By Pamela Chatry
When I hear the 70’s James Brown song, “War…What is it good for? Absolutely nothing” I can’t help but agree. The horrors of war aren’t exactly classified. Only the winners’ stories have made history. Tales from battle, up until recently, have been part of the winner’s spoils and sadly, the perspective of women has been deemed mute.
Well, finally there is a current trend in the publishing market to print books celebrating the significance of women and their war contributions.
In this month’s Senior Reads, we celebrate two such authors who remind us that without important contributions of women the world wars could not have been won. Women worked in factories, the land army, drove buses, taxies, and planes, and were fire fighters etc. Both authors manage to skillfully combine the history of two world wars, romance, and mystery and all the while giving women their long-deserved dues!
Bestselling author, Jacqueline Winspear brings us Maisie Dobbs, a bright, young woman who, with a patron’s help, rises from a life of a maid in service, to become a nurse on active duty on the battlefields where she experiences the catastrophic horrors of war and then sets out on her own as a Private Investigator and Psychologist
The first book in the international bestselling series, ‘Maisie Dobbs’ captures you from the very first page. Winspear provides a unique snapshot of the human tragedy of war. It’s a story within a story; from the battlefields of France to a mystery involving ex-soldiers “too shattered to resume normal life”. The author’s gaze inspires empathy and a deeper understanding of the traumas that war survivors must carry for the rest of their lives.
Author Kate Quinn, well-known for her central characters playing several important roles in WW2, tells the story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Hall with an incredible, unforeseen plot twist. This story serves as a
reminder to us all that the brain power needed to crack codes wasn’t limited to, or reliant upon, just men.
In the 40’s, there were hundreds of women working in secret to crack the Nazi’s codes. They are forced to overcome food and fashion shortages, try to find love with so much death around them and proudly serve in the war for their country. I have to say that of her many books, The Rose Code is one of my all-time favorites.