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The Women - Kristin Hannah

The Women - Kristin Hannah

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 5/5

This is such a beautiful book, it's truly hard to put into words how beautifully this story is written.

If you've never read a Kristin Hannah book, I would recommend adding one of her books to your "to be read" list. She mainly writes historical fiction novels that so beautifully tell stories about key periods in history through capturing storylines and characters that leave you thinking about them long after the last page. Besides The Women, some of my favorite Kristin Hannah books are The Great Alone, The Nightingale, and Firefly Lane.

But for now, let's talk about the beautiful story that is The Women.

The Women tells the story of Frankie McGrath, a 20 year old nursing student, who volunteers to go serve as a nurse in Vietnam. Keep in mind, women during this time were expected to marry and be a house wife, not work full time and definitely not go to war.

The first half of this book tells the story of Frankie as a Vietnam nurse - the conditions of what the war in Vietnam was like, the sounds, the grueling experiences, the trauma. The men and women who served over there came face to face with death constantly. The story goes through her struggles, her friendships, and how her experiences in Vietnam completely changed who she was as a person and what she believed in. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the war, as it was so different from any textbook or lesson I was taught about the Vietnam War.

Truthfully, some of this book is hard to read, as it's so real and raw and honestly heartbreaking. But what I love about Kristin Hannah is she makes you fall in love with the characters, the friendships, the romances, and she really makes you care what happens to them in the end.

The second half of the book tells Frankie's story once she returns home from the war, and how difficult it was to re-acclimate to society, especially during a time when the country didn't support the war and didn't believe that women were even in Vietnam. The heartbreak of what Frankie goes through upon returning to a family who isn't proud of her, a society that doesn't recognize the help veterans need coming home from war, a country that doesn't support the war and decides to disrespect the veterans; it's truly devastating to read. The sad reality is that's actually what it was like for veterans coming home from Vietnam.

This book doesn't shy away from the hard truths, and tells a heartbreakingly beautiful story about this time in history that I haven't experienced any other way. I do recommend this book, but encourage you to be in the right mindset before starting because it definitely deserves its own moment.

1 Comment

Jun 07

I agree! This was a great read. Fast read.

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