It's the stuff or movies and Maury Povich exclusives: My husband is
a spy! Bina Cady Kiyonaga marries a man named Joe from Hawaii and
settles into a happily married life with five kids. Just like any
normal family, they go through the years experiencing a lot of the
wonderful and tragic things that most families experience. However,
thanks to Dad's job, they are also privy to the insecurities and
drama that comes when your head of household is a spy, a CIA
operative who sets his family into an emotional tailspin with every
new position. MY SPY: Memoir of a CIA Wife is a look into one man's
unconventional occupation and the way it affects the life of the
woman closest to him.
The book reads the way you might expect --- a confessional voice
laced with "Gee, I can't believe..." After a while, you just wish
that Kiyonaga would find another way to express her disbelief over
all that went on. Even Carmela Soprano has complex and urgent
thoughts about what she learns to accept in her position as wife of
someone who does a lot of stuff that no one else can know about ---
Kiyonaga seems like a wide-eyed child still after all these years.
You don't learn all that much about what the CIA does, except that
it's secretive. You don't know all that much about Kiyonaga either,
really --- times were hard, times got better, she was there for her
man. Not the stuff that legendary memoirs are made of.
MY SPY is really most interesting when the narrative changes
environment --- the different places that Bina and Joe are sent to
are exotic and require an exciting change in lifestyle that even
Kiyonaga's bland style can't dampen. There are details here worth
exploring, unlike a lot of the specifically CIA situations that
can't be explored properly.
If you have an interest in the CIA or love someone who does, this
may be a good read for you. Otherwise, MY SPY falls quite short in
the dramatics category.
Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on January 22, 2011