Longlisted for the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.
Eleven Days is, at its heart, the story of a mother and a son. It begins in May 2011: Sara's son Jason has been missing for nine days in the aftermath of a special operations forces mission. Out of devotion to him, Sara has made herself knowledgeable about things military, but she knows nothing more about her son's disappearance than the press corps camped out in her driveway. In a series of flashbacks we learn about Jason's absentee father - a man who died, according to insiders, helping to make the country safer - and Jason's decision to join the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis after 9/11 and enter into the toughest military training in the world: for the U.S. Naval Special Warfare's Navy SEAL Teams. Through letters Jason wrote his mother while training, we see him becoming a strong, compassionate leader. But his fate will be determined by events that fall outside the sphere of his training, and far outside the strong embrace of his mother's love. As well as a touching picture of the bond between a mother and a son this is a unique look into the training, history and culture of one of the world's elite forces. Page-turning and haunting, this is an astonishing debut which questions the very nature of sacrifice and love.
'A deeply affecting story about a mother and a son that attests to the debut of an extraordinarily gifted writer... Ms. Carpenter makes palpable the immensely complicated emotional arithmetic that binds this mother and son - Sara's cherishing of her only son and her knowledge that she needs to let him find his own way in life; Jason's worries about his mother's worries, clashing up against his passionate embrace of a dangerous profession. In doing so Ms. Carpenter has written a novel that maps - much the way that Jayne Anne Phillips's classic 'Machine Dreams and Bobbie Ann Mason's In Country did - the fallout that war has not just on soldiers, who put their lives on the line, but also on their families, who wait anxiously back home.' Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
'A compelling story made memorable by the strength of its elegant prose.' Toni Morrison
'Lea Carpenter's ELEVEN DAYS is an extraordinary accomplishment. Written with an elegant precision, this book is at its core a story about love: between a mother and a son, a son and a father, and a special group of men for each other and the imperfect country they choose to serve. I highly recommend it.' Kevin Powers, bestselling author of THE YELLOW BIRDS
'What Denis Johnson did for the Vietnam War in TREE OF SMOKE, Lea Carpenter does for Iraq and Afghanistan in her superb ELEVEN DAYS. At the core of this extraordinary novel is the love of a mother for her child. That's the story of us all, and that's the story that may well break your heart.' Ben Fountain, author of BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK
'[An] earnest first novel ... Carpenter provides a convincing portrait of an exclusive and exclusively male military subculture, and of the men formed and deformed by it.' The New York Times
Publication date: 27/02/2014
Publisher: Two Roads an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
|Publication date:||27th February 2014|
|Publisher:||Two Roads an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Family Drama,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Lea Carpenter graduated from Princeton and has an MBA from Harvard. She was Founding Editor for Francis Ford Coppola's literary magazine, Zoetrope as well as Deputy Publisher of The Paris Review until 2005. She lives in New York with her husband and their two sons where she produces programming for the New York Public Library. This is her first novel.More About Lea Carpenter