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The Women

by Kristin Hannah

Pan MacMillan

Women can be heroes, too’. When twenty-year-old nursing student, Frances “Frankie” McGrath, hears these unexpected words, it is a revelation. Raised on California’s 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 path for her life. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she impulsively joins the Army Nurses Corps and follows his path.

As green and inexperienced as the young 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 America. What a beautiful, moving story of the Vietnam war told from the women's perspective, the true power of friendship and what it really takes to be a hero.  I was spellbound.

As is true with too many historical stories, no one ever talks about the women who served in the war. Most were nurses, but not all. When I began to collect their stories, hear about their wartime experiences and their rejection and problems upon coming home to a changed and deeply divided America, I knew that this story — like the one about World War II I found that became The Nightingale — needed to be told. The bravery, patriotism, and struggle of The Women needs to be recognized and honored. I am so honored to have spoken to so many of these women and am proud to illuminate their service. - Kristin Hannah

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“Hannah’s tale, rich with period detail, is an impassioned tribute to the heroism of the many thousands who did serve, as well as a hymn to female solidarity in the darkest of settings. It’s a surprisingly original take on a well-trodden subject.” ―The Times (London)

"Hannah again shines her light on overlooked women in history" ―People Magazine

"Hannah is in top form here... 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. She gathers women into the (Vietnam) experience with moving conviction." ―The New York Times

“The Women is historical fiction at its very best. So moving, so wrenching, and yet, in the end, uplifting. Brava! I loved The Nightingale and The Four Winds, but The Women is my favorite.” ―Nicholas D. Kristof, Pulitzer Prize–winning coauthor of Half the Sky

“One of the greatest storytellers of our time, Kristin Hannah, tackles one of the most cruel and despicable wars of the last century, the Vietnam War. The Women reveals the powerful contributions and horrific sacrifices of the American military nurses who served in a war whose agencies refused to acknowledge that they were even there. Perhaps no words can bring closure to a nation still ashamed of booing our returning heroes, but the heroine, Frances McGrath, stirs a deep, overdue compassion and tears for every single soldier―and especially the forgotten women who sacrificed so much. Never has a novel of war metamorphosed so profoundly into a story of the human heart.” ―Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing

“Stuns with sacrifice; uplifts with heroism . . . an important, long overdue tribute to the brave women nurses who served in Vietnam.” ―Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry



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