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“At the end of The Illiad, Priam visits Achilles to beg for the body of his son, Hector (Achilles killed Hector to avenge the death of his friend Patroclus). Enemies, Priam and Achilles bond over the loss. And so Achilles agrees to give the body back, and to stand down his armies for the time required for a proper burial: eleven days.

Admiral McRaven oversaw Operation Neptune Spear, the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011, that killed Osama bin Laden. According to public record, eleven other raids were conducted that night. This story is inspired in part by that coincidence. We don’t know about those other raids and likely never will.”

The plot in Lea Carpenter’s “Eleven Days” is simple. A single Mom is awaiting word of her Navy Seal son who has gone missing in an action. This well researched novel provides a glimpse of the dedication and training that it takes to become a Navy Seal and to be a parent of one. The relationship, or lack thereof, between Jason’s Mom and his likely CIA operative elder father who abandoned her is maddening. The novel is thoughtful, respectful, but not jingoistic.

For me this novel is about love: the love of a parent for her child; the love of a soldier for his team; and the love of country.

Ms. Carpenter explains how we know black holes exist by their surroundings.

“Sara had looked at those boys that night at Annapolis and thought of them disappearing. There was a war on, and so many of them would join it. Their absence keeps us in orbit, she thinks.”

This book might not appeal to every reader, but I loved it.

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