The Foreign Service Journal - September 2017
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headed and rational—the same situa-

tion from afar as a journalist.”

At times her depictions of spoiled

diplomats grow stale, especially as

she herself is living the same life she

ridicules. But certainly any FS spouse

can relate to her stories of waiting up

for a husband who walks out the door

during a crisis and reappears hours

later, unable to share anything he knows

about what is going on out there beyond

the compound gates, where she’s been

forbidden to go.

Many spouses have their own horror

stories of giving birth abroad, or evacu-

ating a war-torn country on short notice,

or even just trying to find one’s place

and fit in at each new post.

As a former newspaper correspon-

dent, Schuster knows how to string

together a story. The dialogue at times

seems forced (can anyone really recall a

years-old conversation, verbatim?), but

the story itself will pull you in, whether

or not you’ve been posted to any of the

same countries as Schuster.

Her path from an adventure-seeking

teen full of angst and anger at her home-

maker mother, to wife (herself a home-

maker) and woman seeking her own

individual purpose separate from that of

her husband, is one that many who have

married into the Foreign Service will

recognize all too well.


Donna Scaramastra Gorman is a freelance

writer and frequent


contributor, whose

work has appeared in

Time Magazine,

Newsweek, The Washington Post



Christian Science Monitor

. The spouse of a

Diplomatic Security agent, she has lived in

Amman, Moscow, Yerevan, Almaty, Beijing

and Washington, D.C., where she currently


Still thinking of herself as a tough war correspondent, she is

surprised at the level of helplessness she feels as the fighting in

Liberia inches ever closer to the capital while she is forced to

stay inside, away from danger.