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Foreign at Home and Away

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Foreign at Home and Away: Foreign-Born Wives in the U.S. Foreign Service

“Margaret Bender has written an illuminating, highly readable book on the challenges that confront foreign-born spouses of U.S. Foreign Service officers. Her subjects are courageous, committed, and inspiring. . . . This engaging book, which I strongly recommend, also provides important insights on the demands faced by all foreign service spouses.”

MARION CREEKMORE, JR., former U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Carter Center Program Director

It is estimated that one-third to one-half of the women married to U.S. Foreign Service officers are foreign-born. In Foreign at Home and Away, Australian-born author Margaret Bender has drawn on her own twenty-five years’ experience as a Foreign Service wife and on extensive interviews she conducted with forty women from twenty-eight countries to describe Foreign Service life from the perspective of these foreign-born wives. Their stories are woven throughout the book according to the themes of each chapter. Included are topics such as transitions, work, children, the special issues of senior wives and CIA wives, marital problems, life after the Foreign Service, and the experience of going back to their home countries after long absences.

This is a women’s story, an immigrant story, and a Foreign Service story. Its relevance extends to people in similar situations in the military, international organizations, and transnational businesses and will appeal to all readers drawn to well-told, authentic personal stories. Bender has written a book that is highly readable and revealing, one that draws the reader in to learn more about the complexities, satisfactions, and challenges of the women’s lives.