I would not have bought this book if I have relied totally on the cover illustration! But I decided to buy it after I read the blurb on the back and a few of the quotes from editorial reviews.
Kratman is, apparently, not a fan of women serving in the military on battlefields. I think he is also not a fan of gay men in the military, or maybe likes the "don't ask,don't tell" culture, but I could be wrong in this regard.
But I believe Kratman must also be a practical man, who realizes that there must be someone on the homefront for defense. In addition, I think we all know that gay men are not going to stop enlisting or being drafted. And I was also glad that he recognized that, in an all women's legion, there are bound to be lesbians. (Okay, not just in women's legions, but I am working with his preferences, etc. It's his world, not mine.)
This is a beautiful, classic tale of motherhood, love (of all kinds), military training, war, fear and courage. The relationships all, at least to me, ring true. I felt that there was no unnaturalness about his characterization of various types of women, men, gay men and lesbians. We see true maternal love in all of its forms.
There is humor and there is tragedy. And at the center of the book, we see the transformation of an average young woman into a valiant, courageous and incredibly heroic soldier.
PS Because I speak Spanish, I also enjoy books with characters deriving from Spanish or Latin American cultures. Thank you for that, Mr. Kratman.