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The Women

"Loss, love, sacrifice and survival — this powerful novel explores the Vietnam war era and the oft-overlooked, pivotal role American women played in saving lives."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

From the brutalities of war, government cover-ups and sexism, to love, lust, sisterhood and surviving the worst, Kristin Hannah’s The Women is at once deeply intimate and richly sweeping.

Sharing the coming-of-age story of a young army nurse in Vietnam, and painting a broad and detailed portrait of the war and its aftermath, it’s a immersive emotional story that shows “Women can be heroes, too”, along with the costs of such heroism, and the value of friendship and sisterhood bonds. 

In 1966, Frankie lives a seemingly charmed life in California, with wealthy parents who seem to want the best for her, and a brother who seems set to become a hero when he heads to fight in Vietnam. Then, when a handsome guest at a family gathering tells Frankie “Women can be heroes, too”, she signs up as an army nurse, against her parents’ wishes. 

On arrival, Frankie is thrown into a dark and devastating deep end, and quickly realises that the folks back home are being spun lies about the numbers of American casualties. At the same time, she’s thrown a lifeline by newfound female friends, with love and romance also on the cards.

After finding her vocation, Frankie signs up for a second tour, but when she eventually returns home, she battles PTSD while being forced to face the hostilities of anti-war protesters and hostilities from her family, amidst very complicated matters of the heart. 

Putting paid to the lie that “There were no women in Vietnam” (a statement Frankie and friends hear a lot during protests), The Women weaves a deeply affecting personal story that shines a glaring light on this brutal, complex chapter in American history. It’s also laced with the love of a lifetime, and shot-through with the unbreakable bonds of sisterhood.

Joanne Owen

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