The Military Spouse Book Review

Books, Ideas, and Literary Culture for Women in Military Life


The Military Spouse Book Review publishes book reviews, essays, and articles by women and women-identifying people connected to the military. It was founded by novelist and Navy wife Andria Williams in 2014 as a way to encourage a culture of literary appreciation and participation among military spouses. Editors Alison Buckholtz and Lisa Houlihan Stice officially joined in 2018 and have been an integral part in shaping the direction and priorities of the journal.

Contributions to the Mil Spouse Book Review have reflected a wide range of ideas and beliefs. A cornerstone of the blog’s purpose is to support the writing and art of not just military spouses, but all women who have found their lives affected by military service, deployment, and wartime. This includes military mothers, sisters, daughters, anyone who identifies as female, and voices from war-afflicted regions, such as the Afghan Women’s Poetry Project.

The MSBR pays special attention to the voices of female service members and veterans.

Any writer wishing to contribute a review or essay to the MSBR can do so by contacting Andria Williams:

None of the writing herein reflects on the military itself or the Department of Defense, and all thoughts and opinions are solely our own.



Andria Williams is the founder of the Military Spouse Book Review, the author of the novel The Longest Night (Random House, 2016), and a fiction and poetry editor for Wrath-Bearing Tree. She writes many of the articles here, favoring reviews of literary novels and poetry, including:  “The Devil in His Own Home,” a review of Matt Gallagher’s ‘Youngblood’; a review of ‘Train Dreams’ by Denis Johnson; and a review of ‘Shout Her Lovely Name’ by Natalie Serber.

alison noir

Alison Buckholtz is a Navy spouse, widely-published nonfiction writer, and author of the acclaimed memoir ‘Standing By: The Making of an American Military Family in a Time of War.’ Her contributions to the Mil Spouse Book Review include ‘The More You Matter: A Review of Roxane Gay’s ‘Hunger’ and ‘Truth in the Spaces: A Review of Siobhan Fallon’s ‘The Confusion of Languages.’



Lisa Houlihan Stice is the poetry editor of the Military Spouse Book Review, where she brings her knowledge of contemporary poetry and her attention to diverse poetic voices to the table. A Marine spouse, she is the author of the poetry collections ‘Uniform‘ and ‘Permanent Change of Station.’ Her poetry has appeared widely in literary journals. For the Mil Spouse Book Review, she has written the Homefront Journal features “The Ever-Changing Normal,” “Code Switching,” “My Life on the Homefront,” and “Our Own Foreign Country.”  She has reviewed several books of poetry including Kazim Ali’s ‘The Secret Room,’ Raquel Vasquez Gilliland’s “Milk and Honey,” and poetry by Ocean Vuong and Javier Zamora.



Terri Barnes is an Air Force spouse and the author of ‘Spouse Calls: Messages from a Military Life’ .  She wrote the popular ‘Spouse Calls’ column for ‘Stars and Stripes’ for several years. For the Mil Spouse Book Review, she has written about Emily Gray Tedrowe’s novel ‘Blue Stars,’ ‘Get There Soon: Settling Down After a Nomadic Life,’ ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ and about some of her favorite books of all, mystery novels.


Jerri Bell (center, above) is a Navy veteran, an editor for 0-Dark-Thirty magazine, and an instructor with the Veterans Writing Project. Along with Marine veteran Tracy Crow, she’s editor of the recent anthology It’s My Country, Too!: Women’s Military Stories from the American Revolution to Afghanistan, published by University of Nebraska Press/Potomac Books in 2017. For the Mil Spouse Book Review, she has reviewed ‘Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield.’ She was also the feature of an interview, ‘Not Quitting Now, and Neither Should You.’


Amy Bermudez is a middle-school teacher, blogger, and marathon runner. Her contributions to the Mil Spouse Book Review include: reviews of ‘Scandals of Classic Hollywood’, ‘Alice Bliss,’ , ‘We Are Called to Rise’, Brian Turner’s poetry collection ‘Here, Bullet,’ and the Homefront Journal contribution, “We Are Not Invisible,” written during her husband’s most recent Army deployment.


Emmy Curtis is an expat Brit, romance writer, and military wife. She’s the author of the Alpha Ops series. For the Mil Spouse Book Review, she’s written about Courtney Maum’s ‘I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You.’


Mary Doyle is an author of several novels, including the Sergeant Harper Mystery Series, and serves in the Army. Her newest novel is The Bonding Blade. Like Andria, she’s also an editor for Wrath-Bearing Tree and a frequent contributor to the excellent WBT podcast. For the Mil Spouse Book Review, she contributed an interview with author and fellow Army veteran Susanne Aspley, called ‘Cruel and Lovely World: Susanne Aspley on Writing, Life, Humor, and the Authority to Tell the Tale.’


Simone Gorrindo is a nonfiction writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times.  She is married to an Army Ranger and is a mother of two. For the Mil Spouse Book Review, she has written about Artis Henderson’s memoir, ‘Unremarried Widow.’



Tiffany Hawk is the author of the novel ‘Love Me Anyway’. A former Air Force wife, she has reviewed the novel ‘Hausfrau’ for the Mil Spouse Book Review.

Lauren Johnson is a former Air Force officer, Afghanistan veteran, and wife of an Army veteran.  Her writing has appeared in many publications including The Road Ahead. Lauren recently had an op-ed in the Washington Post: “Dear 9/11, Are We Close to an End?”  For the Mil Spouse Book Review, she has reviewed ‘The Knife’ by Ross Ritchell.



Caroline LeBlanc is a poet as well as a former Army nurse, Army wife/mother, and retired psychotherapist. She has contributed review of the poetry of Marjorie Maddox and Jacqueline Loring called ‘Still, the Sky Clears,’ a review of the book ‘Baby, It’s You,’ and was interviewed for a feature called ‘Many Forms of Service.’


Ashley Mouzzon is a 24-year-old Army Veteran and Army Spouse who recently graduated from Thomas Edison State University with a Bacherlor of Arts Degree in English. Currently Ashley is a graduate student at Drexel University. Ashley is an aspiring writer who operates her own book blog,



Abby E. Murray teaches creative writing at the University of Washington Tacoma, where she also offers free poetry workshops to soldiers and their loved ones in Pierce County. She serves as editor in chief for Collateral, a journal that publishes work focused on the impact of military service, and her poems can be found in recent or upcoming issues of RattlePrairie SchoonerStone Canoe, and the Rise Up Review. She has published the chapbook How to Be Married After Iraq and the prize-winning poetry collection Hail and Farewell.


Leslie Hsu Oh is a widely-published freelance writer and memoirist who specializes in writing about travel, adventure, and indigenous cultures. Losing her mother and brother to hepatitis B at the age of twenty-one inspired her to found the Hepatitis B Initiative in 1997, an award-winning nonprofit mobilizing communities to prevent hepatitis B and C among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, African Americans and other high-risk groups. For the Mil Spouse Book Review, she has written about the books ‘The Snow Child’ by Eowyn Ivey, ‘Still Points North’ by Leigh Newman, ‘Dirt Work’ by Christine Byl, and ‘Phenomenal’ by Leigh Ann Henyon.


kathleen rodgers

Kathleen M. Rodgers is an Air Force wife and Army mother, and the author of the novels ‘Johnnie Come Lately’ and ‘Seven Wings to Glory.’  She has contributed reviews of several books including  ‘The Woods at Barlow Bend.’



Pastaveia St. John served twelve years in the Air Force and now works for the Department of Homeland Security. For the Mil Spouse Book Review, she has written about Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘The Tipping Point’, ‘Thrive’ by Ariana Huffington, and  ‘Americanah’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Kayla Williams, a former Arabic linguist in the U.S. Army, is the author of ‘Love My Rifle More than You’ and ‘Plenty of Time When We Get Home.’ She is a former member of the VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans and a current Truman National Security Project fellow and member of the Army Education Advisory Committee. Her review of Erik Edstrom’s ‘Un-American’ appears here in the Military Spouse Book Review.

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