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The Women: A Novel af Kristin Hannah
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The Women: A Novel (original 2024; udgave 2024)

af Kristin Hannah (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
1,4648212,709 (4.39)1 / 18
"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."--… (mere)
Medlem:MayvilleLibrary
Titel:The Women: A Novel
Forfattere:Kristin Hannah (Forfatter)
Info:St. Martin's Press (2024), Edition: First Edition, 480 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Women af Kristin Hannah (2024)

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» Se også 18 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 82 (næste | vis alle)
Not always a fan of Hannah's books, but this one was a good read. Very gripping and emotional and gave me some new perspective on the Vietnam war - from women who were there. Connected with many of the characters also. ( )
  carolfoisset | Jun 15, 2024 |
The Women is an historical fiction by American author Kristin Hannah, about the Vietnam War, or more specifically about the women who served in that war. I read this book for our Book Club.

Frances “Frankie” McGrath has grown up in a privileged family on Coronado Island, California. When her beloved brother Finley signs up to join the war, Frankie wants to follow. Despite the prevailing idea about womens’ roles, her brother's friend Rye plants a seed in her mind with his statement that, “Women can be heroes, too.” Frankie is soon off as an idealistic 20 year old to join the Army Nurses Corps, save people and impress her father. Although her brother’s death is hugely destructive and tragic in her parents’ lives, it seems to pass over Frankie without much of a ripple. Soon she is bathed in blood, performing life-saving surgery, and eyeing up the handsome married doctor Jamie (seemingly a recurrent problem for Frankie).

The best part of Frankie’s wartime experience was the close friendship she developed with Barb and Ethel, posted to the 36th Evacuation Hospital with her, a friendship which lasts through thick and thin. The injuries presenting to the field hospital are described in detail. Hannah gives us a very American view of the war though, with not one Vietnamese character actually portrayed in the whole book. I was glad she had the courage to call out the government’s lies, their flawed motivation for going to war (“Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity”) and also the fact that they did in fact bomb civilian villages. However, this was somehow unbalanced for me by the portrayal of upright, patriotic Americans trying to save babies. I recently read the excellent book The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai which gives a totally different perspective, being about Vietnamese civilians trying to live through this horror. The American version of the story oddly tends to be about how much they suffered (in a war totally of their making) and glosses over the enormous number of Vietnamese deaths, casualties and refugees.

After the war, Frankie returns to America exhausted and shattered by what she has seen only to be spat on by people and called a “baby-killer” for her role in Vietnam. There are anti-war protests and the soldiers are reviled for their involvement rather than welcomed home as heroes like in previous conflicts. Worse still, no-one seems to even acknowledge the 10,000 American military women who were stationed in Vietnam during the war. Frankie is turned away from the Vietnam Vet programs when she seeks help for her PTSD, as she is not considered a soldier.

Frankie’s life post-war plunges into an avalanche of chaos, with her narrow-minded parents being ashamed of her war service and wanting her to continue a life of parties, glamour and a nice marriage. Frankie struggles with drugs, alcohol and broken relationships. I think there is a very moving look at the psychological difficulties of soldiers returning from a devastating conflict, to a nation which completely rejects them. The impact is somewhat lessened by the pace at which the story smashes along from one drama to the next. Frankie’s friends are gold and testament to the power of female friendships (although I found the support flowed mainly from them to her rather than being reciprocated). In this sense the book should probably be called The Woman rather than The Women as it is basically a Frankie monologue, with little of any other womens’ experiences actually being shared.

Overall this is a book with a powerful message, trying to right the wrong done to women in overlooking their stories and their part in history. It highlights the massive cultural shifts happening between the 1950s and the 1960s. It also sheds light on some of the wrongs done in the Vietnam war, although it still presents a very American perspective that does not really touch on the impact on the Vietnamese themselves. It grapples with other serious issues such as PTSD, shame, trauma and addiction. I felt the story was somewhat spoiled by the instaromances scattered throughout, with some improbable twists. None of the romances felt particularly convincing to me, and didn’t overly add to the story. The whole “good girl” trying to resist a married man line, became rapidly old with repetition. I still found this to be mostly a gripping story with some important points to make. The audio narration by Julia Whelan was excellent. 3.5 stars ( )
  mimbza | Jun 10, 2024 |
The Women is an absorbing, affecting and emotional story of a woman who was a nurse on the frontlines in the Vietnam war and her struggles after she returns home to America. It’s brutal at times, but an accurate representation of history.

Frankie has always been a good girl in her well-off family. She’s never really thought about women having the power to do and change things but at a going away party for her brother, an offhand comment changes that. She plans to follow him to Vietnam as a nurse and is soon on her way. Vietnam isn’t what Frankie thought, and her training helps very little. It’s learn on the job, and learn fast as the wounded keep appearing. Frankie makes some good friends and learns quickly. But Vietnam is also an emotional rollercoaster and the staff do nearly anything to forget. Frankie falls in love, but soon that is taken away. When it’s time to return home, America has changed a lot. The tide has changed from America saving the world. People are against the war and actively hostile to those who took part in it. For Frankie, there is no debrief or ongoing help. She spirals out of control multiple times, only to be refused help because ‘there were no women in Vietnam, dear’. It’s frustrating to watch as Frankie tries and fails to cope, made harder by all the curveballs thrown at her. Can she ever truly move on from Vietnam?

The novel is highly emotional and to be blunt, Frankie has all her darlings killed and then some. There is a lot of overt sexism with women being put in their place repeatedly (the only place it doesn’t happen is Vietnam, where the nurses pull their weight). PTSD, illegal drug use and mental health are explored as are the consequences of war from the battlefield to the memories afterwards. It isn’t helpful for Frankie that her parents are unable/unwilling to help her, thinking ignoring her time in Vietnam and downgrading it to a European holiday is helpful, or by buying her a house and car. Agent Orange is touched on, but I would have liked to have seen more described about the long-term effects. Frankie is left with her friends to help shoulder her trauma, and they are the best at it, as they are the ones who understand. The majority of others don’t seem to be able, or choose not to. A strong theme throughout the book is the power of friendship, and just being there when needed.

The writing is sound. It’s not the type of novel where you pause and savour every sentence, this is the kind of novel about the story and drama. It’s a little cheesy at times, but the strength of the fast-paced story makes up for it. The story is one that hasn’t really come to attention in fiction. I guess that’s because humidity, mildew and war aren’t overly romantic but it’s still a story worth telling, particularly in the current political climate. War isn’t pretty, and has a multitude of long ranging consequences.

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | Jun 8, 2024 |
There were indeed women in Vietnam, and this novel focuses on that by telling the story of nurses who were there. I was young when this war was going on, and it wasn't discussed in history class, so I learned a lot thought the the author's description in the first part of the book. It was quite graphic in places, and while the book was often hard to read, I understand the reason behind it. The second part of the book lagged towards the end. Some of the story ended too neatly to be believable, plus I don't believe the reader saw the true plight of some of the veterans since Frankie's wealthy family kept her from suffering as many did. ( )
  hobbitprincess | Jun 3, 2024 |
A fast read for a long book. Interesting story and angle: a nurse in Vietnam. It was a bit predictable and thin, but the point, to remember the women who served in the Vietnam war, was interesting enough to make a good read.
  BookyMaven | Jun 3, 2024 |
Viser 1-5 af 82 (næste | vis alle)
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 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.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerWashington Post, Stephanie Merry (betalingsside) (Feb 9, 2024)
 
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 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.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerNew York Times, Beatriz Williams (betalingsside) (Feb 1, 2024)
 
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, 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.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerKirkus Reviews (Nov 4, 2023)
 
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This war has . . . stretched the generation gap so wide that it threatens to pull the country apart.

—FRANK CHURCH
In a country where youth is adored, we lost ours before we were out of our twenties. We learned to accept death there, and it erased our sense of immortality. We met our human frailties, the dark side of ourselves, face-to-face . . . The war destroyed our faith, betrayed our trust, and dropped us outside the mainstream of our society. We still don't fully belong. I wonder if we ever will.

—WINNIE SMITH
AMERICAN DAUGHTER GONE TO WAR
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This novel is dedicated to the courageous women who served in Vietnam. These women, most of them nurses and many of them raised on proudly told family stories of World War II heroism, heeded their country's call to arms and went to war. In too many instances, they came home to a country that didn't care about their service and a world that didn't want to hear about their experiences; their post-war struggles and their stories were too often forgotten or marginalized. I am proud to have this opportunity to shine a light on their strength, resilience, and grit.
And to all veterans and POW/MIA and their families, who have sacrificed so much.
And finally, to the medical personnel who fought the pandemic and gave so much of themselves to help others.
Thank you.
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The walled and gated McGrath estate was a world unto itself, protected and private.
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"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."--

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