Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War
Product rating: 4.3 with 173 reviews
“A raw, intimate look at the impact of combat and the healing power of friendship” (People
): the lives of three women deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and the effect of their military service on their personal lives and families—
named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly
“In the tradition of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Richard Rhodes, and other masters of literary journalism, Soldier Girls
is utterly absorbing, gorgeously written, and unforgettable” (The Boston Globe
). Helen Thorpe follows the lives of three women over twelve years on their paths to the military, overseas to combat, and back home…and then overseas again for two of them. These women, who are quite different in every way, become friends, and we watch their interaction and also what happens when they are separated. We see their families, their lovers, their spouses, their children. We see them work extremely hard, deal with the attentions of men on base and in war zones, and struggle to stay connected to their families back home. We see some of them drink too much, have affairs, and react to the deaths of fellow soldiers. And we see what happens to one of them when the truck she is driving hits an explosive in the road, blowing it up. She survives, but her life may never be the same again.
Deeply reported, beautifully written, and powerfully moving, Soldier Girls
is “a breakthrough work…What Thorpe accomplishes in Soldier Girls
is something far greater than describing the experience of women in the military. The book is a solid chunk of American history…Thorpe triumphs” (The New York Times Book Review
Posted in Women Tagged with: Battles, Girls, Home, Scribner, Soldier, Three, Women
The Secret History of Wonder Woman
Product rating: 4.3 with 184 reviews
Wonder Woman, created in 1941, on the brink of World War II, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, she has lasted the longest and commanded the most vast and wildly passionate following. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike others, she also has a secret history.
In Jill Lepore’s riveting work of historical detection, Wonder Woman’s story provides the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights—a chain of events that begins with the women’s suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later.
This edition includes a new afterword with fresh revelations based on never before seen letters and photographs from the Marston family’s papers.
With 161 illustrations and 16 pages in full color
Posted in Women Tagged with: History, Secret, Vintage, Woman, Wonder
A Life Let Go: A Memoir and Five Birth Mother Stories of Closed Adoption
by: Long Journey Home Press
Product rating: 5.0 with 2 reviews
Closed adoption, heralded as the answer to the problem of unplanned pregnancy, shows its other side in A Life Let Go, A Memoir and Five Birth Mother Stories of Closed Adoption. These women tell how they experienced unplanned pregnancy in the restrictiveness of the last decades of the twentieth century. All gave up a child in closed adoption—the only option—understanding they would never see them again, a dark contract made under great duress. 1972: Patricia is not yet 16 when her parents learn she is pregnant. They decide she will stay hidden in the house and give the baby up for adoption. 1983: Nancy, lost and wandering in her early twenties, is anxious to to do the “right thing” when she becomes pregnant. 1964: Evelyn, married only a short time, becomes pregnant. When her husband says he is not ready, she believes she must choose between him and her baby and she gives the child up for adoption. Two months later, she is pregnant again. 1959: Marti, married mother of two, is already struggling to keep from having a nervous breakdown when she learns she is pregnant with her third child. 1969: Dena, a rebellious teen, is pregnant and marries the abusive birth father. After a brutal beating, her family sends her halfway across the country to live with her aunt and physician uncle. Dena loses her fight to keep her child. 1969: Kate, a young unmarried woman from a loving family, is ready to raise her baby and her family will support her decision, but a social worker talks her into placing the baby for adoption.
Posted in Women Tagged with: Adoption, Birth, Closed, Five, Life, Long Journey Home Press, Memoir, Mother, Stories
The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan
by: Broadway Books
Product rating: 4.6 with 165 reviews
An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl
In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child – a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom.
The Underground Girls of Kabul is anchored by vivid characters who bring this remarkable story to life: Azita, a female parliamentarian who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter Mehran into a boy; Zahra, the tomboy teenager who struggles with puberty and refuses her parents’ attempts to turn her back into a girl; Shukria, now a married mother of three after living for twenty years as a man; and Nader, who prays with Shahed, the undercover female police officer, as they both remain in male disguise as adults.
At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America’s longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. The Underground Girls of Kabul charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere.
From the Hardcover edition.
Posted in Women Tagged with: Afghanistan, Broadway Books, Girls, Hidden, Kabul, Resistance, Search, Underground