Stu’s mother is a Lt. Colonel in the US Air Force and he moves with her to Minot, North Dakota when she takes over the position of base commander there.
OUT OF THE BLUE paints a picture of both the sacrifices military personnel and their dependents have to make in the service of their country, and by focusing mainly on the disadvantages of the military life, it comes off as a bit unbalanced in the critical direction in my opinion. Now obviously, Minot is NOT the best assignment. Stu’s family was assigned there once before and his parents often joked that the only two good things they took away from Minot were Stu and his brother. (My parents might have made the same joke, since both I and my brother were born there as well.) And a teen most definitely has nothing to cheer about when his family is sent to the middle of nowhere – I get it.
But aside from a scene at a dining out where we see some military camaraderie and a scene at an air show where Stu picks up some free swag (including a t-shirt), most of the story would probably make you want to stay as far away from the military as possible.
Not that this critical focus makes it any less enjoyable from a pure story arc perspective. Stu has to come to terms with his absentee parents while at the same time keeping an eye out for 9 year old neighbor Billy who may be a victim of child abuse.
The novel also explores or touches on the following topics:
- Military personnel are held responsible for the behavior of their dependents and a dependant’s bad behavior can even end a career.
- It is often frowned upon for children of officers to fraternize with children of enlisted personnel.
- Married people who both serve may not always be stationed together – the needs of the military come before the needs of families.
Overall, a very insightful look at the life of a military dependent. OUT OF THE BLUE is available in hardcover now. Find out more about it at the author's website.