Get your hankies ready! The Women is a near constant tearjerker.
Nothing goes right for Frankie. Frankie decides to finish her nursing degree to join her brother in Vietnam. It’s 1965 and war is still considered a patriotic duty. The day she joins up, her family receives notification that Frankie’s brother is dead. But Frankie is still obligated to go. So, she does. Vietnam is chaotic and terrifying. But Frankie soldiers on. While there, she meets lifetime friends and endures tragic news.
I am purposefully not mentioning the multitude of spoilers past this point. However, suffice it to say, it’s great historical fiction. Many parts were surprising even for someone who lived through the war as a child.
It is hard not to empathize with Frankie even when she makes poor decisions. She is a unique woman (notice I didn’t say character because she seems so real) who will be hard to forget. I read this book like a whirlwind because I just had to find out what was next for Frankie. However, I was disappointed with the rather pedestrian final scene. I was hoping for a more empowering end to Frankie’s story. To be honest, I had already written one in my head by then but perhaps it was too far away from modern times for my conclusion. Anyway, The Women is a very powerful book that is highly recommended. 5 stars and a favorite!
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.