April 15, 2024

THE WOMEN: A NOVEL by Kristin Hannah

Publication Date: February 6, 2024

Print Length: 471 pages

Previous Author Publications:

The Nightingale: A Novel (2015)

The Great Alone: A Novel (2018)

The Four Winds (2021)


In her latest book The Women: A Novel, Kristin Hannah tells the little-known story of the women who served as nurses during the Vietnam war.

The novel centers around Frances “Frankie” McGrath, a one-time debutante who volunteers for two tours as an Army trauma nurse, starting in 1965. Through her postings at various hospital surgical centers close to the frontlines, Frankie copes with the suffering and death that surrounds her by forming close bonds with her fellow nurses and the other medical staff with whom she works.

When she returns to the US, she faces angry protestors and a Veterans Administration that is ill-equipped to deal with the post-traumatic stress that haunts Frankie’s life. Hannah’s harrowing account focuses on the heroism of the women who served during the Vietnam War as she details the battles they fought both in Vietnam and after they returned home to face a divided country


Willams, Beatriz, “Kristin Hannah’s new novel puts combat nurses front and center in Vietnam.” The New York Times, February 1, 2024. https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/01/books/review/the-women-kristin-hannah.html.

Merry, Stephanie, “Grab the tissues: Kristin Hannah has a new novel.” The Washington Post, February 9, 2024. https://www.washingtonpost.com/books/2024/02/09/kristin-hannah-novels/.

The Novelry, “An interview with Kristin Hannah.” The Novelry, December 4, 2022. https://www.thenovelry.com/blog/an-interview-with-kristin-hannah.

Library Thing, “Author interview: Kristin Hannah.” The Library Thing Blog. February 5, 2024. https://blog.librarything.com/2024/02/author-interview-kristin-hannah/.


  • Although Kristin Hannah wrote The Women as a novel, she based the story on factual accounts written by nurses who served in Vietnam. How well did she balance the fictionalized portions of her book with the true-to-life descriptions of how field hospitals in Vietnam operated?

  • Hannah’s intent in writing this book was to call attention to the unique challenges women who served in Vietnam faced both while they were at the battle front as well as when they returned home. How essential were women to the war efforts in Vietnam and how easily were their sacrifices overlooked?

  • Throughout her book, Hannah incorporated references to songs that were popular in the 1960s and 1970s as well as to the current events that were trending at the time. Did you find her description of this era to be evocative of what life was like in America during this era?

  • Looking back on the controversies surrounding Vietnam War, were the veterans who returned from the war treated fairly? What more could have been done to heal the divisions created by the differing perspectives on the Vietnam War?

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Every month I offer a Book Club suggestion that highlights authors who write about their family history and explore themes of identity.
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