Title: The Women
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publication: February 6, 2024
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Everyone knows Kristin Hannah is at the top of her game for all things Historical Fiction and The Women was an absolute stand-out novel about surviving, overcoming, and being forgotten.
I love Kristin Hannah and knew I just had to read The Women. What intrigued me most was that this book was about the Vietnam War. Now a large majority of historical fiction takes place around World War I and II and the Civil War. You don’t hear too many that are based during the Vietnam War and I was intrigued. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it because I am a WWII story lover, but I knew I had to try… because Kristin Hannah!
The story follows Frankie as she enlists and goes off to be a nurse in the Vietnam War. It is far more than she expected as she tried to help and stay alive, while also hearing upset from stateside. The story had me hook, line, and sinker from the first chapter. It was constant movement and then constant action. I loved how many aspects of life were the focus. It was about grief, friendships, love, family ties, and so much more. It was jam-packed with action and the descriptions left you feeling all the things the characters were feeling. I grieved the losses right along with the characters. I cried. I laughed out loud. I gasped more than once. I literally could not stop reading. I started and finished this book in 19 hours and it’s 480 pages! I could not put it down.
Kristin Hannah has an impeccable writing style that keeps you drawn in, wanting more, and needing to know how it all wraps up. I kept guessing how this story was going to play out and each time she threw a wrench in my plans. I was not expecting so many twists and turns in historical fiction, but that is what she delivered. I’m practically begging the movie-making beings to turn this into a film because there has never been anything like it and I want to see these characters come to life. Just don’t mess it up!
You have to read this. It’s not if it’s your type of novel. It’s an absolute must-read. Hannah did her research, talked to people who were there and lived it, and it’s heartwrenchingly good. A rollercoaster of a story that makes your heart beat faster, then breaks it over and over again until you finally get that ending you didn’t even know you wanted!