“Sparta made young boys intowarriors; it was left to the warriors to restore themselves to men…”
Conrad Farrell’s family has no military heritage, butas a classics major at Williams, he saw the sturdy appeal of the Marine ethic:Semper fidelis came straight fromthe ancient world, from Sparta, where every citizen doubled as a full-timesoldier. When Conrad joined the Marines after college, he expected to further along tradition of honor, courage, and commitment.
Now Conrad has just returnedhome to Westchester after four years in Iraq, and something is very wrong.Everything should be fine—he hasn’t been shot or wounded by an IED, and he’snever had psychological troubles—but as he attempts to reconnect with hisgirlfriend and find his footing in the civilian world, he has an impossibletime adjusting to the people and places he used to love and to a commonplacelife of hotel reservations, dinner conversation, long showers, and alone time.As the weeks turn into months, Conrad’s bitterness only festers, and he beginsto fear that his rage, when it comes out, will have irreparable consequences.
Suspensefuland perceptive, Sparta captures the nuances of the unique estrangementthat modern soldiers face as they attempt to rejoin the society they’ve fought for.With the powerful insight and acuity that marked Cost and her earliernovels, Robinson has delivered her best book yet.