Memoir / Nonfiction

The Letter by Marie Tillman

41NCUvxMb9L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_This memoir is Marie’s journey to recovery after the death of her husband Pat from friendly fire in Afghanistan.  Pat Tillman made headlines in 2002 when he left the NFL to serve his country as an Army Ranger.  During his first deployment in Iraq he wrote a “just-in-case” letter that she read in April 2004 when he was killed.  Pat encouraged Marie to continue to live, and The Letter shows Marie’s efforts to carry out Pat’s final wish. Marie provides an intimate picture of Pat, who, while athletic, outspoken and flamboyant, was also intelligent, philosophical and compassionate.  She talks about the investigation into his death and how it was hard for her, a very guarded person, to be in the spotlight.  The memoir was disappointing for me in that it was less spiritual and more psychological.  Marie relies on herself and the wisdom of family and philosophers to get her through the dark times.  She tries to start over by moving to a new city, taking a new job, and engaging in a new relationship.  As she eventually comes to terms with her loss, she returns home and agrees to run the Pat Tillman foundation.


If you want to read more about Pat Tillman, the definitive account is “Where Men Win Glory” by Jon Krakauer.


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