Book Review: The Women by Kristin Hannah

March 21, 2024


The Women by Kristin Hannah paints a portrait of America during, and after, the Vietnam war through the eyes of a combat nurse. Ms. Hannah is an award-winning, bestselling novelist.

  • 480 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : St. Martin’s Press
  • Language ‏ : English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250178630

Book Review: The Women by Kristin Hannah
My rat­ing for The Women5

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In the era that I grew up in, America seemed to have come to terms with the Vietnam War and honored the service and sacrifice of the men and women who served. Historical works, literary works, cinema, and even pop culture were doing their best to come to grips with a national trauma.

My wife, an avid reader as well, read The Women by Kristin Hannah, with a box full of tissues, in a few days. She loved the book and highly recommended it, so it moved up quickly to the top of my TBR pile.

The writing and narrative are excellent, plunging the reader into the chaos of war. Many of her scenes take place while music of the era is playing in the background, and you can find the book’s playlist on Spotify.

There are no deep revelations or reshaping of what we already know about Vietnam, quite the opposite, the novel plunges into affirming the history and narrative. Through the eyes of Frankie, we get to a moving experience, told with honesty and conviction about the struggles of women veterans. Frankie and her fellow nurses toiled with many of the issues the men had. PTSD, casualties, personal tragedies, and more. They did not, however, have a support system in place because they were never in battle.

I could have done without the somewhat happy ending though. It simply felt out of place after an engrossing read, as if everything was going to be all right. Which, of course, it isn’t many times especially when it comes to the struggles of those who came back home from Vietnam.

Nevertheless, I also finished the book in a few short days and learned a few things along the way. This is an overlooked story which should have been told years ago.


Frances McGrath, who goes by Frankie, lives in an ideal, upper-middle-class, life in California. After her brother ships to serve in Vietnam, she joins the Army Nurse Corpse against her parents’ wishes.

Nothing can prepare the inexperienced nurse for the horrors of war. Overwhelmed at first, Frankie finds out how to cope with the death she sees around her. After two tours, coming home Frankie faces another war, that of a divided America who hates her for her service.

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More Books by Kristin Hannah*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I bought this book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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