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When the war on terror calls their husbands to duty, five LDS women are left behind to fight battles of their own: Kim, newlywed and pregnant, frightened of what the future might bring; Brenda, struggling to manage three unruly boys and a crippling bout of depression; Jessie, secretly grappling with mixed feelings about her emotionally abusive husband; Marianne, wrestling with a rebellious teenage daughter; And Nora, the seasoned Army wife with perfect hair, an immaculate home — and an ill-tempered mother dying of cancer.

Knowing the separation of deployment is extremely difficult, Nora gathers the wives every week to share lunches and burdens. In good company, they worry over safety in the field and stability at home and offer one another counsel and comfort. But as their personal crises build, each woman faces the risks of forming deep bonds of trust.

Band of Sisters: Coming Home

And when tragedy strikes, they must confront the painful realities of war that pull families apart and bring friends together as sisters. Five women became fast friends when their husbands were deployed to Afghanistan. But as they welcome the soldiers home, what should be a joyful time soon becomes painful. Kim, who had a baby while her husband was away, knows how to be a mother but has forgotten how to be a wife.

And Marianne faces her crushing loss, compounded with worry over wayward children. Each woman must draw upon her bond of friendship and faith to find the strength, courage, and insight needed to move forward, proving that even the hardest of trials cannot break this loyal band of sisters. Annette Lyon, the Best of State medalist for fiction in Utah, has been writing for most of her life. View more products by Annette Lyon. Steve Young , Jeff Benedict.

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The Book of Mormon for Youn Kelli Coughanour. Marble Christus Statue. Deseret Book Company. Planted: Belief and Belongi When she returned, we talked on my porch. About halfway through, Chris and her group of Guard wives were on my mind. Somehow I felt that we all needed to know about the reality of military families and what they deal with.

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I asked her if I could send her and her group interview questions via email. I sent off the questions. What came back was a flood of heart-wrenching personal stories. When I printed out the interviews, I had somewhere around thirty single-spaced pages. Other parts made me cry.

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All of it opened my eyes and changed me. I finally begged the editor for more space, and she managed to give me another words, but even that seemed barely enough to scratch the surface. I condensed and tweaked and struggled to do these women justice.

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For weeks, day and night, I thought about the military families waiting at home without their soldiers. Finally I cried uncle. My mind would give me no peace until I wrote enough to truly honoring these brave families. The result was Band of Sisters.

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Band of Sisters is about five women—not the ones I interviewed; entirely fictional ones—in different stages of life, dealing with different problems, while their husbands are at war. The novel went on to receive the Whitney Award for its category, a highlight of my career. But the subject still rattled around in the back of my head. So I wrote a sequel about re-entry, which, I learned from a new group of military wives I interviewed, has its own brand of challenges. Chris said that re-entry is so hard and varied that I could write a trilogy about it—and she was only half kidding.

Other reader emails thank me for opening their eyes to the sacrifices our military families make. I admit I also get a kick out hearing that I made readers cry, laugh, or stay up late to finish the story. Writers are sadists that way. Writing Band of Sisters took my career path and turned it another direction.

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And then, of course, Coming Home. The conversation Chris and I had on my porch were a long time ago—before I had teenagers, and when I had every intention of continuing with my historical and romance novels. I had no clue that because Chris shared her life with me, my entire career would shift. I love seeing the pink and blue covers side by side on the shelf.

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I smile each time I look up from my writing desk as see my Whitney Award. Band of Sisters. When the war on terror calls their husbands to duty, five LDS women are left behind to fight battles of their own: Kim, newlywed and pregnant, frightened of what the future might bring.