I want to state something at the beginning while I have some issues with parts of this book, I did enjoy it and think people should check it out but…
Transitioning Home is the story of a military vet who returns home to confront PTSD and the fact that he might not be the person he always thought he was. The book begins after he saves his unit from an attack in Mosul which leaves him battered and broken both inside and out. He returns to the states for physical therapy and starts to figure out there might be more to heal in himself than just his injuries to his hand and leg. He realizes that he has been avoiding a persistent “jealousy” of women and after therapy it starts to dawn on him that he has Gender Dysphoria. We follow them as they begin their transition, dealing with unaccepting family members, new friends and creating a life for the person they were meant to be, finally becoming Emily.
The story itself is well done especially its treatment of PTSD showing the real horrors that many former soldiers face even after they have returned to civilian life but there are some choices that the author makes that a reader should be aware of prior to checking it out. The first is that it appears to take place at some point in the past with many nods to this like the speed limit and the fact that when the main character googles “jealousy of women” all he gets are the terms transexual and transvestitism. Also, Emily, even after she has fully transitioned continuing refers to herself as “I am a transgendered” which is something I have never heard a member of the community ever say about themselves. Then there is the way the title character speaks about the LGBTQ+ community in the beginning which is filled with slurs and insults. I understand that is where the character starts from, but some readers must deal with that in their everyday life and don’t want to see it in the media they consume.
The last thing is the ease with which the transition takes place. I am not saying that Emily does not encounter hurdles and roadblocks but on the first night she presents as a woman without being on hormones she effortlessly passes and falls instantly into a relationship with the love of her life. This is not a person going through transition typical experience. These items are not deal breakers and might reflect more my experience coloring my reading of the text, but I try to be honest in my reviews both the good and the bad.
With these things in mind though I still endorse the book as something to seek out and read. The story does show the evolution of a person realizing who they really are, and I like that it centers therapy throughout, something not enough books do on these subjects.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: