The Women

The Women
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Tag: Vietnam War
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Year: 2024
ISBN: 9781250178633

After years of hearing about the heroic men in her family who served their country, Frankie McGrath decides to take the same step: she joins the Army Nurse Corps to serve in Vietnam. With almost no nursing experience, she is thrown into the fire and learns on the job, facing the worst traumas imaginable. Through two tours, she gives everything she has trying to save the soldiers and the Vietnamese she treats--only to be roundly rejected when she returns to the U.S. Even after the war is over, Frankie's personal war has just begun.

Hannah has topped her previous winners with this novel: it's sure to be on my best of the year list. The Vietnam War has long been one of my favorite historical fiction topics and I was thrilled when this book was announced. The stories of the soldiers, medical staff, and Vietnamese deserve to be told. This one happens to tell the stories of the women who served, who were invisible to many of the people there (I chatted with a veteran neighbor about this book and he confirmed that he never saw a Western woman in Vietnam--which meant he was lucky, because he wasn't injured). Highly recommended.

About the Book

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Publisher’s Description 

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.

The Women is the story of one woman gone to war, but it shines a light on all women who put themselves in harm’s way and whose sacrifice and commitment to their country has too often been forgotten. A novel about deep friendships and bold patriotism, The Women is a richly drawn story with a memorable heroine whose idealism and courage under fire will come to define an era.

Look Inside
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