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10 thoughts on “Eleven Days

  1. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    Jason is a member of the Special OperationsForce in the Navy Seals He’s missing right after a fictional raid on the same night that Osama Bin Ladin was killed His mother Sara is ’crazy worried’ of his whereaboutsThis is a very intimate story Not at ‘all’ boring While Sara is waiting to get word about her son I was anxious to know how things would turn outwe learn a lot about Jason through SaraHarvard strong possibility humble many gifts a strong athletic guy with a sensitive compassionate soulAfter 911 Jason was clear of what he wanted to do He told his mother he wasn’t going to college but felt the need to serve in the military She couldn’t change his mind This story suspenseful and personal is written with so much realistic emotion and about the emotions of war for Jason too we see this in letters that it won’t be a story a reader forgets Sara was only 37 years old still a girl to many who knew herbut friends started to notice changes in her Her increasing interest in all things military ran parallel to her son’s becoming an officer She loved her son“Had he decided to join the circus she might have developed an obsession with elephants” “Elephants would have been easier There was a new generation of soldiers and sailors born that September day Sarah had not lost her son on 911; she lost him later to something she could not provide at home” Powerful heartfelt

  2. Jill Jill says:

    The book blurb promised a “haunting story of a single mother and her Navy SEAL son” Probably maudlin and jingoistic I thought And I took a passuntil friends urged me to give it a try Don’t make the same mistake I nearly did This is a fantastic book without a false note It’s intelligently written non manipulative and in certain places really heart rendering And it has very much transformed my perception of Navy SEALSa perception that recognized their heroism without fully understanding what the external and internal wars they must fightSara’s son Jason is the very embodiment of a Navy SEAL – “soldier scholar son” The only child of a somewhat stoical and loving mother and a much older father who is no longer around Jason surprises himself and his mother by signing up for SEAL training after nine elevenHe finds himself training for a much different conflict than say the Vietnam War He writes his mother “What we are learning now is that so much of warfare is fought at close uarters and the essence of fighting in close uarters is restraint Restraint intelligence conservation This emphasis changes the calculus of war”Slowly but surely Jason goes through the rigorous training of a Navy SEAL He learns that “feelings are things to be analyzed and discarded before the load out” Gradually he learns to be in complete control of his emotions he rarely has anxiety pangs or doubts and increasingly his training even takes over the fabric of his dreams Ms Carpenter writes “The emotional arc of an operator is not unlike that of most civilians born idealistic cynicism comes from experience and then develops into caustic optimism – or acceptance – of the tasks at hand Controlling emotion when op tempo isn’t a skill; it’s an art”Jason is not an automaton though He develops strong and protective feelings for his Team members remains a loving son is a scholar who knows his history philosophy and literature and believes strongly in his own sense of purpose It is very very obvious that Ms Carpenter has conducted many interviews with actual SEALS and she breathes life into her characterThe other side of the euation is Sara While Jason sees heroism she sees mindless sacrifice To her Jason is not a hero on a mission; he is her son her world And while she does not deny the risks – Jason’s father after all was tangentially involved with the military her toughness is tempered by a mother’s loving concernThe title – Eleven Days – represents the number of days that Jason goes missing while on a high profile mission Written with pristine precision and powerful prose this book may break your heart In unexpected ways it broke mine

  3. switterbug (Betsey) switterbug (Betsey) says:

    The events of 911 led to a whole new generation of voluntarily enlisted soldiers those who wanted to serve their country Sara’s son Jason who is a literaturepoetry lover with eight well connected godfathers seemed to be Harvard bound But after 911 happened during his senior year of high school he decided he wanted to become a Navy SEAL His father who he last saw when he was 8 years old and who was reported dead years ago was a CIA type journalist who was 30 years older than Sara they never married David remained a mostly absent father Sara while holding tight to Jason emotionally knows she has to let him go And Jason who loves his mother wants to grow up and begin his independenceTen years after Jason begins his service to his country he is a well respected distinguished navy SEAL a soldier a scholar a son He is known as the “priest” because of his ways of pacing the hallway and night and because he is so uiet and “that he must have a direct line to God from the pool” He can stay under water for a superhuman amount of time so that his colleagues and officers joke that he has a third lung He keeps his mother in the loop in a need to know kind of basis writes her letters calls her when he can tells her minimally about his deployment missions He has learned the art of being on the Team restraint“Restraint might not be the first thing next to Godliness but it’s close Restraint is part of the ethos”Sara is as fiercely independent as Jason and except for a few tentative involvements one with the most visible and active godfather has remained single and her love and energy is all for her son She is content editing papers at home running through the woods and countryside for exercise and tending her garden As the story begins it is 2011 and Jason has been missing 11 days on his latest missiondeployment It is all Sara can do to keep herself together while she waits One of Jason’s close friends and former mate on the “Team” as the SEALS are referred who lost an eye on a mission with Jason and is now a civilian comes to stay with Sara which gives her great comfortThe book explores Sara’s relationship to Jason and his to her her relationship to David and how Sara and Jason perceive his role in the war on the Team and their shared love of literature a strong bond that reaches out between the two even when the secrets he must keep distance them “If it be now ‘tis not to come;If it be not to come it will be nowIf it be not now yet it will comeThe readiness is allELEVEN DAYS had a transformative effect on me; it allowed me to understand Jason’s chosen life and what it meant to choose “Sparta” over “Athens” This book is tender fierce and like Jason and Sara restrained in its beauty

  4. Wayland Smith Wayland Smith says:

    I was expecting something a bit different when I read some of the reviews Not that I was disappointed or didn't like it but it wasn't what I had thought it would be It's hard to write a book about SEALs make it have virtually no action but still be interesting Carpenter did that The book is about Sara a single mother with Washington connections and Jason her son who grows up and enlists after 911 It switches view points and jumps in time Sara had an affair with a man who has high level connections and got pregnant He didn't stick around but is a shadowy presence until his death is reported Jason grows up joins the SEALs and then Sara gets the call no parent wants to hear Your son is missing after a mission The time jumps are about Sara raising Jason and his training with the SEALs It captures a parent's worry and the closeness between soldiers In the now Sara gets a lot of calls gifts of food and even a guest in the from of Sam Jason's former Team mate who medicaled out after losing an eye Eventually she gets the call that they found him and her friends come together to get her to his side The trip has surprise after surprise as she learns little is what she thought it was The good rich emotions the devotion of Jason to his team and Sara to Jason is never in doubt There's some decent history about Special Forces along the way as well The bad She writes a bit oddly uestion marks are a rarity Jason's girlfriend is around a lot but never gets a name We get that the characters feel deeply but not always a good handle on why The missing father is kind of a jerk IMHO Decent read but NOT a military action tale More a story of a mother and her love for her son

  5. Katey Schultz Katey Schultz says:

    The lack of complex characters who need things from each other other than the mother and son the ill explained and over done allegiance that the protagonist has for the father of her child a man who seemed to impress everyone though whom the readers never really get to see in action and therefore have to decide for themselves; a man who uite honestly fits the counterpoint stereotype of the protagonist he impregnated the seemingly blatant disregard for narrating the present moment and the blind faith support of Jason's TEAM and his choices made this book a let down for me It came highly recommended and I am especially interested in female civilian authors writing about contemporary war But time and time again the narrative of this book failed to glue together and the characters seemed like unfulfilling and unexplained cliches I'd be willing to read it again as a study in perhaps what I missed and what needed to be revised for craft and finessebut I wouldn't recommend it to others

  6. Ron Charles Ron Charles says:

    Even before they stormed the secret compound in Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden in 2011 the Navy SEALs were men of legend Their punishing training and especially their death defying missions elevate them to the status of godlike warriors at a time when our nation prefers to rain down lethal force by joystick Not surprisingly amid the thousands of titles inspired by 911 and its aftermath we need many shelves just for the books about Special Ops men — from the dramatic histories and CIA approved memoirs to the attendant thrillers diet books children’s stories and yes romance novels all featuring Navy SEALsThis summer some big guns have been firing for a uiet work of military fiction by a first time novelist named Lea Carpenter She was a founding editor of the literary journal Zoetrope earned an MBA from Harvard and worked for the New York Public Library a résuméwhich may not suggest much affinity for SEALs But her father was a soldier and “Eleven Days” has been praised by — among others — former senator Bob Kerrey a SEAL himself in Vietnam; and former Army machine gunner Kevin Powers whose Ira war novel “The Yellow Birds” was a finalist for the National Book AwardIt’s easy to see why these thoughtful real life veterans would be drawn to this story Despite its tight thriller title “Eleven Days” is largely a novel of stillness and reflection It delivers scenes of military adventure eventually but not until we’ve soaked up the muted anxiety of a single mother named Sara waiting for news In the opening paragraph Sara “is no longer sure what she fills her days with” Her only son Jason a 27 year old Navy SEAL has been missing for nine days Two officers have come to her house in rural Pennsylvania and told her that they have “a general idea of where he was but that they could not tell her any than that” She can stand not knowing where he is — he’s never been able to tell her any details about his secret operations — but not knowing if he’s dead or alive has blanched her days in terror And yet she must sit gracefully in this crucible of fear while reporters and TV crews buzz around the end of her driveway hoping to catch some award winning image of grief or delight when the news finally arrives Neighbors clean her house and bring covered dishes; politicians express a grateful nation’s concern; someone donates a new refrigerator “She did not hear most of what was said or remember who had said it” Carpenter writes “She knew that things like sleeping and eating were necessary but remembered to do them only when prodded”While trapping Sara in that claustrophobic setting that constrains all her activity to the frozen movements of waiting Carpenter keeps “Eleven Days” in motion by constantly slipping back in time Short scenes show us Sara’s brief affair with a much older CIA operative We see their son Jason as an artistic little boy an impervious football player and a determined new recruit — one of that great wave of people drawn to military service by the flames of the twin towers Carpenter is particularly sympathetic to Sara’s struggle to understand and accept the purity of Jason’s patriotism a feeling her own hippie parents couldn’t have fathomed “She’d never known what love of country meant” Carpenter writes “until she’d observed her son and seen him develop his own instinct for it”Jason’s stoic demeanor and Herculean stature his appreciation for the classics and his deep regard for his mom — all these golden ualities should render this young patriot about as lifelike as the Statue of Liberty But Carpenter’s greatest accomplishment here may be her success at creating an Olympian warrior who seems entirely human modest and decent As she puts it “The military’s culture suited him its ethos of invisibility matched his” Short intimate scenes told in restrained unsentimental prose present him just that way a great serviceman who has no regard for the trappings of greatness Regardless of your politics as you watch Jason nervously train for “drown proofing” or encourage another frightened recruit or rehearse a complicated mission so that no unarmed civilians will be hurt it’s impossible not to swell with pride for these people who devote their lives to the United StatesAs a novel though this mission is not without some snafus At times Carpenter seems almost allergic to excitement unwilling to let her scenes gather the power they naturally possess These are after all the coolest guys in the world engaged in the most harrowing missions of the past decade But too often in the middle of some gripping ordeal the author breaks in with flat footed explanations of military service or historical context spraying flame retardant all over her pagesAnd a tougher editor should have defended Carpenter from clunky observations that sometimes strafe these paragraphs “Having seen one too many things he is not sure he can ever forget he will slowly start to relearn how to access his feelings Controlling emotion when op tempo is high isn’t a skill; it is an art” Medic Grandiose lines that reduce characters to psychological cliches are particularly deadly “Having grown up without a man in his life he was now determined to pass the world’s hardest test for becoming one” In a novel as svelte as this one such slips sound off keyMore problematic is some needless melodrama involving Jason’s late father which distracts from the novel’s starkly realistic tone And worse there’s Jason’s never named “godfather” a string pulling political operative who adds nothing but a cheesy swirl of intrigue to a novel that boasts plenty of native intrigueFortunately none of these missteps shatters the story’s absorbing progress or mars its solemn conclusion Carpenter’s intelligence and sincerity find powerful expression in the novel’s sophisticated structure which finally merges past and present Although her freuent allusions to epic war poetry emphasize the persistence of ancient values “Eleven Days” makes plain that something fundamental has changed since the days of the Argonauts Today’s Jasons fight in ways the world has never seen — and may never publicly see But this story reminds us that each of these warriors no matter how brave and tough and deadly is still some woman’s beloved son

  7. Mary Lins Mary Lins says:

    I had initially avoided Eleven Days the debut novel by Lea Carpenter because I was afraid it would hit too close to home as I have two close family members who are serving currently active duty in the Navy I was urged to read it by fellow reading friends and I'm glad I did even though it was difficult at timesI'm not going to review the plot as others have done so wellCarpenter has clearly researched the story thoroughly and so we are given what I assume is an honest look into the close knit and necessarily secret Special Forces world She augments with eerily relevant history both recent and ancient I think it is here in the melding of historic and current warfare; the differences and the similarities that Carpenter is genius She focuses our attention on the fact that wars and their attendant warriors go back to the beginning of humanity; it's in our nature What ELSE is in our nature is for mothers to worry and mourn but also to celebrate with prideCarpenter did a great job showing how the military is a big family and that teamwork and honor are the noblest of terms for those who serve our country by putting themselves in harm's wayHowever one flaw did leap off the page at me; the warrior Jason's mother Sara even while watching a service member's casket arrive at Dover says she never imagined being in that position with her own son or imagined feeling those emotions UNBELIEVABLE; all close family members of men and women serving have imagined that unimaginablethat's why I was hesitant to read the novel in the first place We think about it We think about it ever single day

  8. Penny Penny says:

    Worships the military viewpoint though I mean worships

  9. Sandy Sandy says:

    Lea Carpenter has crafted a masterpiece Her precise language depicts angst love and manages to parse military jargon Sara is a young mother whose son's nickname is Priest I simply could not put this one down

  10. Bonnie Brody Bonnie Brody says:

    Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter is a beautiful poignant and powerful novel I could not put it down once I started reading it It held me in its grip like a vice and I lost a night's sleep while reading it It is that goodThe story is primarily about a single mother named Sara who has raised her son Jason with unconditional love and respect Jason's father David left Sara early on What David did for a living is somewhat vague He had connections to the CIA and also to journalism He was often in foreign countries where war was going on but his role was not defined He was thirty years older than Sara and he died when Jason was six having little to do with their lives Sara was very much in love with him Jason has grown up to be an intelligent action minded and respectful young man His mother states that Harvard was not out of his reach Jason however chooses to go to Annapolis and becomes a Navy SEAL joining the special forcesAs the novel opens Jason is 19 and Sara is 37 When he enters Annapolis he is not aware of the difficulty of the school It is easy compared to the special forces however Jason talks about hell week as special forces training begins One month ago this class started with one hundred sixty trainees Now they were thirty He can see how red their eyes are He can sense how close each one of them might be to the edge of breaking The class further shrinks to nineteen and then to seventeen Jason prevailsThe opening of the novel shows Sara jogging There are newsmen at her door and neighbors have brought over food and offer comfort Jason has been missing in action for several days He has gone on a mission that no one is privy to as it is top secret Sara is terrified but she holds on to the belief that Jason is alive That is all that keeps her going Jason's close friend Sam has come to help Sara through this time Jason and Sam had mad a pact that if anything happened to one of them the other would go and help the family of the missing or injuredSara can only imagine what Jason has been doing None of these stories would appear in print nor would Jason share details of them with anyone Some of the guys he knew talked to their priests about things that they did and saw but most talked only among themselves This was not a profession that gave rise to many memoirs Jason considered himself a warrior a compassionate one Every night every op every house death is always a possible outcome Even taking into account the vast network of supports watching over them once they were at targetnothing could save an operator from an unanticipated contingency or surpriseIt is on his fifth deployment that he disappears and it is supposed to be his last deployment He had planned to attend law school after this deployment and applications are piled up in his room He still vacillates however whether he should stay in the navy Jason is a rare person a man who gets his ideas and ideals from the actions of the world and physical nature of his being He is well read and loves poetry and literature He loves his mother and emails her almost daily Their bond is so strong that it will be eternalAs the days of Jason's disappearance mount Sara relies on Sam and Jason's godfather a man who works in DC on the hill He was a friend of David's and has been very involved in their lives As Sara becomes and fearful for Jason the reader gets to know both of them We are privy to their lives Jason's childhood and development and his current status We learn about Sara's life as well and her days as a mother and independent woman who does editing for a livingThis is an amazing book that does not read like a debut novel Lea Carpenter has a true gift with words and has created a story that amazes the reader at every turn It is a book not to be missed

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Eleven Days ❮Epub❯ ➤ Eleven Days ➣ Author Lea Carpenter – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Powerful and lean Eleven Days is an astonishing first novel full of suspense that addresses our most basic uestions about war as it tells of the love between a mother and her son When the story opens Powerful and lean Eleven Days is an astonishing first novel full of suspense that addresses our most basic uestions about war as it tells of the love between a mother and her son When the story opens on May Sara’s son Jason has been missing for nine days from a Special Operations Forces mission on the same night as the Bin Laden raid Smart young and bohemian Sara had dreams of an Ivy League university for Jason that were not out of reach followed by a job on the Hill where there were connections through his father The events of changed Jason’s mind and Sara accepted that steeping herself in all things military to better understand her son’s days while she works as a freelance editor for Washington policy makers and wonks Now she knows nothing about Jason’s fate than the crowds of well wishers and media camped out in the driveway in front of her small farmhouse in Chadds Ford Pennsylvania waiting to hear news In a series of flashbacks we learn about Jason’s dashing absentee father a man who said he was a writer but whose career seemed to involve being in faraway places And through letters Jason writes home from his training and early missions we get a picture of a strong compassionate leader who is wise beyond his years and modest about his abilities Those exceptional abilities will give Jason the chance to participate in a wholly different level of assignment the most important and dangerous of his career At the end Sara will find herself on an unexpected journey full of surprise This is a haunting narrative about a mother’s bond with her son; about life choices; about the military war and service to one’s country Lea Carpenter a dazzling new talent with the kind of strong and distinctive voice that comes along all too rarely has given us a thrilling and unforgettable story .