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As the Iraq war continues, this book is a timely reminder that the effects of combat can be far-reaching. A well-published authority on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Matsakis (Vietnam Wives: Facing the Challenges of Life with Veterans Suffering Post-Traumatic Stress) writes from the viewpoint of a spouse/partner of the afflicted veteran. Composite sketches of patients drawn from her 30 years of clinical experience are combined with relevant research on veterans of the most recent wars to form an authoritative and accessible review. Initial chapters describe the nature and symptoms of PTSD before the author goes on to cover common problems of affected veterans and their families, e.g., emotional distance, sexual difficulties, domestic violence, and suicide. The issues facing women veterans and military couples are also mentioned, though research is sparse on these topics. Readers will find therapeutic options and realistic expectations for the healing process in the final hopeful chapter. Extensive notes, resources, and astute advice on communication are also included in this valuable compendium. Highly recommended for specialized mental health collections where it will be useful for veterans' families and counselors.
—Antoinette M. Brinkman