Always By My Side: Losing the love of my life and the fight to honour his memory by Christina Schmid
|Always By My Side: Losing the love of my life and the fight to honour his memory by Christina Schmid|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: A widow's touching tribute to the man she loved and lost to the war in Afghanistan but written in clichés and a detailed depth of family background that would be of more interest to friends and family than the world at large. Sadly, a different emphasis would have meant a better, less voyeuristic book.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 384||Date: March 2012|
On Halloween 2009 bomb disposal expert Olaf (Oz) Schmid became another mortality statistic from the conflict in Afghanistan. Many people enjoy magazines like Hello who will absorb the stories of Oz's early years, how he met Christina, the family holidays, stories about both sets of parents etc. But for me, this is like looking at someone else's personal photo album; even if you have a connection with the album's owner, after a while it becomes boring and lacks meaning. Although I wouldn't have had half the inner strength and courage that Christina showed after the death of a soul mate, the emphasis of Always By My Side is out of kilter, the descriptions of life in Afghanistan and the subsequent campaign being almost lost in the family detail.
Another problem I had is that Oz is seen through a romantic mist. They were only married a short time before Oz was killed and this shows. Still in a honeymoon haze, Christina obviously idolised him to such a degree that it's hard to build up a picture of the real man behind heaped and love-inspired clichés. This is a well-meant book but, sadly, not well written.
If, after reading this, you'd like to learn more about the conditions for the serving forces in Afghanistan, try Two Sons in a War Zone: Afghanistan: The True Story of a Father's Conflict by Stephen Wynn.
You can read more book reviews or buy Always By My Side: Losing the love of my life and the fight to honour his memory by Christina Schmid at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Always By My Side: Losing the love of my life and the fight to honour his memory by Christina Schmid at Amazon.com.
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