The widow of American Sniper Chris Kyle shares their private journey, a moving and universal chronicle of love and family, service and patriotism, grief and sacrifice, faith and purpose.
How does someone carry on after the death of a hero?
By becoming a hero herself.
Though Chris and Taya Kyle's marriage had its difficult moments, it was always a love story. Together they'd endured military service, a best-selling book, unexpected fame, and a film deal starring a hot Hollywood actor. But just when Taya thought that she and Chris were finally going to live their dream together, her husband was murdered. In the wake of his death, a grieving Taya was left to raise her two young children and handle the many things Chris left behind: the business, the book, the movie, and a myriad of legal issues.
Matching the straightforward, soul-baring style of American Sniper, Taya talks with honesty about the trials and triumphs of her life with and without Chris - the sleepless nights as a military spouse, the exhilaration as her husband was lionized, the quiet moments when family sheltered them from the madness of fame, the joy of discovering her own purpose in harmony with Chris' own legacy. In American Wife she recounts the struggles and looks toward the future, revealing the intimate story of her marriage and the inspirations that have given her strength. She speaks out on the effects of fame, both good and bad, and provides a road map for others faced with difficulties big and small.
American Wife is a startling and affecting portrait of a woman of grit and determination - an example we can all follow to become heroes in our own lives.
©2015 300 Spartans LLC (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (personal memoir) - Taya Kyle would be your typical young, American housewife, had she not been married to and widowed by a famous Navy SEAL - Chris Kyle of the American Sniper movie fame. I absolutely loved American Sniper, and I purchased this book because I wanted to know more about Chris, Taya, Chris's murder, his memorial, et cetera. Taya suffered a tragic loss but also had to deal with lawsuits and other stressful issues while still remaining strong and raising two young children.
The title of this book says it all, "A Memoir of Love, Faith, War and Renewal." Therein lies the problem I had with the book, and I will admit it's all my fault for wanting and expecting something different. I wanted more about Chris, I suppose, and less about Taya's childhood, her faith and renewal, less love notes between she and Chris. If the book had contained about two hours less of those topics, I would have easily rated it five stars. Please don't take my review as stating anything negative about either Taya or Chris. I am extremely grateful for everything Chris did to protect our Country and am sorry for what Taya continues to endure.
PERFORMANCE - Taya reads the book herself and does a very good job.
OVERALL - Very well done. Recommended for anyone who is interested in learning more about Taya and her life after Chris's murder, keeping in mind my comments above.
I appreciated learning Taya's memories of being a Seal's wife. I bawled when she described the night she learned Chris had been killed. There were also details that she included that happened after American Sniper had been written, so it was interesting to hear Taya's take on those things.
Sometimes, it was a little tough to follow the timeline in this book or who was who, with some of the people involved in their lives. Overall, I liked the book and I appreciate Taya and her family's strength and courage. I appreciate her sharing the stories of her husband's and her heroism (my words, not hers.) I hope Taya can find, or has found, true happiness again.
While Taya is reading this you can feel her emotion. No one knew Chris like her and her delivery of him must of been spot on. I waited months for this book and it was well worth the wait. Well written and heart touching. I will listen to this again.
I would definitely recommend this book! It is a great read with the voice of a military wife, something that you do not hear very often. Taya is very down to earth, dedicated, honest, and a hero. I thought I was just going to listen to a story about her life with Chris Kyle, however it also gave great advice. For somebody who is not very religious it renewed a sort of unknown part of me. It gives a honest and helpful view of what it is like to be married. All the ups and downs we tend to forget comes with it. How grief is not a quick process when you loose a love one. Plenty other insights on life that I am grateful for. Thank you Taya Kyle!!!
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Taya Kyle does a wonderful job of narrating her own story. This is a case where the audiobook is clearly superior to the printed one.
More than anything American Wife reminds us that warriors have spouses and children. Their families make tremendous sacrifices.
I do hope that Taya comes to realize that Chris would want her to go on living HER life doing more than honoring his legacy.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
I read and listened to this book as a joint reading exercise with a highly intelligent patient with aphasia who also happens to be a veteran. It's way outside my usual comfort zone, and after my patient announced his selection I had many doubts, but I must admit I ended up learning a lot about what a fairly huge swath of our population thinks like, what life is like for military families, and what it's like to grieve the death of a spouse. It's difficult to muster the will to criticize a book written by a genuinely grief-stricken widow (even one who had help), but discerning readers should be warned that the writing is mediocre, and the writing style simplistic, chatty and meandering-bordering-on-disorganized. To name just one example, the chapter entitled "The Murder Trial" contains not one detail concerning the murder trial; instead, it's a whimsical series of reflections on God, faith, Chris's bravery, Chris's natural appeal, and Satan. There's also a sainthood problem in the book; Taya Kyle (perhaps understandably) elevates Chris and their marriage to almost godlike heights. It's difficult (as my patient pointed out) to avoid the conclusion that the author doth protest too much when she throws cold coffee on her sleeping husband in a jealous rage in one chapter and then describes their marriage as "perfect" in the next.
But my main disappointment with this book, despite its strengths, was the author's complete lack of reflection regarding the connection between her husband's self-described gun obsession (Chris Kyle famously described his primary interests as "shootin', shit-talkin', and beer-drinkin') and his tragic death. True or false: If Chris Kyle had chosen merely to email, talk on the phone, or go get a cup of coffee with mentally unstable veterans, versus taking them out to a shooting range and giving them access to deadly weapons in his efforts to comfort them, he would likely still be alive? I especially would have loved to hear that topic introduced for the sake of Kyle's son, Bubba, who arguably has a higher chance of someday becoming a victim of gun violence himself due to his early exposure to guns, gun culture, macho fighting culture, and shooting.
I'd give the book three stars overall, but Taya Kyle is an excellent reader of her own story, and it is a moving account that I will not soon forget, so it deserves that fourth star.
Nicely presented story even delving into personal troubles and very pleasant conclusions to life's ups and downs. Shows what faith in God can do in troubled times. Nicely done!
Taya had a way of telling her story in the most simple and organized way. Though I felt the writing lacked descriptive anecdotes, I could still feel what she was trying to say through her sincere tone as she read the book. I'm grateful for gaining so much insight into the lives of those who serve our country and the families affected. Overall, it was a good listen.
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