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Book Review: Sisters in Arms

My department at work started a Little Free Library. I know, you're all jealous. We have a place to bring those stacks of books we're not going to read again, plus a place to pick up new reads that our co-workers purchased. It's a win-win. This week's book review comes from the first book I plucked from the shelf of our new library.

My review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Pros: Strong characters + loose ties to actual events make this a great read. The book is fairly clean with much of the action focused on the two main women characters.

Cons: The book does include some language and off-the-page sex between an unmarried couple.

My Thoughts: Last week I reviewed another historical novel from WWII. This one covers some of the same themes from a different angle. Sisters in Arms tells the story of two women joining the armed forces during WWII from the perspective of African-American women.

While both the characters in both books want to help their country, they are received in different ways due to the color of their skin. This novel is very frank about what African-American women were allowed to do and how they were treated during the 1940s. That did not stop these women and their sisters from aiding the US army as they took on Hitler.

Grace Steele and Eliza Jones meet for the first time as they register to join the Women's Army Auxillary Corps. They come from very different backgrounds: Grace a talented pianist from a poor family with an overbearing mother and Eliza a writer from a well-off family with an overbearing father. Initially, they can't stand each other, but gradually they find they must work together to support their fellow sisters in arms and the US army.

Grace and Eliza eventually find themselves in England with the overwhelming task of sorting through a year's worth of mail to servicemen. Some of it is easy to deliver, but other pieces addressed to "Robert somewhere in Europe" prove to be more difficult.

In the midst of it all, they prove they have the grit and determination to succeed in the Army. They face discrimination from rudeness to violence and continue to complete the task ahead of them.

I'm guilty of not seeing novels written by people who look different than me. Unless it's an author whose work I've read before, I often pay little attention to who wrote a book. I usually read the back cover copy, look to see who published the book, and read a few reviews. I'm trying to branch out and be more intentional about reading more diverse authors. This book proved to be a great choice from a different point of view.


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