Friday, May 6, 2016
Review: Be Safe, I Love You
Be Safe, I Love You is not a book that will make you comfortable.It is constantly confronting the reader and I found myself very nervous for Lauren and for the other people in her life. This story does not paint a rosy picture of the things veterans face when they come back home. The cost of serving in the military is high and it is one that will be paid for a long time, often an entire lifetime.
There are people in Lauren's life who want to help her. There are even fellow veterans from previous wars who know that she is not fine, as she keeps insisting. But the distance between someone who has been through war and found a place in civilian life and one who has just returned is still a deep chasm to cross.
This book is at least partially about focus and control. We witness Lauren keep watch over her home and her family with the precision of a soldier. We travel back in time to her training as a classical singer and watch her calmly and rationally give up a dream for her family. We see her struggle to act naturally around her father, brother, best friend, and former boyfriend even as her mind and her heart are failing her.
Ms. Hoffman had written an unflinching story about what returning from war really means for veterans and for the people who love them. But it is also a book about the power of love for beauty, for home, and for the people in our lives. After all, the book title comes from the joking, loving letters that Danny sends his sister while she is overseas. Each letter concludes with, "Be safe. I love you."
Be Safe, I Love You
By Cara Hoffman
Simon and Schuster April 2014
From the library