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Book Public: 'The Women' by Kristin Hannah

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Kristin Hannah
Kristin Hannah

In Kristin Hannah’s latest novel, The Women, we meet protagonist Frances, “Frankie” McGrath. She’s a twenty-year-old nursing student. It’s 1965 and the world around her is changing.

While she is living in California with her conservative parents, her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam.

Frankie impulsively joins the Army Nurse Corps in an effort to follow a path he had heroically forged.

She is as green and inexperienced as her brother had been in the context of war and combat, chaos and destruction. Even in her role as an army nurse, she is subject to violence, trauma. She experiences untold horrors and sorrows.

When she returns home to the States, she must face a changed and politically divided America while experiencing post-traumatic stress and alcohol addiction.

She also has a broken heart.

The novel shows the ways Frankie–even in the worst of times– is always supported by her friends–other combat nurses–The Women.

Yvette Benavides can be reached at bookpublic@tpr.org.