The Company We Keep
Robert Baer was known inside the CIA as perhaps the best operative working the Middle East. Over several decades, he served everywhere from Iraq to New Delhi and racked up such an impressive list of accomplishments that he was eventually awarded the Career Intelligence Medal. But if his career was all that a spy must aspire to, his personal life was a brutal illustration of everything a spy is asked to sacrifice. Bob had few enduring non-work friendships, only contacts and acquaintances. His prolonged absences destroyed his marriage and he felt intense guilt at spending so little time with his children. Sworn to secrecy and constantly driven by ulterior motives, he was a man apart wherever he went.
Dayna Williamson thought of herself as just an ordinary California girl, admittedly one born into a comfortable life-style. But she was always looking to get closer to the edge. When she joined the CIA, she was initially tasked with Agency background checks, but the attractive Berkely graduate quickly distinguished herself who could thrive in the field. She was eventually assigned to "Protective Operations" training, where she learned to handle weapons and explosives and conduct high speed escape and evasion. Tapped to serve in some of the world's most dangerous places, she discovered an inner strength and resource fullness she's never known, but she also came to see that the spy life exacts a heavy toll. Her marriage crumbled, her parents grew distant, and she lost touch with friends who once meant everything to her.
When Bob and Dayna met on a mission in Sarajevo, it wasn't love at first sight. The were both too jaded for that. But there was something there, a spark. And as the danger escalated and their affection for each other grew, they realized it was time to leave "The Company" to somehow rediscover the people they'd once been.
As worldly as they both were, the couple didn't realize at first that turning in their Agency ID cards would not be enough to put their covert past behind. The reality was that their clandestine relationships remained. Living as "civilians" in conflict ridden Beirut, they fielded assassination proposals and met with Arab sheiks, wily oil tycoons, terrorists, and assorted outlaws, and came perilously close to dying. But even then they couldn't know their most formidable challenge lay ahead.
Simultaneously a trip deep down the intelligence rabbit hole, one that shows how the "game" actually works, including the compromises it asks of those who play by its rules, and a portrait of two people trying to regain a normal life.
What a page turner!
It's June 1965. War is raging in Vietnam. San Francisco is tripping toward flower power, and a boy named Wrecker is born. By his third birthday, his mother has landed in prison, and he's been taken by the state. So, when Wrecker arrives at a place called Bow Farm in the truck of an uncle he's never met before, the boy is scared and angry, quick to cause chaos and quick to run before he's blamed, quick in other words, to live up to his name.
The eccentric clan at Bow Farm, Ruth and Melody and Willow and Johnny Appleseed, came to California's Mattole Valley looking to build something new, a community, maybe, but not a family. Not with a kid. But from the moment Wrecker walks into Ruth's arms, a transformation begins that ripples far beyond one nearly broken, wholly remarkable boy.
Spanning two decades, Wrecker charts the ups and downs of real, ragged, joyful, and painful life. It's a buoyant and beautiful tribute to unconventional family and the truest kind of love.
And one other book to mention:
All You Need To Know To Tend Hives, Harvest Honey & More.
Informative and interesting to read. How honey can fit into our garden. If the reader is interested now's the time!
Includes 10 honey recipes.
See you at Rylander!
, with Ashley English, a novel, Summer Wood, A Husband - and - Wife True-Life Spy Story, Robert Baer and Dayna Baer