Julia Whelan and Kristin Hannah are a winning combination for me and I was thoroughly captivated by Whelan’s narration of the “The Women”.
This powerful and moving book sheds light on the little-known (at least to me) experiences of women who served in the Vietnam War. Like the author, I was in elementary and middle school for much of the Vietnam War but I vividly remember the protests against this very unpopular war. Kristin Hannah is a masterful storyteller and brings the experiences of surgical nurse Frances “Frankie” McGrath to life, in vivid detail.
Frankie enlists to serve in the Army as an idealistic young woman who wants to serve her country and make her family proud. She returns home to a changed America, and to her own a battles with PTSD and deep trauma.
Frankie forges lifetime friendships during the war which will become her lifeline after she returns “to the world”. The author explores the aftermath of the war on the veterans who served and their families. This is a fascinating and unforgettable story of the brutalities of combat and of the brave women who proudly served our country. Highly recommend!
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio for the advanced listening copy. “The Women” will be released on February 6th.
About the Book:
The missing. The forgotten. The brave… The women.
From master storyteller Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Four Winds, comes the story of a turbulent, transformative era in America: the 1960s. The Women is that rarest of novels—at once an intimate portrait of a woman coming of age in a dangerous time and an epic tale of a nation divided by war and broken by politics, of a generation both fueled by dreams and lost on the battlefield.
“Women can be heroes, too.”
When twenty-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath hears these unexpected words, it is a revelation. Raised on idyllic Coronado Island and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing, being a good girl. But in 1965 the world is changing, and she suddenly imagines a different choice for her life. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she impulsively joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path.
As green and inexperienced as the men sent to Vietnam to fight, Frankie is overwhelmed by the chaos and destruction of war, as well as the unexpected trauma of coming home to a changed and politically divided America.
The Women is the story of one woman gone to war, but it shines a light on the story of all women who put themselves in harm’s way to help others. Women whose sacrifice and commitment to their country has all too often been forgotten. A novel of searing insight and lyric beauty, The Women is a profoundly emotional, richly drawn story with a memorable heroine whose extraordinary idealism and courage under fire define a generation.