I’ve had the recent honor of being promoted to book club doyenne at the book store where I work (Towne Book Center & Cafe) and our pick for December is Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvan.
Montalvan is a career Army Captain stationed in the recent war in the Middle East. He’s suffered some debilitating PTSD for which he receives the most darling and helpful golden retriever named Tuesday. Since I’m a dog lover, I thought the book would be the perfect blend of oohing and ahhing over how adorable the pooch is and how helpful he’s made Montalvan’s life. To be sure, Tuesday is helpful and probably kept Montalvan from hurting himself and others.
What’s surprising about the book is how much the author talks about the war effort. War is gruesome stuff and Montalvan describes the atrocities that he and others faced more than I cared to read. it gave me nightmares, this stuff. I cannot even begin to imagine how these heroes live now that they’ve been to war. What else I cannot believe is how it’s only been very recently that vets have been getting accurate treatment. We’ve been fighting war for millenia and vets are only just now getting treatment for PTSD.
Amazingly, Montalvan (and I suspect his ghost writer) added relevant, thought provoking quotes at the beginning of each chapter such as:
I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.
That quote was from the famous writer Kurt Vonnegut, a WWII veteran. You’d be surprised how many famous writers were war veterans.
As a civilian, I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes during war time. Montalvan gives us some insight into the mismanagement and I’ll admit it makes me a bit angry. But you try to stow that anger when you read Tuesday’s goofy personality or his contagious smile or the way he calms Montalvan’s tension, potentially staving off an anxiety attack.
Where would we be without our pets? You know I love my Bailey, and while he’s no service dog, mostly cuz he’s a little neurotic, his daily greetings make me feel like I’m the best person he’s seen all day (at least until someone else comes home).
My hope is that service animals will become more available to those who need them.
World peace wouldn’t be too much to ask for, would it?
Our book club meets at 7pm and I’m sure there will be a great discussion surrounding this book (and prolly a war discussion).
I give Until Tuesday 4 paws!