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The Women

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From the celebrated author of The Nightingale and The Four Winds comes Kristin Hannah’s The Women—at once an intimate portrait of coming of age in a dangerous time and an epic tale of a nation divided.

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.

Synopsis source: Goodreads

What pattern is that?
Pictured with the book in this post is the Marigold Boho Coaster (Petals variation), available here on the blog in limited format.

This title is a Books, WIPs, and Sips Book Club Pick

For details about Books, WIPs, + Sips Book Club, click here.
To join the discussion for this title, scroll down for details.


HB&W Rating: 5 stars
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Vietnam, War
View on Goodreads
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Wow, I cried multiple times with this book, and I almost NEVER cry. This was a hard book to read, an emotional roller coaster, but it was Kristin Hannah at her best.

Women can be heroes.

What a powerful quote. Four words, sixteen letters, six syllables, but immense power. These were the words spoken to Frankie that changed her life forever. This was the moment someone told her that she could be more than just a wife or mother, and it was eye-opening for her.

Hannah takes from the glittering social scene of Southern California to the red dirt and rains of war-torn Vietnam, pulling us in with her fantastic descriptions and imagery. It’s all too easy to imagine the horrors of the Vietnam War and Hannah pulls no punches showing us a MASCAL on Frankie’s first day on the job. The first half of the book is spent showing us what Vietnam was like for medical personnel and, to a smaller degree by virtue of their injuries, for the men who fought as well.

But just because her tour was over didn’t mean she was home-free. The second half of the book portrays the very real struggles of those coming back from Vietnam as they battled public opinion, dealt with PTSD, fought addiction and depression and did their best to survive from day to day in a world that wanted to forget what they’d done. Honestly, one of the things that drew me to this book is that it was set around this war, which even still today is rarely talked about because many still hope to forget it. But it’s such a disservice to the men and women who answered their country’s call and did their patriotic duty to simply pretend their sacrifices never happened. I’m so glad Hannah chose this topic and wrote this book.

If I had one complaint, I will say that I would have liked to have seen the friendship between Frankie, Ethel, and Barb given a bit more dimension. I loved their relationship and the way they were there for one another and I think Barb had some of the best lines in the book, but it still felt a little shallow. Still, it’s a minor complaint and doesn’t stop me from rating this at five stars. This was just so good. I almost want to cry again as I write this simply from thinking about it. Read this one with the tissues handy!

I can’t wait to talk about this book with you during our book club discussion! I hope you can join us on April 23, 2024 at 7pm on Instagram for the live discussion! Read on for details!

Book Club Details!

On Tuesday, April 23rd at 7pm CST on Instagram Stories Live, I’m switching it up a little bit with my guest host, or in this case…hosts! A friend of mine here in St. Louis had agreed to join me as a guest host this quarter and as as we were reading the book together, we started talking about it in our group chat with our sip and stitch group. Before we knew it, we were all reading it and chatting about it, so I thought it would be fun to have everyone on to chat about it with me during this quarter’s live! Things can get rowdy at sip and stitch, but we have a lot of fun and I hope you’ll join us for this book chat for the ultimate post-mortem on this quarter’s pick!

Meet the Sip + Stitch Gang!

Meet our motley group of stitchers! Clockwise from back left: Kristen (me), Wendy, Sheri, Jeanne, Brikena, Alex, Chelsie. Some of us are native to Missouri and others are transplants. Some started out as complete strangers met on the internet, and others have known each other for years. But that’s the beauty of these groups, bringing people together united around a common interest! This group has evolved into something so much more meaningful over the years. I can’t wait for you to get to know these fun ladies!


If you couldn’t make the live discussion, no worries! I’ve posted the replay below for you to watch/listen at your leisure! Go ahead and grab that WIP while you do!

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Happy reading!

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