This post contains affiliate links.  I have read many Kristin Hannah books. The first one I read, The Nightingale, blew me away. However, I felt her other books could never could match up. When I got my hands on the new release, The Women by Kristin Hannah, I thought that maybe I’d found another book by her on par with The Nightingale. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Red cover with Kristin Hannah written in gold and The Women written in white.

About The Women by Kristin Hannah

This book follows the life of Frankie McGrath, who spontaneously signs up to be a nurse in Vietnam. She falsely believes that since she’s a nurse, she’ll be safe from battle. However, her first few days quickly show that belief is false. She sees horrors that, thankfully, most never see.

Yet, in the midst of so much horror, she finds good friends, especially in fellow nurses, Ethel and Barb. Their stories are told in the periphery of Frankie’s story throughout the entire book.

The first half of the book is entirely devoted to Frankie’s time in Vietnam. This is where Hannah’s writing shines and the story is stellar.

The second half of the book covers Frankie’s return from Vietnam and the next 20 years of her life.

My Thoughts on the Book

Generally, I don’t like to read historical fiction set during the Vietnam era, but the first half of this book changed my mind. I learned a lot about what the soldiers and nurses went through and endured during that time. Especially enlightening was Frankie’s return home to civilian life. Dressed in her fatigues at the airport, someone spits on her. She endures anger and criticism as a Vietnam vet.

I also learned that there were few resources available for the nurses who served in Vietnam. The only help available was to veterans who had seen combat. Frankie struggles greatly when she returns home as she experiences post-traumatic stress and alcoholism, but even though she seeks help, she is unable to find any.

Despite these positives, there were definitely changes I would have liked to have seen in this book.

First, I’d love it if Hannah had developed Ethel and Barb’s stories more fully. I would have enjoyed reading just as much about them as Frankie.

Second, someone needs to tell Hannah that the plot twists in the second half of the book are completely unbelievable and weaken the story tremendously.

I give The Women by Kristin Hannah 3.5 out of 5 stars. (If I were to judge it just on the first half of the book, I would give it 5 out of 5 stars.)

Read More

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah {A Book Review}

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah {A Book Review}

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah {A Book Review}

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah {A Book Review}

Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah {A Book Review}

 

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