Title: Sisters of the Great War
Author: Suzanne Feldman
Publication: October 26, 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Featured “Hometown” Bookstore – Lowry’s Books – NEW
Featured “Hometown” Bookstore – Lowry’s Books – USED
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
August 1914. While Europe enters a brutal conflict unlike any waged before, the Duncan household in Baltimore, Maryland, is the setting for a different struggle. Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape the roles that society, and their controlling father, demand they play. Together, the sisters volunteer for the war effort–Ruth as a nurse, Elise as a driver.
Stationed at a makeshift hospital in Ypres, Belgium, Ruth soon confronts war’s harshest lesson: not everyone can be saved. Rising above the appalling conditions, she seizes an opportunity to realize her dream to practice medicine as a doctor. Elise, an accomplished mechanic, finds purpose and an unexpected kinship within the all-female Ambulance Corps. Through bombings, heartache and loss, Ruth and Elise cherish an independence rarely granted to women, unaware that their greatest challenges are still to come.
Illuminating the critical role women played in the Great War, this is a remarkable story of resilience, sacrifice and the bonds that can never be vanquished.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
I love historical fiction. So when this came across my email for a review request I was excited. It is also medically based which is a huge bonus for me. The book also takes place during WW1 which is something that I haven’t read much about. I was really excited to read it.
Ruth wants more out of life. She wants to be a doctor but her father refuses. Her father will only pay for nursing school. She ends up getting kicked out of school. She wants to do more with her life so she volunteers for the war as a nurse with the British. Elise doesn’t know what to do with her life. She spends her time fixing vehicles. She decides that when her sister goes to war that she will also go with her. She will enlist as an ambulance driver and mechanic for them. What they didn’t know was that it would be the longest 4 years of their life. This book was amazing! I binged it most nights. I stayed up late too many nights to read it. I found myself thinking about the book during the day. The way the author wrote the war and the wounded. I could see and imagine everything that happened to the soldiers and people who worked in the hospitals.
I loved the character of Ruth. She was tough as nails and an inspiration with her tenacity to become a doctor. She never gave up her dream. The only thing that bothered me with Ruth was how she complained and complained to her sister and she never asked her sister how she was and how she felt. Elise gets the short end of the stick. She has much tougher working conditions and has a more dangerous job. Elise finds herself while in the war. This book does contain woman-on-woman romance so if that is not your cup of tea you have been warned. This book does have some steamy sections which was nice. It was a great storyline and showcased the love between sisters.
There was tension between daughter and father and there was misogyny between father and daughter as well as between colleagues. It shows how much they thought of women in that day and age. I will be looking for more books by this author in the future. I really liked her writing style and her subject matter.