Synopses & Reviews
"The growing body of literature about the Iraq War is characterized by themes of courage and hell. This moving book, by a U.S. Navy Quaker chaplain working with Marines at a trauma hospital and morgue near the action-packed cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, shares those themes but offers more. Snively accompanies her text, a blend of reflection and reportage, with more than 100 color photographs that can bring the desert war, with its mix of sand and blood, vividly home. Both text and photos convey the everyday details of life and death in the war zone: a menorah made of Coke cans, beanie babies piled on the bed of an Iraqi patient, smiling soldiers. Snively doesn't offer a big-picture overview, but heaven and hell are in these personal details. From the perspective of a medical chaplain, the two sides are 'life' and 'death' rather than 'us' and 'them.' In a foreword, Marine Gen. James N. Mattis notes the wrestling match between Quaker pacifist tradition and the warrior culture of soldiers. Quakers were originally known as 'publishers of the truth,' and this Quaker chaplain fulfills that spiritual mandate." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
War exposes the divide between who we think we are and how we behave in extreme situations. Commander Snively has crafted a vivid, unsettling, and ultimately hopeful personal account of the effects of the Iraq war on soldiers and civilians alike who find themselves astride that dilemma.
From her unique perspective as a Navy Quaker chaplain serving with the Marines working amid the boredom, tension, and seemingly meaningless carnage at a trauma hospital and morgue between Ramadi and Fallujah, Commander Snively negotiates a compassionate path to healing marked not by formulaic answers, but by an open and questioning spirit.
Lavishly adorned with the author's own evocative photographs, Heaven in the Midst of Hell is a compelling and unforgettable journey into the human soul.