SOURCE: Author Michelle Bellon

Author Michelle Bellon

June 25, 2012 15:05 ET

'The Complexity of a Soldier' Explores the True Cost of War

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - Jun 25, 2012) -  Michelle Bellon's "The Complexity of a Soldier" ( illustrates the toll taken on a family when a husband-father fights a war overseas.

Through the prism of family life, Bellon's third novel helps readers fathom the psychological challenges soldiers face. 

"Post-911, 20-year-old Rory Nichols gets laid off from his timber mill job and joins the Army to provide for his family," Bellon says. "When he is deployed to Iraq, he leaves behind his wife, Emily, and the little daughter he adores, Callie."

At home, Emily's happy life becomes difficult. All she'd ever wanted was a husband and family of her own. Now she worries constantly about Rory, works to raise her daughter as a single parent, and wonders when life will get back to normal.

"When a nation goes to war, there are many forms of treasure that are spent in the endeavor," says Amazon reviewer Charles Ashbacher. "Less widely disseminated and discussed are the indirect costs to the lives of the people directly and indirectly involved."

When a father or mother is not around to help a family along, Bellon's novel shows, children are often the ones most affected.

"Children may be less supervised when one of their parents is away, or they may be in the care of extended family members so their parents can save money on child care," she says. "Both situations put children at risk; the former for obvious reasons and the latter because 90 percent of child sexual abuse victims know the offender."

Rory, meanwhile, is coping with the rigors of war and the death of a friend. And then, he gets horrifying news: While he was protecting his country, his young daughter was brutally attacked.

"When I wrote 'The Complexity of a Soldier,' I wanted to show that there are all kinds of terrorism in the world," Bellon says. "Child predators are just another type of terrorist.

"If we expect our troops to fight strangers in foreign lands, we should be fighting the ones in our own backyards."

About Michelle Bellon

Michelle Bellon earned her associate's in nursing and lives with her husband and four children in Olympia, Wash. She is the author of four novels, including "The Complexity of a Soldier," which deals with the issue of child sexual abuse.

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