The Women: A Novel

by Kristin Hannah

Hardcover, 2024

Call number

FIC HAN

Publication

St. Martin's Press (2024), 480 pages

Description

"When twenty-year-old nursing student Frances "Frankie" McGrath hears these unexpected words, it is a revelation. Raised on idyllic Coronado Island and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing, being a good girl. But in 1965 the world is changing, and she suddenly imagines a different choice for her life. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she impulsively joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path. As green and inexperienced as the men sent to Vietnam to fight, Frankie is overwhelmed by the chaos and destruction of war, as well as the unexpected trauma of coming home to a changed and politically divided America."--

Media reviews

Reading Hannah’s books may be a masochistic pastime, but it’s also a hugely popular one. “The Nightingale,” “The Four Winds,” “The Great Alone,” “Firefly Lane”: Her books are such reliable bestsellers that her publisher is betting big on “The Women” with an initial printing
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of 1 million copies. If Kleenex doesn’t come up with a tie-in campaign, it’s leaving money on the table.... I read “The Women” while hugging an emotional-support pillow and trying to divine which characters would be sacrificed. Hannah’s protective instincts toward her protagonists are on par with George R.R. Martin’s. But even if Frankie made it out alive, I knew there would be many more who wouldn’t.... while it destroyed me, it also awoke something that was — and continues to be — in short supply: empathy. It gave me a new appreciation for what everyday people from the past endured; it also gave me perspective for how my own micro-tragedies fit into the larger framework of history. Hannah tells the stories of real but unsung heroes, and when you consider that, the price of a few sobs seems relatively small.
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3 more
A few chapters into “The Women,” I experienced a wave of déjà vu — and it wasn’t just the warm Tab and the creme rinse. If you grew up in the 1980s, the Vietnam redemption arc was imprinted on your gray matter by a stampede of young novelists and filmmakers coming to grips with their
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foundational trauma: patriotic innocence shattered by the barbarity of jungle warfare; the return home to a hostile nation; the chasm of despair and addiction; and finally, the healing power of activism.... Kristin Hannah takes up the Vietnam epic and re-centers the story on the experience of women — in this instance, the military nurses who worked under fire, on bases and in field hospitals, to patch soldiers back together. Or not.... Hannah’s real superpower is her ability to hook you along from catastrophe to catastrophe, sometimes peering between your fingers, because you simply cannot give up on her characters. If the story loses a little momentum after Frankie completes her second tour — slingshot to the finish by a series of occasionally strained plot twists — well, isn’t that the way it went for so many veterans returning home? Without the imperatives of war, you stumble along until you find your way.
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The first half of the book, set in gore-drenched hospital wards, mildewed dorm rooms, and boozy officers’ clubs, is an exciting read, tracking the transformation of virginal, uptight Frankie into a crack surgical nurse and woman of the world..... In the second part of the book, after the war,
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Frankie seems to experience every possible bad break. A drawback of the story is that none of the secondary characters in her life are fully three-dimensional: Her dismissive, chauvinistic father and tight-lipped, pill-popping mother, her fellow nurses, and her various love interests are more plot devices than people. You’ll wish you could have gone to Vegas and placed a bet on the ending—while it’s against all the odds, you’ll see it coming from a mile away. A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.
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One of the most interesting aspects of “The Women” is the themes Kristin explores, such as courage, resilience, and the lasting impact of military service on those who serve. Hannah writes vividly about the camaraderie between the women, their battles, and their triumphs, and together the
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stories are a rich tapestry of human emotions and experiences.............
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User reviews

LibraryThing member technodiabla
This was a book club selection. I listened to this on audiobook format.

The Women is about women nurses in Vietnam— during the war, homecoming, and recovery. And it’s about a specific nurse and her family, friends, and love interests. I felt this was an important story to get out there. I had
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no idea how much worse things were for women vets back then. That said, the writing is overly melodramatic, the plot is ridiculously contrived and formulaic. But the reader was excellent and it went by fast.
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LibraryThing member ozzer
“There were no women in Vietnam.” Stated without irony, this phrase haunts Frankie McGrath following her return from two tours as an Army nurse in Vietnam. Not only does it deny her service and heroism, but also serves as a barrier to her coming to terms with her experience there. One wonders
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how another book on the trauma of that experience could possibly provide anything new or revelatory. This one ticks off all the usual boxes: misplaced patriotism, the brutality and waste of war, romantic involvements, indifference on the homefront, undiagnosed PTSD, addiction, and activism. This novel provides a somewhat innovative perspective, however, because it follows the coming-of-age of an Army nurse in wartime and during its aftermath. This provides Hannah with new opportunities to visit one of her recurrent themes: how women respond to significant challenges.

Frankie McGrath is a Dickensian protagonist who successfully navigates hard times and bad people with the help of a few good ones. Hannah’s evocation of the Vietnam era verges on the melodramatic, however. We get helicopters with sniper fire, rocket attacks on hospitals, rats, filth, chaotic emergency rooms, soldier jargon, rock and roll, and wartime comraderies. On the homefront, we get disgrace, shame, and denial even involving spitting and lying about where Frankie really spent her time during the war years. She experiences florid PTSD with all the usual sequelae, including alcoholism and drug abuse, but with little actual help.

With the exception of Frankie, all of the characters are cartoonish. Her father is bigoted, dogmatic, and self-involved. Her mom is a classical country club wife who relies on booze and “mother’s little helpers” to get through her days. Her two nurse colleagues reliably drop everything to come to her aid when she has a crisis. And her romantic involvements are just plain uncomfortable to read for their lack subtlety. I think the 10,000 women who served in Vietnam deserve a more realistic treatment of their sacrifices and service than one finds here.
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LibraryThing member sue222
Wow. This was a great book about a topic about which I knew very little.

In the first half of the book, Frankie McGrath goes to war, volunteering to become a nurse in Vietnam. This was by far my favorite part of the book. It was believable and heart-wrenching. I felt like I was right there with
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Frankie as she became immersed in the horrors, the purpose, and even the occasional joys of her days in Vietnam.

The second half, which took place after Frankie returned home, didn’t resonate as much with me. I felt like it tried to represent every woman who went to Vietnam, and in doing so somehow diminished each of their experiences. It was no longer Frankie I was reading about, but a “woman who went to war,” who experienced every possible outcome upon her return. Nonetheless, it was an amazing story—and I cried at the ending.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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LibraryThing member ZachMontana
Compelling historical fiction of a time period I lived thru and knew well. The Author does an excellent job of telling her story within a very accurate background of the time. Though I was in the Air Force at the time and was very much against the War, I was lucky not to have been sent there as I
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would have done my duty as thousands of others did. Stories from many of my peers and eventual accurate media coverage lead me to believe that the Author did an outstanding job of reflecting the environment. Like many, I was not aware there were Female Nurses at the extreme outposts of emergency care, nor of how terrible the conditions were. This book just reinforces to me the human failure to achieve a Civilized world when a major way to settle disputes is War which always mostly impacts the innocent! Fifty years later things are no better with Russia invading Ukraine, Syria forever war, and Israel overreacting to terrorism by wiping out most of Gaza.
This book points out well the collateral damage to the mental health of those involved who make it home physically safe and to their families and society. It also shows the value of friendships made in those terrible circumstances and the love that conquers even the worst of mankind. Even today in Ukraine and Gaza we see the heroism of medical people working in dangerous situations to do everything possible to save others. Americans just wanted to forget the Vietnam War, but there were so many heroic acts done by our fellow Americans who served there that it is fantastic to have this book capture that!
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LibraryThing member mrstreme
I loved the first half of the book, which was set primarily in Vietnam during the war, though I feel like I was reading similar stories and characters from the 1980's TV show, China Beach. Even the Catholic nurse part...

The second half of the book felt like a ghostwriter had come in and stood in
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for the author.

Nevertheless, I appreciate how Kristin Hannah and her popularity as an author will cast a much-needed light on the women nurses who served in Vietnam (and all wars). Heroic women. Women can definitely be heroes.
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LibraryThing member DrApple
I really hoped to like this book, but the story has been better told in the past. There are small, aggravating details that got on my last nerve. For example, everyone Frankie knows who is killed in Vietnam dies in a helicopter crash. Every time she describes a protest march the group is led by men
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in wheelchairs, then on crutches, then those who have been blinded led by their friends.
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LibraryThing member Cats57
4.5 Stars

I don't know what it was with this book or what magic this author used, but I was trapped. I first thought that it was going to be a 'did not finish' novel for me. I didn't like Frankie all that much throughout the entire novel, but I understood her. At times, I thought I was going to need
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some "mother's little helpers" to get through the pain, grief, and horror that was Frankie's time spent in 'Nam. But let me tell you, the war wasn't even the worst part.

I am so ashamed of how the public looked upon the returning Vets. I can understand it, but I am still ashamed. I was very young as this war was being waged, so I understood nothing until I read the historical novel. 20 years this war was fought (1955-1975), and like most wars, for what? But that is neither here nor there.

I could not put this book down. The troubles that Frankie faced with only the help of her fellow nurses were intense. I could see that it was PTSD, but there was really not such a thing back then.

Her love life issues -gah! I just wanted to do something really nasty to Rye, I really did, and I wouldn't have blamed Frankie one bit if she had done something nasty to him!

Eventually, Frankie does overcome her PTSD and helps others.

I really don't know how to express my feelings for this book. It just sucked me in and wouldn't let me go until the final page was read.
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LibraryThing member tamidale
I was just a child during the years of the Vietnam War, so suffice it to say I was not very tuned in to what was going on during that time. I am so glad to be able to read about it from an author who so often writes a story that captures my interest.

Frankie, a young woman of some privilege, does a
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brave and controversial thing when she signs up as an army nurse for Vietnam. Her parents find out after the fact and they were angry at what she had done.

Frankie’s idea was to follow her older brother to Vietnam and hopefully get a chance to see him while she worked as a nurse. However that scenario was not to be and Frankie was thrust into situations she could have never imagined.

Surprisingly, she stays for two tours of duty. Looking back, this seems like it was her undoing. When she finally returns home, life is not as she would have imagined and she has a difficult time adjusting.

This was a time when PTSD was just becoming known and people were not very knowledgeable about how addicting drugs could be. Combine the two and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Readers follow Frankie and her close friends and family as they deal with her situation to adjust to civilian life and find her new purpose post war. At a time when the women were not recognized as veterans, the book illustrates how hurtful and unfair it was to those women who served in any capacity. Add to that, the fact that even the men returning home from battle were looked down upon because the war was so unpopular in the states.

Some trigger warnings to readers are explicit description of injuries, alcohol and drug use, depression and loss of loved ones. In spite of all that, this was an excellent eye-opening look at what went on in Vietnam and the United States during those years.
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LibraryThing member eyes.2c
Stark truths___5 plus

The wall of heroes in Frances Grace McGrath father’s house holds no place for women!
When a friend, Rye Walsh, says to Frances that women can be hero’s, she believes him.
Her brother Finley, a recently graduated naval officer, is deployed to Vietnam. He doesn’t
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return.
Kristin Hannah has taken the story of women who served in Vietnam and broken it open, revealed it in a way that breaks your heart.
I’m rendered speechless by this beautiful, sobering story of one woman’s journey.
Frances is a barely trained nurse, just turned twenty-one who enlists with the Army to nurse in Vietnam. Believe me she hits the ground running, all innocence lost in her introduction to the harrowing circumstances she faces. Vietnam! A place where she’ll grow, grieve, and work under atrocious conditions.
The scenes of the overcrowded Mobile Medical units, ‘in country’, close to the fighting, are horrendous. Apocalypse Now on steroids.
Frances is betrayed by her country, the man she loves, and her family. When she arrives home she’s spat on, she’s abused.
The forgotten women of the war. Even Veteran Affairs refused to acknowledge the women as vets!
I cried a lot during the reading of this. The silence is resounding.
We all know Vietnam was a war that should never have happened. Frances’ story encapsulates that.
Frances’ journey is one of hope and disappointment, of shame and guilt, of coming to the place of personal peace at a huge cost.
Hannah has written a novel for all the forgotten women who served in Vietnam in a myriad of capacities. It’s a tribute to the harsh retelling, of the psychologically wounded, of the people who came home to a government that failed to support them, that refused to acknowledge MIA personal may still being held by the North Vietnamese, that lied to them, and like Pontius Pilate washed their hands, in the blood of their people.
Heroic in scope, tragic in forgotten-ness, a generation lost through no fault of their own. Some bought into the myth, some endured, most lost themselves.
Frances’ story encapsulates them all.
Lest we Forget! I know I won’t!

A St Martin’s Press ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.
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LibraryThing member jetangen4571
war, war-experiences, war-is-hell, wartime, historical-novel, historical-places-events, historical-research, historical-setting, history-and-culture, 1960s, coming-of-age, bravery, military, nursing, Vietnam, grief, grieving*****

Excruciatingly realistic and representative of those who lived through
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a time of great division and destruction of dreams. I became a nurse in 1968 and worked in an urban inner city mission hospital. Those depicted in this tribute were my coworkers, friends, and patients. They still are.
Voice actor Julia Whelan is excellent with interpretation and character definition.
I requested and received a temporary audiobook from Macmillan Audio via NetGalley. Thank you
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LibraryThing member LoriKBoyd
4.75 raised to 5.

It’s 1966, Frankie is 21, saying goodbye to her brother who is heading to Vietnam. In his honor, she enlists as a nurse and sent to Vietnam with little training. She is totally unprepared and overwhelmed for what she will encounter. We follow Frankie and her fellow nurses as they
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deal with the trauma of war and the politically divided USA they return to.

Kristin Hannah did it again…she transported me to a place I’ve never been but at a time I can remember even though I was young. I read this book with a huge lump in my throat, my heart breaking for the brave women who served our country and the treatment they received when returning home. “There are no women in Vietnam, dear” is a statement that will resonate throughout this book. This is fast paced and will totally have you hooked from beginning to end. The characters are realistic, flawed. They will learn to acknowledge their fears and demons and fight them head on. My only negative is I would have like a backstory of the secondary characters, which were an important part of Frankie’s story. It left me thinking about them. This is an important story that needed to be told only the way Ms. Hannah can. I highly recommend this book, but as with any war story be prepared for graphic details, suicide, drug use and PTSD.

Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for this ARC. This is my honest opinion.
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LibraryThing member susan.h.schofield
Kristin Hannah has done it again - this is an incredible book. Beautifully written, it is the story of Frankie McGrath, a nurse in the Vietnam war and her experiences in the war and her return home. It was heartbreaking to read about what the women who served in Vietnam went through - both in the
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war and how they were treated when they returned home. I highly recommend this book. Thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC.
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LibraryThing member erinclark
This book is a must read. It is the story of a young woman Frankie McGrath who in the 1960's wants to make a positive difference in the world as a combat nurse during the Viet Nam War. A strong theme throughout the book is 'Women can be Heroes too'. What she finds when she finally gets to Viet Nam
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is shocking, harrowing and not what she expected at all. She is thrown directly into brutal war time and scrambles to keep up using her nursing skills. She makes two very close friends who become lifetime besties, Ethel and Barb. These friends will stick together through thick and thin for the rest of their lives. She also falls in love, but cannot act on this feeling because the surgeon she loves is married. As the war rages on Frankie's eyes are opened to the lies of the American government who keep telling the American people that they are winning the war when clearly as Frankie can see by all the casualties they are not. After two years in Viet Nam she returns to the states to a total lack of welcome from not only her family but society. Frankie along with so many war veterans are tortured by nightmares, visions and terrible memories, what we now call PTSD. When she tries to get help from the Veterans Administration she is told that no women served in Viet Nam and they cannot help her. As Frankie spirals downward we see how horribly America treated veterans returning from this terrible and unfortunate war. The good news if that she does persevere and climbs out of her dire straits with the help of her friends. I loved this book. It has so much to teach us and is incredibly well researched. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, Every American should read it.

A huge thank you to Net Galley for the opportunity to listen/read the ARC audio version of this phenomenal book.
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LibraryThing member JillHannah
Oh wow. WOW! This is a book I'll definitely read again and recommend to everyone I know, a story long in the making (the author mentions that the idea came to her in 1997.) The Women pulls back another layer of the gruesome reality of the Vietnam War, the effect on nurses... in this case, army
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nurses who had a front-and-center view of the guts of horror.
I've done a lot of research on Vietnam over the past few years for two fiction books I've written that feature Vietnam Veterans. Yet, I had no clue about what the army nurses endured, especially the lack of support they received when they came back from war (not that the men were welcomed back either... that's another black mark in our history.)
I loved the characters and often felt I was right there in the thick of it all with them. It affected me so much and hit home on so many levels (my dad was a pilot in the Vietnam War) and I know a POW Vietnam Veteran (who is in the book I'm working on now). This story is not only a must-read, it is one that is long overdue to be told. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book. I'm preordering it so I can reread it!
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LibraryThing member susan0316
I hardly have the words to describe this book. It was so real and so emotional that my words can't do it justice. The 1960s were the years that I grew up - I graduated from high school and college and got married during that decade. I protested against the war and marched for equality but I never
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blamed the soldiers -as many people did - I blamed the politicians who took our country to this horrific chapter. I knew that there were women in Vietnam but I never really thought about the fact that they too were faced with terrible conditions and terrible experiences and often came home with PTSD and scorn from their fellow Americans. This beautifully written and well researched book by Kristin Hannah takes on the subject of women who served as nurses in Vietnam and what they faced on a day to day basis during the war and after their return home. I think that this book should be a must read for people who don't know much about Vietnam and what was going on in the United States during this time period -- it will be a real eye opener for them.

“Women can be heroes, too.”

Frankie McGrath has lived a rich and sheltered life with her conservative parents and her brother. Her father has a wall of heroes in his office with pictures of brave men in the family who have fought in wars. As the story begins, her older brother's picture is destined to go on the wall because he's leaving for Vietnam. A friend of his asks her why women can't be heroes too and that causes her to re-think her life plans. Her parents plan was that she would marry well and have children. She decides that after she finishes nurses training, she'll volunteer to be an Army nurse and go to Vietnam. When she is making her plans, she is totally naive about what it will be like and when she first gets there she is overwhelmed. She realizes that she made a huge mistake until her two roommates take her under their wings and teach her what needs to be done. The friends are there for each other during their tears and despair as they watch young men die all around them and they are also by her side years later as she works to become part of American life again. They are plagued with poor living conditions, working long hours and not having enough trained staff. It gets to the place that they all hate to hear the sound of helicopters bringing in more wounded and dying. But Frankie overcomes the issues and becomes a strong nurse even learning some operating procedures. We see a once quiet girl overcome the adversity that is thrown at her on a daily basis. When she returns home. she finds out that no one - not even her parents - are proud of what she's done. Her parents don't want to even talk about her time during the war. When she goes to the VA for help she's told that there were no women in Vietnam so she has to work through her issues on her own with the help of her friends. Her life is in chaos as she tries to go back to work and is relegated to bedpans and minimal duties after being responsible for the life and death of young soldiers. Will she ever be able to find the peace that she yearns for?

Frankie is one of the most well written and complex characters that I've read. It was easy to make a connection with the young and naive Frankie and then to stay connected with her throughout her years in the war and the years she fought to recover from the war. We were always taught in school that it was the men who lost their lives or who returned from war as broken people. Frankie is a reminder that women too were part of the wars and also returned as broken people and - in the case of Vietnam - unappreciated and scorned by the American public. I have loved previous books by this author but The Women is my new favorite.

Warning: Clear your calendar because you are not going to want to put this down AND have Kleenex close at hand because this story is going to cause tears of sadness, frustration and joy throughout.
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LibraryThing member KateBaxter
Wow! This is yet another magnificent addition by gifted writer Kristin Hannah to the pantheon of historical fiction. She has eloquently captured the heart and soul of America as it works its way through the Vietnam War years. The story is told through the life of a young nursing graduate who when
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challenged, believed that women can be heroes too. As her naval pilot brother heads off to war, Frankie enlists in the Army Nursing Corps. She had no idea what serving in Vietnam entails and was quickly baptized in the cauldron of war. Sure, she was green to start but her bunkmates embraced her, encouraged her and celebrated her can-do approach. Surely, her parents will be proud of all she has achieved and after two tours, she heads home. Will she be able to fit in after all she's been through? Will she be recognized for the service she gave? Will she survive back in her old world? These are among the many questions Frankie must face...alone.

Ms. Hannah knows her history and has done a Herculean amount of research to deliver such a thorough and informative story. Into it she imbues a rich tapestry of lush scenery, the ugliness of war and a vast array of emotions. The reader becomes fully invested in the life of Frankie. We ride the emotional rollercoaster right beside her, the entire way. (It's best to keep the tissue box nearby.) We cheer for her as she conquers fears, disappointments and setbacks. Through it all, hope prevails.

Having grown up in the Vietnam era, I was familiar with the events touched upon in the course of the narrative. Yet I was far too young to understand the politics and fickleness of public opinion. This book opened my eyes and heart to a far deeper understanding of what had transpired back in the 60s. This is an outstanding and well written story that I will gladly share with all my bookish friends.

I am grateful to St. Martin's Press for having provided a complimentary uncorrected digital galley of this book through NetGalley. Their generosity, however, has not influenced this review - the words of which are mine alone.

Anticipated Publication Date: 02/06/2024
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 978-1250178633
No. of pages: 480
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LibraryThing member WeeziesBooks
I have appreciated all of the Kristin Hannah books that I have read. Some are more emotionally difficult to read than others. For me, this was the most challenging. Living through the horrors of the Vietnam War and losing close friends in the war made this book very personal to me. I never
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appreciated the service the women of my time gave until reading this book. Looking back, there was no honor or appreciation given to the male soldiers, and the women were not even acknowledged or discussed. It was such a terrible time in our history and Hannah has captured it with a depth of feeling and full and descriptive passages. It is an emotionally hard book to read but one that everyone should read. I give The Women a five-star rating. and a postscript... I have never cried so much reading a book as I did during The Women.
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LibraryThing member BettyTaylor56
Another fabulous Kristin Hannah book. I highly recommend this book. It is truly historical fiction at its best, with an emotionally charged narrative that transcends the war genre.

The book’s compelling narrative kept me hooked from beginning to end. The characters were well-developed. The
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protagonist, Frankie McGrath, is a complex, relatable character. Her flaws and strengths were so realistic she could have been any of us. The pacing of the book is fast and engaging, with rapid page-turning action in the first half of the novel specifically.

I loved the strong female friendships of the three central women characters. Their relationship provided an emotional depth.

Kristin Hannah undertook extensive research and gave us a novel that sheds light on lesser-known aspects of the Vietnam War, particularly the role of female military nurses.

The heartbreaking realism deeply moved me and was a realistic portrayal of the Vietnam War and the challenges faced by the characters both during and after the conflict.

The conclusion of the novel is emotionally powerful and has left a lasting impression on me.
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LibraryThing member Dianekeenoy
Kristin Hannah has done it again! This is a book that was very hard to put down. I loved it!
LibraryThing member jbarr5
The Women by Kristin Hannah
This story hit home with me. I recall sitting with my brother and his friends as they listened to the radio where they were drawing dates and if you date came up you were going to be drafted. Didn't realize what this all was about as I was only 12. This book opened my
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eyes to so much.
Story starts out with the party for her brother as he’s heading to fight a war in Vietnam. We soon learn of her social life and how it makes her think that she can help in her own way.
She becomes a combat nurse and is in the swing of things, in th emiddle of the war. She has two other besties, Ethel and ..... who bail her out from time to time. She has some romances but she meets her brothers best friend Rye there also. She knows he's NOT engaged.
As she extends her tour she does make it back after we learn how she was kept busy with the villages and men who came in wounded. Back in the US she was not treated as a returning veteran. Also she did not see combat she suffered what the soldier had experienced first hand.
Her life is a mess and she tries many different things, just not being herself. Her mother helps with pills but that doesn't work either. Through more difficult times for her she finally comes out of her misery with help and rehab and love how it all turns out. SO many secrets and she was just naive, to even see what was right in front of her.
Very hard book for me to read, had tears in my eyes at many times when I'd recall my brothers and his friends that didn't get to go there.
Received this review copy from St. Martins Press via Netgalley and this is my honest opinion.
#KristinHannah #NetGalley.
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LibraryThing member Anniik
TW/CW: Death, violence, war crimes, sex, infidelity, talk of suicide, PTSD, drug use, alcohol use

RATING: 4/5

REVIEW: The Women is the story of Frances ‘Frankie’ McGrath, a young woman who joins the army as a nurse in Vietnam. It follows her through her service and after she returns home,
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exploring the affects the war has on her.

This was a good book. It wasn’t perfect, but I absolutely enjoyed it. It was powerful and at times very sad, and I felt that when I finished the book that maybe I understood that time in history a little bit better.

I did, however, think that it had some pacing problems, probably because it covers such a long period of time (1966-1983) in which so much happens. At some points you’ll basically be following the characters hour by hour and then run across a “two months later…” It wasn’t a major fault, but it did bug me a little. Also, the last third of the book was starting to feel a bit like misery porn to me. I understand that bad things are happening and that this is her downward spiral, but I feel like that was overdone just a little.

All in all, I did enjoy reading this book and I would recommend it to fans of historical fiction.
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LibraryThing member sdbookhound
My sincere thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for giving me the opportunity to read The Women by Kristin Hannah. I give my honest opinion of the book in the following review.

I was immediately drawn to Kristin Hannah's newest book because I have always been fascinated with the Vietnam War
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time period. I was too young to remember the war. My father was of the age that he would have gone if it hadn't been for having a tumor cut out of his leg as a young man. Instead, he stayed home to farm and start a family. He had friends that went and some experienced what is described in this book. Some had health issues for the rest of their lives due to Agent Orange and PTSD. Kristin Hannah's writing is excellent and the amount of research she did for this book is evident in the details and descriptions of Vietnam. The difficulties that Frankie experiences after coming home from her two tours was also well written and believable even though I don't want to believe that the vets were treated in such a horrifying way.

My favorite thing about The Women is the relationship between Frankie and her two nurse friends Ethel and Barb. What a bond they had. I didn't, however, appreciate the two twists near the end of the book. I can't say too much without spoiling. I had been hoping for a different, even happier twist that sadly didn't happen. All in all, this was an excellent book, and I will be re-reading at some point as well as recommending it to those who enjoy historical fiction of this time period.
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LibraryThing member Maret-G
This story has two parts. One of them takes place during the Vietnam War, where Frankie, as a nurse, experiences war chaos and destruction. Every day she helps men return to their families, but very often she simply holds their hand and lets them know that they are not alone at the time of
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death.

The second part takes place as Frankie returns home from the war, proud of her service, but faces unexpected harm from the people, betrayal by the government, and her parents' shame over her military service.

A very powerful and hearbreaking story💔. Frankie returned home from the war to begin another battle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Frankie was a hero, like so many women and men who served in Vietnam.

Another great book by one of my favorite authors.
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LibraryThing member Gingersnap000
Another sad and tragic protagonist in another Kristen Hannah book. Frances "Frankie" McGrath is a privilege white woman who becomes a nurse to join her brother in Vietnam. Unfortunately while she is stationed there, he is killed.

Matters get worst as she experiences two more tragic losses. As a
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naive girl of 21 years old, she was not prepared for war and especially not the brutal Vietnam war. When she returns she is looked upon a baby killer and told no women served in 'Nam.

Ms. Hannah's writing pulls you into the era which you could forget as you personally lost friends, classmates and a love to the war. Frankie was just too weak to take all.the emotional loss, horrific incidents and betrayal that she experienced. She falls into a deep dark place and also loses it all. If it wasn't for her two fellow nurses, Barb and Ethel, she made it out of her turmoil.
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LibraryThing member tamarack804
Just finished "The Women" and it was outstanding. Kristin Hannah has wrote another great novel about one of most troubling times in America. Vietnam era was spot on with her information and returning home was how it happened to me especially at airports. A great read for those who were there and
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for anyone who wants to know what it was like in late 60's early 70'ls "Welcome Home"
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Awards

LibraryReads (Monthly Pick — Hall of Fame — February 2024)

Pages

480

ISBN

1250178630 / 9781250178633
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