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Sand Queen

ISBN: 9781569479667 | 1569479666
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Soho Press
Pub. Date: 8/2/2011

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Private Kate Carlson is nineteen years old in 2003 when she is deployed to Iraq. On a remote base in a desolate expanse of Iraqi desert, Kate meets a nineteen-year-old Iraqi medical student named Naema, a smart and angry young woman whose father and thirteen-year-old brother have been, she believes, wrongfully detained in the US prisoner camp. Naema would do anything for news of her family, and when she convinces Kate her English is good enough to translate for the other prisoners' families, the two women strike up an uneasy friendship. But the stresses of war may prove too much for their tenuous relationship. Kate enlisted in the Army to show her dad she was tough-but being tough doesn't make her active duty any easier. There's the constant threat of enemy roadside bombings, mortar shellings, prisoner riots-not to mention the danger a female soldier faces at the hands of her own male colleagues. Kate's war experience becomes increasingly sinister, as does Naema's. As each woman takes up arms to protect the people she loves, buried prejudices come unearthed and allies turn hostile. Can two women from such violently opposed backgrounds ever be friends? Culled from real life stories of female soldiers in Iraq, Benedict's novel, the follow-up to her universally acclaimed nonfiction book on the experiences of female soldiers in Iraq, tackles the issue of widespread sexual abuse within the military.

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