TITLE:Soldier & Spice : An Army Wife’s Life
AUTHOR: Aditi Mathur Kumar
PUBLISHER: Westland Ltd.
GENRE: Fiction


Soldier and Spice - An Army Wife's Life

Apt. It reminded me of the popular column in ‘Readers Digest’ i.e. ‘Humor in Uniform’ and I could automatically envisage what was in store in the pages of the book, the only difference being that here it would not be about the men in uniform but would entail tales of their better- half.


‘Good evening, Aunty.’

Very cute, I think and smile. Then I turn around to see the aunty he is wishing so sweetly. There is no one, the road is empty.

‘Is someone there?’ I say, squinting at the road.

‘Good eveningggggg, Aunty!’ he recites again, his wide eyes set on me.

I don’t understand.

Could he be, like, calling me an aunty?

I freeze. I couldn’t be…


For Pia, regular life is a thing of the past. She is now an Army wife. From ‘just Pia’ to an Aunty, a memsaab and – her favorite words in the whole wide world – Mrs Pia Arjun Mehra. At twenty six, Pia finds herself having to suddenly be more ‘lady-like’; focus on themed Ladies’ Meets, high teas and Welfare functions; and deal with long (unexpected) separations from her husband, extraordinary challenges, a little heartache, and, well, growing up.

In the mysterious and grand world of Army wives, Pia learns that walking in high heels is okay as long as you don’t trip on combat boots. She learns that ‘civil’ is also a noun, that JCO and GOC are (very!) different, that snacks are ‘shown’ and WTF is better explained as Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Yes, it really is a new world!

Let this quirky, hilarious story of the first year of Pia’s Army-wife life show you that the spice to a soldier’s life is most definitely his better, very strong, bloody extremely elegant, never-cussing, witty, warm and passionate half, his Army wife.



Storyline: Entertaining, engaging and easily relatable, the story gives the reader an insight into the lives of the women in the Cantt. Told in first person by Pia the protagonist, the story has all the elements that lend spice to it making it a delightful read. There are moments when one might find it difficult to suppress that giggle that’s supposed to be very un-ladylike by Army-wife standards.

Though overall a witty presentation of an army wife’s life, the book has some soul- stirring moments too. There is a dash of romance here and there.

In this amusing and riveting book, the author introduces us the readers, to some written and unwritten rules governing the conduct of an army officer’s wife. We also get to see how failure to comply with these rules make one a misfit in the army circle/ invite reprimand from the Senior-most Officer’s wife. Here each little move, each spoken word comes under scrutiny. Thus it’s not only the husband who is to be disciplined and aware of etiquette but the wife too is expected to maintain a certain level of decorum. There are a lot of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ that the wife is expected to follow. These cover not only matters of speech and manners but also the dress they don at formal and informal meetings/ parties.

In ‘Soldier & Spice’ we also get an insight into how a wife’s unbecoming behavior can spell trouble for the husband. Poor chap!

Folks! But then let’s get it straight. It’s an entirely different world out there in the Army and Aditi’s novel is all about that- a wonderful introduction into life in the Cantt.

Characterization: Perfect and relatable. All the characters come live before our eyes. Each one of them contributes to taking the story forward, to perfection.

Pace: The pace is perfect. There is no point when one feels the pace slacken.

Language: Language is crisp, lucid and easy to understand. Words flow unhindered weaving a story smooth and hilarious.


Editing: Nothing serious. Just a few typos here & there need to be taken care of.


A wonderful, light read I’d recommend this to those who love to have a hearty laugh. ‘Spice & Soldier’ scores a 4 on a scale of 5 from me.



Aditi Mathur Kumar 

A book-hoarder, an ex-advertising girl, a once-upon-a-time blogger, a fanatical Army wife and a real-life social person, Aditi is now fully immersed in the world of writing.

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