Love in Condition Yellow: A Memoir of an Unlikely Marriage

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Beacon Press, May 1, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 216 pages
Go on a date with a soldier turned police officer? Me? And discuss Gandhi’s experiments with truth with a gun-toting Republican?
The last thing Berkeley-dwelling peace activist Sophia Raday expected was to fall in love with a straightlaced Oakland police officer. As someone who had run away from cops dressed in riot gear at protests, Sophia was ambivalent, to say the least, at the prospect of dating Barrett, who was not only a cop but also a West Point graduate, an Airborne Ranger, and a major in the Army Reserve.
During their courtship the two argued about many of the matters that divide the United States, things like drug policy and race relations. Startled by the freedom she found in a relationship of differences, by the challenge of sparring with Barrett, and by his steadfast acceptance of her, Sophia unwittingly fell in love. Then, just when Sophia believed her family was starting a new chapter with the birth of their son, came September 11.  Barrett’s belief that he must always stay in Condition Yellow—the terminology coined by his favorite Guns & Ammo writer for a state of alert in which you realize your life is in danger and you may need to shoot someone—was suddenly in the forefront of their lives. Sophia and Barrett began to confront, on a very personal level, their differing viewpoints on polarizing values like fear, duty, family, and patriotism.
When Barrett’s military duties escalated along with the country’s, Sophia found herself in the surprising position of military wife, living on an army base during the 2004 elections, and struggling to find peace with herself and her husband in this new world. It was a struggle that would continue up to the point of Barrett’s deployment to Iraq.
Love in Condition Yellow not only provides a vivid, poignant portrait of this unusual union, but also tells the larger story of how love doesn’t necessarily come from sameness, and peace doesn’t necessarily come from agreement.

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User Review  - bookfetish - LibraryThing

I think love stories are always best, when they come out of the unexpected, or maybe it’s the whole opposite attracts thing? In “Love In Condition Yellow” I found myself swept away in the romance that ... Read full review

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User Review  - kefournier - LibraryThing

All in all a good read...interesting to me as I do not have any family members serving in the military, offered a glimpse into what being part of a military family could be like. Read full review


One Spark
Three Cultural Exchange
Five Individual Liberties
Six Constructive Engagement
Eight State of Alert Nine Preemption Ten Casualties
Twelve Drive On Soldier Drive
Thirteen Quagmire

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About the author (2009)

Sophia Raday lives in Berkeley, California, with her soldier/police officer husband, their two children, a bipartisan dog, and assorted firearms. A founding editor of Literary Mama, Raday has published work in antholo­gies and the New York Times.

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