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Praise for Love in Condition Yellow


Besides a clear understanding of who she is and what she wants, Raday has a solid sense of humor, an ear for dialogue and an eye for telling detail. After 9/11, [her husband's] usual reminders to her—”Remember, stay in Condition Yellow” (a state of awareness of danger and readiness to deal with it)—no longer seemed quite so paranoid. A major shift in their relationship came when Barrett, a West Point graduate and an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, discovered that his sense of honor and duty would not permit him to go ahead with his planned retirement, to Raday's dismay. His commitment to the Army and hers to family—by now they had a son—were in direct conflict. As disagreement over the war in Iraq sharpened, Raday writes, ”I felt a chasm developing in our country, with the deepest crack running right through my heart and my marriage.”


'Opposites attract' - this proverb proves itself true in so many strange ways. "Love in Condition Yellow: A Memoir of an Unlikely Marriage" tells the tale of two opposites, a free-spirited political activist familiar with cops in riot gear, and a poster boy for what a good cop should be. Their relationship is unique; as their love grows closer, America drives itself further apart. "Love in Condition Yellow" is sure to please many a reader looking for a work of true romance.”
—James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review

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In Love in Condition Yellow: A Memoir of an Unlikely Marriage, Raday, a peace-seeking idealist, superbly chronicles her courtship and marriage to Barrett McAllister. Their story is unique -- the usual misunderstandings between spouses are exaggerated by their polarized views on life and the world. She believes in respect for all humanity and peaceful resolution to conflict. He carries a gun at all times and refers to the perpetrators he takes off the streets as "turds."
Their differences become more palpable after Raday and McAllister start their family, and then again after the events of September 11, 2001.

....a lovely book filled with stunning, substantial prose...”
—Kayt Sukel, on Literary Mama


Raday, known among her friends as a 'pot-smoking feminist,' goes on a blind date with Barrett, an Oakland police officer, West Point graduate, and major in the Army Reserve-a 'redneck soldier turned cop.' They marry-in a free-spirited ceremony where 'tattooed former marines dance among tattooed lesbians'-and have a baby boy, Niko, shortly before 9/11. Barrett's concern for Niko's safety leads to his request that Sophia stay on guard in 'Condition Yellow.'
...When Barrett is called back to active military duty and deployed to Iraq, Sophia struggles in the role of military wife. Even as they adopt a daughter from Guatemala, Raday fears she and Barrett will increasingly 'spin out into separate worlds.'

...a refreshing and penetrating look at how respect and willingness to compromise can span seemingly unbridgeable gaps in a marriage...”
—Deborah Donovan, Booklist founding editor Raday's touching and occasionally revelatory memoir tackles a marriage of opposites. Raday is the peace-activist who enjoys yoga, while her husband, Barrett, is a West Point graduate and former Oakland police officer destined for combat in Iraq. With enormous empathy, Raday and her guiding principle of respect for differences overwhelms her fears about their dissimilarities as the two make their way into a relationship. They make it work-with a lot of couples therapy-and their story will entrance anyone who has ever wondered if love can last between two people with fundamentally contrasting beliefs.”
—Elizabeth Brinkley, Library Journal (Named in Short Takes: 50 Summer Memoirs for the Beach, Backwoods, or Flu Bunker)


...This is the engaging story of their courtship and eventual marriage against the backdrop of events in the United States as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The title refers to Barrett's usual reminder, pre-9/11, to Raday “to remain on guard against the many potential threats he perceives all around us.” These potential threats come not only from outside themselves, but within their very own relationship. For example, she's a vegetarian; he's a self-proclaimed redneck.

...a story of overcoming differences...a story many families could tell, but Raday tells it best.”
—Robin Farrell Edmunds in ForeWord ( May|June 2009)


All marriages are a bit of a journey to the foreign country that is another's mind and heart, but Sophia's Raday's remarkable Love in Condition Yellow takes us on a true adventure: into a marriage that is both riven and strengthened by political differences that run nearly as deep as those that divide our country. Raday shows us the empathetic imagination behind true respect for those with whom one differs, and in her clear-sighted portrait of the complexities of marriage, she may show us what love is, as well.”
—Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land


Incrementally, bravely, honestly, Raday takes the reader into a territory where love and war trump politics. With an open heart and mind, she offers a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look into what it's really like to be a soldier's wife during the Iraq war. As in the best memoirs, the reader is enlightened and enlarged by a true life that's rendered faithfully and artfully for the page.”
—Karen Propp, co-editor of Why I'm Still Married


Captivating, insightful, effortless to read, I could not put this American love story down. Raday deftly weaves a poignant and highly entertaining tale of a marriage that sutures across various fractures in the American body politic. A meditation on love, fear, conviction, and letting go, this book will resonate with anyone who has struggled with differences in love or with family and friends.”
—Caroline Paul, author of Fighting Fire and East Wind, Rain


A witty, heart wrenching, candid portrait of bipartisan romance in a country at war. As we follow this story of love between a peace-seeking idealist and a police officer/Army Reserve soldier, we find ourselves longing not only for the success of their relationship but also for the repair of our nation. Raday gives us an insightful snapshot of our war with Iraq , a fascinating view of military and police life from the inside, and a page-turner of a love story all in one breath. Read it and sigh with satisfaction.”
—Sybil Lockhart , author of Mother in the Middle: a Biologist's Story of Caring for Parent and Child