Title- Sisters in Arms
Author- Kaia Alderson
Genre- historical fiction
POV- third person, past tense
Cover– representative of the genre
Comps– I’ve read a lot of books in the war set in France recently, but this is the only one with Black characters
Grace Steele and Eliza Jones may be from completely different backgrounds, but when it comes to the army, specifically the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), they are both starting from the same level. Not only will they be among the first class of female officers the army has even seen, they are also the first Black women allowed to serve.
As these courageous women help to form the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, they are dealing with more than just army bureaucracy—everyone is determined to see this experiment fail. For two northern women, learning to navigate their way through the segregated army may be tougher than boot camp. Grace and Eliza know that there is no room for error; they must be more perfect than everyone else.
When they finally make it overseas, to England and then France, Grace and Eliza will at last be able to do their parts for the country they love, whatever the risk to themselves.
Based on the true story of the 6888th Postal Battalion (the Six Triple Eight), Sisters in Arms explores the untold story of what life was like for the only all-Black, female U.S. battalion to be deployed overseas during World War II.
Grace is a pianist who failed her audition for Juilliard because her heart is devastated after receiving news that her brother died overseas in the war. She needs to find a new plan in life, something she’s passionate about. Grace receives an invitation to an all women’s army and would rather risk that than deal with the disappointment from her parents at failing her audition.
Eliza’s family has a lot of connections and she intends to prove her worth as a journalist however when she writes her big story, her father takes the credit under his name. So instead of falling in the same path again and again she marches to the army induction center with her application in hand
Character Development- coming into oneself and not people pleasing the parents
What I would change- a bit more emotion, sometimes it fell flat/felt removed- but I’m noticing almost all third person point of view does that for me now
Inclusivity- the two main characters and their families are Black so they dealt with equal rights as soldiers through the entire novel
Pacing- Page 300- this is slower read just from the heavier topic and lack of white space on the page
Thoughts while reading-
Page 38- Eliza wants respect from her father and to have him stop calling her nicknames, yet at the age of 23 she still calls him Daddy
Page 55- of course Eliza’s father doesn’t approve of her joining the army and forbids it.
Page 230- the submarine scene was intense. I hate that the recurring theme of disappointing parents is so relatable when these women are risking their lives and getting mommy and daddy’s approval shouldn’t matter anymore. But I know it does.
Are you more likely to play it safe or risk it all?
Would you ever sign up for the army and why or why not?
Have you ever ran from your problems and how so?
When was a time you took control of your life?
Have you ever felt that someone’s anger towards you is unjustified?
Have you ever had a major life transition that has forced you to end a romantic relationship?
How do you feel about males as bosses in a career instead of a female delegating orders?
Do you think you could survive as a prisoner of war and why or why not?
Do you have a lifelong friend you’d sacrifice yourself in order to save and if so what makes them special?
Have you ever undermined your partner for a reason you felt like was “the greater good?”
How would you feel about your child joining the army?
Ending- Page 350- I totally predicted that.