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These all look like interesting reading, Danielle. I will try to get to some of them, especially The Sisterhood of Spies. I actually met one; a friend of a friend. She didn't speak of her experience (and I didn't ask); a lovely woman who has a nice life and did her part for the war effort.


How interesting to meet someone who was a spy! Imagine the stories she could tell! I have not yet read Sisterhood of Spies, but recently dug my copy out and would love to get to it soon. I've been accumulating these books for years and really am in the mood right now to read some of them!


I really liked Wartime Women, the Mass Observation anthology about women in Britain during WWII.


Thanks, Aarti--just what I had in mind and I've already gone and ordered a used copy! :) I love those mass observation project books--reading them is so interesting!


That's a great list.
I have a few books that came out of the Mass Observation diaries. Such interesting testimonials.
I alos bought Martha Gellhorn's accounts of different wars in which she was as a journalist.
Thanks for the link and mentioning the readalong.


An interesting list, to be sure, and one that should round out your understanding. Some additions to your list could be The Coldest Winter, by Paula Fox (it's set just after WWII, I think) and, for a novel, if you like the Anne of Green Gables books, the last one, Rilla of Ingleside, is set during WWI, and deals just a little with the effects of the war on the family.


Didn't Florence Nightingale write something about the Crimean War? Or maybe there is only stuff written about her? Not sure. I do wonder if more contemporary women will begin writing about their war experiences especially since they are now officially allowed in combat roles. And I wonder how different that experience will be from men's?


Ellen N. LaMotte, worked in Mary Borden's (The Forbidden Zone) hospital if I remember correctly and wrote The Backwash of War in 1916 about the Great War. Both harrowing stories. And does Vera Brittain fit into this list? Either Testament of Youth or The Innocent Years? I think you have already read A Woman in Berlin by Anonymus.


Interesting and timely post, Danielle. I'm going to send my mother-in-law a link for her book club!


These all sound interesting. Louisa May Alcott wrote a book about her experiences serving as a nurse during the Civil War; it is excellent.


I hadn't realized that there were so many mass observation diaries published. I have a couple that I bought last year when I was reading more diaries--now I am going to add to them. I will look for Martha Gellhorn's accounts--I forgot she was a journalist at that time.


Thanks for the reminder that I wanted to read Paula Fox--wasn't familiar with the book you mention though. I have ordered it at the LM Montgomery! These are just what I had in mind! :)


I was thinking she kept a diary or something--I need to do a little investigating. I am sure there must be loads about her--and so tangentially on the war and her work there. I was wondering too about contemporary woman and when they would begin writing about their experiences. I can find loads about Afghanistan and Iraq told from a man's point of view--surely women are writing about it, too?


I love making these lists (because I use them myself so often to draw from), so I am happy to share and hope your MIL might find something interesting here as well. I think a number of these books would make good discussion books!


That's right--I forgot LMA was a nurse. I knew there had to be books about the Civil War and women's experiences of it. I think, too, there is a book by/about a woman who dressed as a man in order to fight in it--though the title totally escapes my mind! I'll have to look for LMA's book, though.


Another fantastic list. Several books there I can see I will have to chase down. I'd recommend Pain by Marguerite Duras, which is a series of long short stories about women in the Resistance in WW2, and Duras's own memoir about waiting for her husband to be released from a concentration camp. I'd second anything by Martha Gellhorn, and Christina Lamb's Small Wars Permitting, which is a recent publication by a woman journalist in the battle zones. How do they do it? I'd be terrified and quite useless!


Thanks for the ideas--I have several of Marguerite Duras' books, though I don't think I have this one. I am sure my library will have it--it sounds good. I ordered something by Martha Gellhorn and now Christina Lambs' book as well. A bit dangerous to ask for ideas since they all sound so appealing. :)

vicki (bibliolathas/skiourophile)

(Sorry for being such a tardy commenter!) Love this list - I've a couple on my TBR too. Two that I have read about women at the fall of Berlin at the end of WW2 are Traudl Junge's ambivalent 'diary' [Until the Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary] of the last day in the bunker with Hitler (it is quite a female perspective on working in wartime Germany) and the *harrowing* anonymous A Woman in Berlin [about life under the Russians in fallen Berlin]. I also greatly enjoyed Spitfire Women of World War II by Giles Whittell, and (I think I've mentioned this before) the amusing diary of Countess Ranfurly, At War With Whitaker.


I think I must have gotten the suggestion from you for At War With Whitaker which I am reading now and thoroughly enjoying. I wonder if she wrote any other books--she has a great voice. I have been having a hard time finding a diary that works well and keep setting them aside, but this one is a keeper--it's very much what I am in the mood for. Thanks for the other suggestions. I also read Woman of Berlin and agree with you that is a harrowing read--it's horrible to be a woman in war--I can't imagine going through what many of them went through. And I don't mind 'tardy' comments at all by the way--I am always behind in commenting myself. So many good books on the subject--my reading pile has been growing and am already reading a book by Paula Fox that was mentioned-and plan on reading more from this list soon!

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