The Controversial Book of the Quarter is
For a change it is fiction - "Valkyrie" by Lindsay McKenna
This dynamic book about miltary women in combat really "torqued my jaw" as we used to say eons ago. One of the premises and two or three of the characters sent me on a rant that lasted for days. But it would be most unfair not to recommend a book simply because a few things annoyed me - many of which I won't say - because they are central to the plot -which by the way is wonderfully well done and carries you right along.
"Valkyrie" is a mainstream women's book that mixes action, adventure, politics, and a love story - which I found mildly boring (probably because I'm too old) but it doesn't encumber the strong points of the story. "Valkyrie" literally sets up a ground combat trial for women, along with other U.S. Forces, into an erupting Southeast Asia border crisis. The all-woman task force tests political odds and physical danger in jungle style ground combat.
Set in 2003 the story creates Laotian and Cambodian armed forces threatening the stable government of Thailand. The U.S. military is part of the group sent to the area to prevent the invasion and it includes a unit comprised of women called the Women's Liberation Force (WLF). This unique group of women is led by a Major Louise Lane, who uses questionable methods to run her company in order to prove that women can succeed as a combat force.
The heroine of the story is a Corporal Cathy Freemont, part of WLF, sometimes a thorn in her C.O.'s side as she puts the safety of her women ahead of the number of the enemy killed. Major Lane's character is one of the reasons my rants began - but again it's a great story, fast-moving, full of action, subterfuge, mystery, and political undercurrents.
So with clenched teeth I highly recommend "Valkyrie" because any work of fiction that gets that much of a reaction from me has to be an outstanding work - whether I agree or not. For a small clue as to my reasons for getting annoyed - remember - I'm a retired officer who spent ten years as an enlisted woman and ten as a woman officer - read the book and you'll understand! But then again maybe you won't - so give it a try and let me - or the author - know how you reacted.
Learn more about "Valkyrie" and the author by visiting: Lindsay Mckenna
"Valkyrie" is published by Hard Shell Word Factory
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