Soldier & Spice

Title: Soldier soldier& Spice : An Army Wife’s Life
Author: Aditi Mathur Kumar
Publisher: Westland Books
ISBN: 978-93-83260-02-7
Number of Pages: 253
Price [INR] : 250
Genre: Fiction

From the Blurb

For Pia, regular life is a thing of the past. She is now an Army wife. From ‘just Pia’ to an Aunty, a memsaab and – her favourite words in the whole wide world – Mrs Pia Arjun Mehra.

At twenty six, Pia finds herself having to suddenly be more ‘lady-like’; focus on themed ladies’ meets, high teas and welfare functions; and deal with long (unexpected) separations from her husband, extraordinary challenges, a little heartache, and, well, growing up.

In the mysterious and grand world of Army wives, Pia learns that walking in high heels is okay as long as you don’t trip on combat boots. She learns that ‘civil’ is also a noun, that JCO and GOC are (very!) different, that snacks are ‘shown’ and WTF is better explained as Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Yes, it really is a new world!

Let this quirky, hilarious story of the first year of Pia’s Army-wife life show you that the spice to a soldier’s life is most definitely his better, very strong, bloody extremely elegant, never-cussing, witty, warm and passionate half, his Army wife.


There is nobody from our family in the forces. Having read and heard so much about the glamour, the smart men, the elegant women, the party culture, the travels and the adventures in the lives of families from the armed forces, I have always been in awe of this ‘different’ world. When I read about the promos of this book, I knew, that I had to read this book. When Manjulika from Writer’s Melon hosted a give-away of this book, I decided to go for it!

I finished reading this book in 2 sittings and the second one was when I was having a throbbing headache!! When the body was screaming silently to put the book down and rest for a while, the heart didn’t want to forego the joy it was getting from the constant dose of laughs and smiles along with the wit and humour. And that happened because, Soldier and Spice : An Army Wife’s Life, is a book that is high on laughs, chuckles and entertainment!

Soldier and Spice is a refreshing read which showcases the life of Pia, a newly-wed Army wife. It is a humorous take on Pia’s first year as an Army wife and through her we get a complete insight into the life of an Army wife. It is truly not easy being an Army wife. Army has a rich culture and the Army wives have a big role to play. They also have to follow the protocol, the hierarchy and ranks, have a hectic social life and have to follow elegance, grace and etiquette all the time!! The army lingo and phrases are super interesting, especially the Forced Bachelor, Separated Family and the usage of the word ‘Civil’ as a noun, adjective and abuse. I liked the ‘show the snacks’ the most, though.

The author has shared the pros and cons of being an Army wife very astutely. When I read this, “An Army wife is a single mother even when she is married, she is the saree-clad maverick who manages the show single handedly with family and house when the husband is busy saving the country, and she is the stylish woman who smiles and winks through a heap of problems that her civilian friends would never understand. An Army wife is probably the only woman in the world who knows and accepts readily that she is the mistress, because, let’s face it, the Army is the wife and the the wife gets all the damn attention!”…, my awe and respect quotient increased manifold for the Army wives!

There isn’t a single dull moment in the book. With its good pace, quick wit and humour and honest writing, Soldier & Spice is definitely a must read chick-lit!

Go for it!

Rating :

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37 thoughts on “Soldier & Spice

    • It is definitely a quirky and a humorous book and of course the insights about the Army life is an added bonus! Do check it out, Eli, I am sure you’ll love it 🙂

  1. Yes Army life is totally different, and not everybody’s cup of tea. It can become quite boring after the initial excitement, and if you choose an army man, you are stuck for life, and even after retirement, the same style continues as an ex army person’s wife. Of course, everybody need not think like me, like the book points out there are pros and cons as in any type of life, and one can’t be judgmental about these things.
    I have three cousin brothers who were with the army, one is still with the army and the other two retired from the navy and army.
    I thank my stars for not getting me tied down in the Army life style.
    Would definitely read the book, and thanks for the review.
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    • LOL @ stuck for life. Yes, by retirement, the habits are well ingrained and it is tough to let go. 🙂 You must read this book, am sure you will relate to it on many levels as you have family members in the forces 🙂

  2. My maama was in the Navy and he retired recently.. so I’ve stories..
    and this book does seem to be interesting..
    Have made a note of it Shilpa! Thank you! 🙂

  3. Loved your book review, Shilpa. I am a Naval wife and can relate to the Army wife’s tale easily 🙂 Am lagging behind in my reading, will definitely finish reading this one soon. Thanks for the lovely review.

    • Do pick it up as soon as possible, Sulekha, I am sure you will love reading this book! It is hilarious and so much fun! Thank you, glad you liked this review 🙂 ♥

  4. Your review makes army wife’s life all fun except for the unexpected long separations.But I have heard there is the bitter side of snobbery,rivalry and groupism amongst the ladies consistent with their levels.More often they are perforce to put on a grin where a grimace is justified.Does the book deal with such aspects?
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  5. Sounds like a must-read book. More for the fact that on many days, I feel like an Army wife myself, with the amount of time the spouse dedicates to work 😛

    As always, excellent work on the review, Shilpa 🙂
    Shailaja V recently posted…Take a momentMy Profile

    • Hi Aditi! It was truly a pleasure to read your book. In fact, this is one book that I plan to read again sometimes soon and I dont know to how many friends I have recommended Soldier and Spice. Are you writing another book? Looking forward to read more from you! Thanks so much, am glad that you liked this review. Cheers and Hugs ♥

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