Battle Dress Review

Battle Dress
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As a female West Point graduate, I can tell you this book is a terrific account of a new cadet's first summer. I read it on a plane and couldn't put it down. The guy sitting next to me must have wondered why I alternately laughed out loud and wiped away tears. It brought back all the emotions of Beast Barracks and the challenges I faced. I sent copies to my parents and grandparents to give them more insight into my experience.
A woman's relationships at West Point are different than at most colleges; the competitive environment (where women often are viewed as the weak link) adds a new dimension to interacting with men and with other women. The low proportion of women (10%) makes them stand out more, warping their developing sense of self. Then add a dysfunctional family support system, and you get some idea of the challenges for Andi, the main character.
I truly hope Amy Efaw continues the story line. The lessons from West Point show young adults what they can achieve and overcome, and what success is all about.
If you want to read more about women at West Point, try to find a copy of Carol Barkalow's book, "In the Men's House." Carol was one of the first female graduates (1980) and her excellent book follows her cadet experience and early military assignments.

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