Monday, June 1, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: American Wife by Taya Kyle

American Wife, by Taya Kyle with Jim DeFelice
2015, 304p, Non-fiction
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher through TLC Book Tours for an honest review

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The widow of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle shares her private story: an unforgettable testament to the power of love and faith in the face of war and unimaginable loss--and a moving tribute to a man whose true heroism ran even deeper than the legend.

In early 2013, Taya Kyle and her husband Chris were the happiest they ever had been. Their decade-long marriage had survived years of war that took Chris, a U.S. Navy SEAL, away from Taya and their two children for agonizingly long stretches while he put his life on the line in nearly every major battle of the Iraq War. After struggling to readjust to life out of the military, Chris had found new purpose in redirecting his lifelong dedication to service to supporting veterans and their families. Their love had deepened, and, most special of all, their family was whole, finally.

Then, the unthinkable. On February 2, 2013, Chris was killed while attempting to help a troubled vet. The life they fought so hard to build together was shattered. In an instant, Taya became a single parent of two. A widow. A young woman facing the rest of her life without the man she loved.

Chris and Taya’s remarkable story has captivated millions through Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster, Academy Award-nominated film American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper as Chris and Sienna Miller as Taya, and because of Chris’s bestselling memoir, in which Taya contributed passages that formed the book’s emotional core. Now, with trusted collaborator Jim DeFelice, Taya writes in never-before-told detail about the hours, days, and months after his shocking death when grief threatened to overwhelm her. Then there were wearying battles to protect her husband’s legacy and reputation.

And yet throughout, friendship, family, and a deepening faith were lifelines that sustained her and the kids when the sorrow became too much. Two years after her husband’s death, Taya has found renewed meaning and connection to Chris by advancing their shared mission of “serving those who serve others,” particularly military and first-responder families. She and the children now are embracing a new future, one that honors the past but also looks forward with hope, gratitude, and joy.

American Wife is one of the most remarkable memoirs of the year -- a universal chronicle of love and heartbreak, service and sacrifice, faith and purpose that will inspire every reader.

I first learned who Chris Kyle was when I watched Stars Earn Stripes with my family. He was teamed up with Dean Cain, so of course they were my favorites from the beginning. Once that ended, I didn't keep close tabs on him but was always interested in what he was working on and felt that he was a true hero. When I heard about his death, I was in shock, especially when I heard how it happened.  I was especially sad for the family he left behind. When I saw this book come up for review, I jumped at the chance to read it.

I enjoyed this book from beginning to end! I loved reading about Chris and Taya's courtship and marriage. They had some rough patches but they worked their way through them and committed to stay together. The divorce rate for SEALs is high but they beat the odds! She shared some of Chris's emails with her while he was deployed and it was touching to hear how much he loved her and missed her.

When he came home, they each had to make major adjustments to keep their family together. Chris became more famous and started some new projects to help veterans. It was through one of these that he was asked to help Eddie Routh, the man who shot and killed both he and his friend, Chad Littlefield. That was obviously a difficult time for Taya and it was heartbreaking to read about her grief during that time. On top of it, there were some legal issues for her to deal with as well and I thought she did an amazing job getting through all of it. She was able to learn who her true friends were, whether she had known them for a while or recently met them.

While there is definite sadness to her story, her book ends with lots of hope! She still misses Chris every day but has lots of good things to keep her busy. She has her children to raise and is involved in multiple causes. She also has a foundation to help save marriages and keep families of veterans together. She sat down and made a list of the lessons she's learned over the past two years and it was a great summary of her book.

There is some swearing, including one "f" word (mostly towards the beginning of the book). I enjoyed learning more about Chris and Taya and am amazed by her strength. I love her final advice in the end. When people ask what they can do for her, she simply asks them to pray. I have found that to be a powerful way to deal with grief in my own life. I loved this book and would recommend it to everyone!

Purchase Links

Taya Kyle, Patriot Tour, credit Team Never QuitTaya Kyle founded the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation in honor of her late husband Chris Kyle, legendary U.S. Navy SEAL and author of the bestsellers American Sniper and American Gun. The foundation is devoted to strengthening the marriages of veterans and first responders. An active public speaker, Taya Kyle makes frequent appearances at fund-raisers and other events, inspiring others to find strength and persevere through struggles. She and her two children live in Texas.

Taya’s Tour Stops

Monday, May 18th: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, May 20th: Worth Getting in Bed For
Monday, May 25th: Many Hats
Tuesday, May 26th: Bibliophilia, Please
Wednesday, May 27th: Book Him Danno!
Monday, June 1st: Mel’s Shelves
Wednesday, June 3rd: Raven Haired Girl
Thursday, June 4th: Queen of All She Reads
Friday, June 5th: My Bookshelf
Monday, June 8th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, June 29th: Create With Joy
Friday, July 3rd: Luxury Reading


Unknown said...

Oh I am so excited....I am reading American Sniper right now, I cannot wait to read this one!

Anonymous said...

Taya had so much to deal with and yet seems to have come through experiences even stronger than she started. What an amazing woman!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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