hubby was pretty impressed when I announced that I had finished it in such a short period of time and asked me what I thought. 

I really enjoyed “Mrs. Lieutenant”.  It’s a story of four very different women who find themselves in the same situation.  They are all married to active duty officers in the United States Army and the Vietnam War is raging overseas.  The possibility of their husbands having to report for duty in a distant land, where life and death is at stake, is highly probable and a reality that none of them want to face. 

Sharon, Donna, Kim & Wendy are from very different backgrounds and are very nervous about meeting people different from themselves.  Sharon is from Chicago (a northerner), Jewish and is strongly opposed to the Vietnam War.  Donna is a Puerto Rican Army brat married to a White man from the mid-west but has a secret.  Kim is the most naive of the four, having grown up in foster care with her younger sister in rural North Carolina.  She depends on her close-minded, jealous and hotheaded husband for everything.  Wendy is the daughter of a doctor, is from South Carolina and is African-American.  Her parents sheltered her her whole life and for the first time she is getting a taste of discrimination in northern Kentucky. 

After a rough start between them they get to know and depend on each other as friends and confidants.  They face many rough patches together and individually during their short stay at Ft. Knox where their husbands are in Army Officer Basic Training School.  They have to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. 

For the most part I really enjoyed this book.  The story drew me in and I felt a connection with the characters.  Though I am not a military spouse, I have become friends with many Marine wives and a couple of Air Force wives here on Okinawa.  Unfortunately I believe that many of the same limitations and challenges that faced the characters in the military of 1970 are still being faced by the military spouse today.  The fear of speaking up because it may cause a ripple and affect your husband’s job is still very real.  This is one problem that I do not face with my husband’s job and I have found myself face to face with a high-ranking officer’s wife, questioning her actions.  The common question among my friends was, “You did that?!”. 

The prejudices of 1970 were still very prevalent and at times it was uncomfortable to read the passages where tensions were raised.  The book was enjoyable and quick paced which I liked.  I had only one problem while reading and that was the distraction of how the author used present tense instead of past tense but that is just a personal preference.  After a while I felt like I was there in the story as an observer. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious about the life of a military spouse.  “Mrs. Lieutenant” is very relevant in today’s world.  The military spouse faces fear of their loved one being deployed to the Middle East at a moments notice just as those women did during the Vietnam War.  I have a few friends who have deployed and since returned from both Iraq and Afghanistan and I spent every day worrying about their safety, not able to imagine the level of stress and constant worry that their families felt.  I will recommend “Mrs. Lieutenant” to my friends here in Okinawa and those who have since PCS’d (Permanent Change of Station aka moved), knowing that they would be able to relate to the stories of Sharon, Donna, Kim & Wendy.

{Rating – 4 out of 5} 


WIN IT: Phyllis Zimbler Miller is offering a signed copy of her novel, “Mrs. Lieutenant”, to one Planet Books reader. All readers with US, US military, and Canadian addresses are eligible.
To enter, just leave a comment here by Midnight EST on July 4th, either about this post (for example, tell us about your own “first day” as a spouse or soldier or about someone you know affiliated with the military) or about something you saw on Comments that simply say, “win” or “hello” will not be eligible.  The winner will be chosen at random by Planet Books.

Military Spouse Writing Contest

Author of “Mrs. Lieutenant”, Phyllis Zimbler Miller, has asked me to share the following contest information with you (this is for Military Spouses Only): Announces

“Tell-Your-Own-Story” Contest for Military Spouses

for Season 2 of the Lifetime ARMY WIVES TV Series

From June 8 (premiere of Season 2) to June 29

Submit the Story of Your Happiest, Saddest or Most Significant Moment as a Military Spouse (All Branches Eligible)

Go to and click on “Contest Submission.” Fill out the submission form, including a title for your story.  Then paste your story into the box (500 word maximum).  Present and past military spouses may submit multiple entries.

In honor of the Fourth of July – and will feature the best 15 submissions.  All 10 2nd place winners will receive prizes from, including the new book Mrs. Lieutenant: A Sharon Gold Novel by Phyllis Zimbler Miller (  The five grand prize winners will also receive Season 1 of ARMY WIVES on DVD. 

And in the meantime, check out the information on  – information to help make your life better.

Surprise Package!!

Yesterday the hubby cam home after work and in his hand he had a package for me.  It was a book called “Mrs. Lieutenant” by Phyllis Zimbler Miller and it was sent to me to read and review on my blog here.  I am so excited because this is my first experience with receiving a book directly from the author (thanks to a referral by Books On The Brain) for review on my blog.  I believe Miller is also doing a virtual book tour this month and will be visiting us here at Planet Books in the form of a guest author post. 

                                    A Sharon Gold Novel

“Mrs. Lieutenant” is a novel about four Army Lieutenant wives in the spring of 1970.  “…four newly married young women come together at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, when their husbands go on active duty as officers in the U.S. Army.  Different as these four women are, they have one thing in common:  Their overwhelming fear that, right after these nine weeks of training, their husbands could be shipped out to Vietnam – and they could become war widows…” 

“…Read MRS. LIEUTENANT to discover what happens as these women overcome their prejudices, reveal their darkest secrets, and are initiated into their new lives as army officers’ wives during the turbulent Vietnam War…”

I am looking forward to starting this book as soon as I am done writing this post.  I did do some searching around and found this interview with Phyllis Zimbler Miller on Blog Talk Radio as well as the author website and her blog.  This novel was also a semi-finalist for Amazon’s “Breakthrough Novel Award”.