You Know When the Men Are Gone

Through fiction of dazzling skill and astonishing emotional force, Siobhan Fallon welcomes readers into the American army base at Fort Hood, Texas, where U.S. soldiers prepare to fight, and where their families are left to cope after the men are gone. They'll meet a wife who discovers unsettling secrets when she hacks into her husband's email, and a teenager who disappears as her mother fights cancer. There is the foreign born wife who has tongues wagging over her late hours, and the military intelligence officer who plans a covert mission against his own home.

Powerful, singular, and unforgettable, these stories will resonate deeply with readers and mark the debut of a new talent of tremendous note.

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By Will (Brooklyn, NY) · ★★★★☆ · July 30, 2014
Set in Fort Hood, Texas, Siobhan Fallon’s eight stories revolve around the separation between military men posted in Iraq and their loved ones back home. These are powerful, moving stories. Every day the women left behind wonder if this is the day they get the worst possible news, and fear as wel... ...more
By Evanston Public (Evanston, IL) · June 30, 2011
Here is the fan mail I sent to Siobhan Fallon:

Dear Siobhan Fallon, Yesterday I read your book. Today, in between the depressing news in the New York Times and the trivial news in the Chicago Tribune, I read it again. I've already recommended it to four people and will recommend it to many more (... ...more
By Natalie (Kingwood, WV) · ★★★☆☆ · June 16, 2011
I wish I had better feelings about this story. I wanted to like it, and I think that the writer's ability is evident, but these stories all felt very "surface" to me. Yes, they talk about the emotions of the wives, the emotions of the men deployed, but they never felt like they pushed anything. P... ...more
By Kathy (Florence, AL) · ★★★★☆ · June 15, 2011
A well-crafted collection of short stories about soldiers and their wives back at Fort Hood. The stories are threaded together, but not in a distracting or forced way. I would have welcomed twice as many stories to have more time with these characters.

Ms. Fallon's spare and devastating stories s... ...more
By Melissa Rochelle · ★★★☆☆ · December 21, 2010
I can admit to being unsure about this book. I didn't think I would be able to connect with any of the stories because I'm not the wife of anyone, much less the wife of a soldier. However, I was hooked after the first story. Beautifully written, with many voices and viewpoints. It provides a glim... ...more
By Tara (Roy, UT) · ★★★★★ · November 26, 2010
The author has done a superb job of capturing military life, both from the POV of spouses waiting at home and the soldier's risking their lives everyday in combat. Also brings to light the difficulties soldier's face trying re adjust to life back at home. For full review:

http://wwwbookbabe.blogsp... ...more
By switterbug (Betsey) (Austin, TX) · ★★★★★ · September 09, 2011
In this terse and bold book of eight interconnected stories featuring Fort Hood army wives, breakout author Siobhan Fallon invites readers to peek through the hazy base-house curtains into largely uncharted territory. She offers an intimate glimpse of the spouses and children left behind to cope... ...more
By Timothy (Reed City, MI) · ★★★★★ · February 28, 2012
As I closed the book after reading the last story in You Know When the Men Are Gone, I couldn't help thinking that you also know when an important new talent has emerged on the literary scene. Because Siobhan Fallon simply blew me away with these eight interrelated pieces which detail with a near... ...more
By Rebecca (Saint Louis, MO) · ★★★★★ · September 14, 2010
In You Know When the Men Are Gone, Siobhan Fallon writes with grace and intelligence about the army wives at Fort Hood who are waiting for their men to return from Iraq. Fallon follows the lives of women with children, women with cancer, women who can't bear another night of sleeping alone betwee... ...more
By Jill (Chicago, IL) · ★★★★★ · March 24, 2015
Years ago, William Tecumseh Sherman famously said, “War is hell.” Certainly, there has been an incredible canon of war literature that has focused on soldiers fighting on the battlefield and facing tough homecomings. But, to my knowledge, there has been no book that has powerfully shone the spotl... ...more