We are proud to announce that BookBrowse has won Platinum in the 2024 Modern Library Awards.

Reviews of The Women by Kristin Hannah

The Women

A Novel

by Kristin Hannah

The Women by Kristin Hannah X
The Women by Kristin Hannah
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Feb 2024, 480 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Jordan Lynch
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

From master storyteller Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Four Winds, comes the story of a turbulent, transformative era in America: the 1960s.

"Women can be heroes, too."

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.

The Women is the story of one woman gone to war, but it shines a light on the story of all women who put themselves in harm's way to help others. Women whose sacrifice and commitment to their country has all too often been forgotten. A novel of searing insight and lyric beauty, The Women is a profoundly emotional, richly drawn story with a memorable heroine whose extraordinary idealism and courage under fire define a generation.

One

CORONADO ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

MAY 1966

The walled and gated McGrath estate was a world unto itself, protected and private. On this twilit evening, the Tudor-style home's mullioned windows glowed jewel-like amid the lush, landscaped grounds. Palm fronds swayed overhead; candles floated on the surface of the pool and golden lanterns hung from the branches of a large California live oak. Black-clad servers moved among the well-dressed crowd, carrying silver trays full of champagne, while a jazz trio played softly in the corner.

Twenty-year-old Frances Grace McGrath knew what was expected of her tonight. She was to be the very portrait of a well-bred young lady, smiling and serene; any untoward emotions were to be contained and concealed, borne in silence. The lessons Frankie had been taught at home and at church and at St. Bernadette's Academy for Girls had instilled in her a rigorous sense of propriety. The unrest going on across the country these days, erupting on city streets and college...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Based on years of research and guidance from real-life Vietnam War nurses, The Women vividly describes the horrors of war and the beauty of friendship and forgiveness while honoring the women whose service in Vietnam has been largely ignored...continued

Full Review Members Only (719 words)

(Reviewed by Jordan Lynch).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

Publishers Weekly
Hannah's emotionally charged page-turner (after The Four Winds) centers on a young nurse whose life is changed by the Vietnam War...Hannah's depictions of Frankie tending to wounded soldiers are urgent and eye-opening, and a reunion of the three nurses for Frankie's benefit is poignantly told. Fans of women's historicals will enjoy this magnetic wartime story.

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

Author Blurb Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing
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.

Author Blurb Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn
Many would say that the nurses who helped fight the Vietnam War were forgotten. Believe me, for those of us who were there, these women were never forgotten--and never will be. Kristin Hannah honors them with this novel.

Author Blurb Nicholas D. Kristof, Pulitzer Prize–winning coauthor of Half the Sky
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.

Reader Reviews

wincheryl

This book will resonate for a long time.
I grew up during the Vietnam war. I learned so much from this book that I did not know. I shed a few tears and throughly enjoyed this book. Great writing and characters-it will stay with me for a long time.
Jill

Overdue Tribute
The Women by Kristin Hannah Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the ARC audiobook Narrated by: Julia Whelan and Kristin Hannah reading authors note I’ve always enjoyed Julia Whelan’s narrations and she does another excellent read ...   Read More
Lynda We.chel

Story That Needed Telling - hard to put down!
A story of women in Vietnam, trials, love, the heartbreak of The Vietnam War. The music quotes, protests against the war. All there. Culture and events in the USA to look back on - remember and to learn. “When will we ever learn - war - a long ...   Read More
She Treads Softly

Very highly recommended historical fiction
The Women by Kristin Hannah is an exceptional portrait of a nurse serving "in country" during the Vietnam War and then returning home. This is a very highly recommended, emotionally charged historical fiction novel which will certainly be one of the ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

The Vietnam Women's Memorial

Sculpture showing three military womenIn Kristin Hannah's The Women, nursing student Frances "Frankie" McGrath joins the Army Nurse Corps and is shipped overseas to serve as a combat nurse in the Vietnam War. Upon returning home, Frankie spends years running from her trauma until she eventually finds a way to share her experiences. At the end of the novel, she stands before the newly unveiled Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and vows to find a way to honor the women like herself who served. Frankie's vow is similar to that of Diane Carlson Evans, who dedicated more than a decade of her life to the creation of the Vietnam Women's Memorial.

Evans served in Vietnam as an Army Corps Nurse from 1966 to 1972. After the ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Women, try these:

  • Banyan Moon jacket

    Banyan Moon

    by Thao Thai

    Published 2024

    About this book

    A sweeping, evocative debut novel following three generations of Vietnamese American women reeling from the death of their matriarch, revealing the family's inherited burdens, buried secrets, and unlikely love stories.

  • The White Lady jacket

    The White Lady

    by Jacqueline Winspear

    Published 2024

    About this book

    More by this author

    The White Lady introduces yet another extraordinary heroine from Jacqueline Winspear, creator of the best-selling Maisie Dobbs series. This heart-stopping novel, set in Post WWII Britain in 1947, follows the coming of age and maturity of former wartime operative Elinor White—veteran of two wars, trained killer, protective of her anonymity&#...

We have 5 read-alikes for The Women, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
More books by Kristin Hannah
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Neighbors and Other Stories
    Neighbors and Other Stories
    by Diane Oliver
    The history of American segregation, along with changes to it in the 1960s, is sometimes taught and ...
  • Book Jacket: Wild and Distant Seas
    Wild and Distant Seas
    by Tara Karr Roberts
    Tara Karr Roberts is a newspaper columnist who also teaches English and journalism. Wild and Distant...
  • Book Jacket: The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years
    The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years
    by Shubnum Khan
    Shubnum Khan's eloquent and moving debut novel opens in 1932, when a djinn that haunts a house by ...
  • Book Jacket: Transient and Strange
    Transient and Strange
    by Nell Greenfieldboyce
    Throughout her powerful essay collection, Transient and Strange, science reporter Nell ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Mockingbird Summer
by Lynda Rutledge
A powerful and emotional coming-of-age novel set in the 1960s by the bestselling author of West with Giraffes.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Strong Passions
    by Barbara Weisberg

    Shocking revelations of a wife's adultery in 19th New York explode in an incendiary trial exposing the upper-crust and its secrets.

  • Book Jacket

    Leaving
    by Roxana Robinson

    An engrossing exploration of the vows we make to one another and what we owe to others and ourselves.

Win This Book
Win The Cleaner

The Cleaner
by Brandi Wells

Rarely has cubicle culture been depicted in such griminess or with such glee."
PW (starred review)

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.