Last weekend in New Zealand and Australia we had remembrance day for all the Australian and New Zealand soldiers. ANZAC Day. This year the special focus was on the role of women. So I thought this Friday I would connect with some of the books that have helped me appreciate the role of women in war.
While I sometimes feel like every second historical book is set in one of the wars, when I looked back over the last couple of years reading to find books, I hadn’t read that many!
I was drawn to this book because of the bookshop aspect, however Grace not only looked after a bookshop during the war.
At night she helps out patrolling the streets, putting out fires and helping injured people. Her kindness and compassion changes hearts and inspires the ordinary person in the neighbourhood to keep going.
In this story we meet Louise who becomes a Gunner girl. Her role was to identify German planes. The women were not allowed to actually fire the gun to shoot the plane down. Their male companion did that!
While this book is not set in war time we do meet a woman who worked for the Secret Service from London. She carried out missions into Europe that were dangerous and she stands for many women who were spies and carried important messages. Mind you soon as the war was over she was ousted out of the secret service. An example of the prejudice of the time.
In The Last Correspondent Soraya M. Lane gives us a graphic portrayal of what it was like for women correspondents to do what they so strongly felt called to do. Report what was happening at the front of World War 2.
In Danni and Ella we meet very gutsy women. Danni a photographer and Ella a writer. They see and deal with life threatening circumstances.
And of course they have to use devious means to get to where the war is happening because they are not “allowed” by the men to go to such places.
Nina is Russian and grew up in harsh conditions, survived and became a pilot in the Russian army, in a women’s division known as the Night Witches. What a character she is. She Is hard bitten and tough, a razor wielding vixen. But look closer and just maybe there is a softer side to her. I have to say I came to adore her.
The planes they flew were the worst but these women were skilled and brave. This book would be my top book out of these five.