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Hoffman's prose is near perfect: intense and imaginative, each sentence heavy with meaning without feeling overwritten. She balances the tightrope of not flinching away from violence, but also not lovingly describing it . . . you'll find Be Safe I Love You to be brave, intelligent and unflinching (The List)
It would be a mistake to understand Be Safe, I Love You only as a war novel. This is also a book about broken families and class and the impossible choices the working poor are too often forced to make . . . Deeply moving and gorgeously written - raw in some places, tender in others . . . We see how a woman's life is shaped by experiencing war as a soldier . . . It is refreshing and so necessary to see a writer exploring this shift in fiction, addressing the unique sacrifices women must sometimes make (Buzzfeed)
Be Safe I Love You is so much more than a thriller; it's a novel about family and sacrifice, loss and redemption. Hoffman proves that words are often the real tools of survival in this flawed but still often golden world (Miami Herald)
Beautifully written and heart-wrenching (Marie Clarie)
Through Lauren, Cara Hoffman's thoroughly researched and carefully crafted heroine, Be Safe I Love You illuminates the distaff side of military service and the ways that life in uniform are at once different and, at times, uncannily similar for men and women (Washington Post)
A tense and stunning novel . . . exactly what a war novel should be: a tale of refreshing honesty about the harm war does to us all (Helen Benedict Guardian)
A finely tuned piece of fiction . . . Be Safe I Love You is a painful exploration of the devastation wrought by combat even when the person returns from war without a scratch. The story - written with such lucid detail it's hard to believe the main character is an invention - suggests the damage starts long before the soldier reports for duty . . . In crystalline language that conveys both the desolation of the Iraqi desert and the north country of New York State . . . this book is a reminder that art and love are all that can keep us from despair (Alissa J. Rubin New York Times Book Review)
A finely crafted and intelligent piece of fiction whose characters feel immediately real (Daily Mail)
Unflinching . . . Hoffman's skill is to embed her sleek sentences with hard-hitting themes . . . a vivid depiction of life for a female warrior (Anita Sethi Observer)
Thoughtful, subtle and tense (Sunday Times)
Be Safe I Love You tells the story of Lauren Clay, a woman soldier returned from Iraq, and her beloved younger brother Danny, obsessed with Arctic exploration and David Bowie, whom she has looked out for since their mother left them years before.
Lauren is home in time to spend Christmas with Danny and her father, who is delighted to have her back and reluctant to acknowledge that something feels a little strange. But as she reconnects with her small-town life in upstate New York, it soon becomes apparent that things are not as they should be. And soon an army psychologist is making ever-more frantic attempts to reach her.
But Lauren has taken Danny on a trip upstate - to visit their mother, she says at first, although it becomes clear that her real destination is somewhere else entirely: a place beyond the glacial woods of Canada, where Lauren thinks her salvation lies. But where, really, does she think she is going, and what happened to her in Iraq that set her on this quest?
Be Safe I Love You is an exquisite and unflinching novel about war, its aftermath, and the possibility of healing.
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