Life During Wartime
Twenty-one-year-old Nina Wicklow, untethered after a tour of duty in Iraq, has gone missing outside Los Angeles in the small mountain town of Sierra Madre. An ad hoc search party of damaged family and friends assembles to look for her.
Post-9/11 America is an uneasy place where soldiers and civilians try to find their way through a fallen world of personal trauma and social disconnection.
The anxious pursuit to find the missing soldier, before she comes to harm, plays out against a backdrop of global financial near-collapse and raging wild fires, and becomes, for the walking wounded, a quest for meaning and a way to live during wartime.
Katie Rogin’s playlist for Life During Wartime.
Katie Rogin’s riveting debut, Life During Wartime, is a smoking, sun-drenched portrait of a nation at war with itself. Set during the 2008 financial crisis, Rogin’s story of the desperate search for a missing combat veteran explodes into a searing social commentary that resembles, in scope and ambition, Robert Stone’s Vietnam-era work. It’s a powerful, wrenching, thoroughly necessary book.
— Whitney Terrell, author of The Good Lieutenant
Life During Wartime is a novel of enormous breadth and humanity. Rogin writes with a cool grace, of a world that is as limitless as it is pitiless, and her characters, individual masterpieces, seduce readers with nihilistic allure.
— John Reed, author of Snowball’s Chance and Free Boat: Collected Lies and Love Poems
Life During Wartime is a meditation, a mystery, a road trip, and a quest for understanding. It’s also a very compelling examination of how trauma—for better or worse—becomes the lens through which we view post-trauma. Katie Rogin has given us a bruised beacon of light in a time of darkness.
— Patrick Ryan, author of The Dream Life of Astronauts and Send Me
What Rogin does so well is to show how events of trauma unlatch themselves from their original places in time and hook their claws into individual and collective bodies and minds.
— Jerome Blanco, The Lit Pub
The novel is reflective and meditative, deliberate in its depiction of people displaced by loss and fear, people stuck in a world where they must continue moving forward in spite of the trauma they have experienced. Life During Wartime explores the results of all this isolation and running away with sensitivity and nuance, and it is a book that will stay with you long after you read the final page.
— Jessica Mannion, The Literary Review
…extremely of-the-times…Life During Wartime explores some of the twenty-first-century’s deepest pains.
— Courtney Eathorne, Booklist
A vividly written and intensely gripping read from first page to last, Life During Wartime by Katie Rogin aptly showcases an author with a genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling. An inherently entertaining novel, Life During Wartime is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.
— Midwest Book Review