ARC BOOK REVIEW: The Women by Kristin Hannah

Publication Date: February 6, 2024
Format: Ebook 
Genre:  historical fiction

Publisher: St Martins Press
 480 Pages
Buy: Kindle | Audio


Women can be heroes. When twenty-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath hears these words, it is a revelation. Raised in the sun-drenched, idyllic world of Southern California and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing. But in 1965, the world is changing, and she suddenly dares to imagine a different future for herself. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path.

As green and inexperienced as the men sent to Vietnam to fight, Frankie is over-whelmed by the chaos and destruction of war. Each day is a gamble of life and death, hope and betrayal; friendships run deep and can be shattered in an instant. In war, she meets—and becomes one of—the lucky, the brave, the broken, and the lost.

But war is just the beginning for Frankie and her veteran friends. The real battle lies in coming home to a changed and divided America, to angry protesters, and to a country that wants to forget Vietnam.


This is the story no one wanted to hear or think about - it’s about the women who went to war in Vietnam despite so many saying there were no women in Vietnam - this is about being erased and how even as vets they weren’t given the consideration that the men did. It’s about lasting friendships and bonds formed quickly in horrific circumstances.

The Vietnam war was protested, the soldiers spit on when returning home, the USA did not treat them with the respect they deserved after serving their country.  The military has no say on whether they fight or not so the protests and treatment of these vets only made their already horrific war time experience worse.  However the men had the advantage of help from the VA, the POW's were seen as heroes returning home but he women, the nurses and volunteers who were there seeing the broken bodies and minds of young men - who worked under some of the most basic and difficult circumstances were cast aside and forgotten.

This one will stay with me for a long time - bring your tissues and prepare to have your heartstrings tugged. Brilliant and powerful Kristin Hannah was the perfect person to bring this story to light as historical fiction. If there is any of her works that would make a brilliant and moving movie this would be it.  The stories of these brave women is one that needs to be brought more attention. 

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