Pieces of Me by Natalie Hart is a love story between Emma, a British civilian working in Iraq, and Adam, an American soldier deployed there. We asked Kirstin Westover (pictured below), an Army wife of ten years who has moved several times before settling near family with her four-year-old daughter, to have a read and tell us her thoughts…

THE book is split into three parts, pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment. Emma collects rocks from the various places she has visited, each representing a different piece of her.

The pre-deployment section is all about how they meet and flits between the present day in America and the background to how they got together in Iraq. It highlights the difficulties encountered when relocating and trying to maintain your own individuality. The deployment section shows how Emma adapts to being on her own, develops new friendships and looks for her sense of belonging.

The post-deployment part is hard hitting, as it covers the complexities of trying to readjust after the traumas of war. 

Whilst this is a love story, it is not rose-tinted. It is grittier – and at times sad. There are elements throughout which are very relatable for anyone who has had to move around, spend time within a military environment or go through the hardship of being away from their loved ones whilst they carry out their job.

The book handles a difficult topic face on. It is really well written and so engaging that I found myself wanting to read another chapter and then another. I would definitely recommend it, but suggest reading it when your loved one is at home.

Pieces of Me, published by Legend Press, is available in paperback, priced £5.82 or electronic download.

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