Friday, March 30, 2012

Wing Wife / Marcia J. Sargent

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Memoir

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

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YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: YES
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From 1975 until 1987, Marcia Sargent was married to a Marine fighter pilot, the basis for this book. When her husband retired, they returned to her native Southern California, where she was an elementary school teacher. Sargent lives with her husband, cat, and parrot and loves walking the sands of Laguna Beach. In addition to this memoir, Sargent has two books for young adults, Day Monsters and Night Monsters. For more, visit the author’s blog.


A memoir of the author’s time married to a Marine fighter pilot.


I enjoy memoirs that give me insight into a life different from what I’ve experienced. Or for that matter, one like my own, so I can compare and contrast. One thing that struck me about Wing Wife is that it gives a glimpse into two different lives, not just the author’s experiences as a military wife, but also her husband’s triumphs and struggles as a marine fighter pilot.

In the post-Viet Nam war era covered by this memoir, I was surprised to discover how dangerous being a fighter pilot was. As Sargent explained, “death was no stranger, even in peacetime.” As a newlywed, she had all the issues adapting to married life most people find. In addition, dealing with the “capriciousness” of the military (something she said the Marine Corps excelled at) and the expectations that came with being a “military wife” added to the normal newlywed stress. Sargent’s memoir runs the gambit from funny to heartbreaking. A good read.

As addenda to the memoir are several short essays called “aviator briefs.” These take specific items that were discussed in the body of the memoir where going into more detail would have caused the main narrative to drag, but for those interested in knowing more on the subject, these expand on what was included in the body of the book.


A small amount of adult language and some adult situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues

Rating: ***** Five stars


Mira Kolar-Brown said...

Hi Lyn
Hi Al

What a lovely interview.
And what a good looking girl! (That's Lyn, not Al)

Great stuff.


Bonnie Bartel Latino said...

I was an Air Force spouse for 30 years. "Wing Wife" is a realistic look at what that era was like...Marcia Sargent's memoir is heartfelt,and provides a glimpse into a time before political correctness took all the fun out of military flying.

Poet Warrior said...

This book shows that flying and being a flier's wife is not a career path or choice. It shows that it is a lifestyle, a commitment to that lifestyle that everyone makes who is touched by the choice. This in fact makes the book more universal in its impact than just for fliers and their families. It is true for all those who choose to serve this country.