Cover Image: The League of Wives

The League of Wives

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Member Reviews

Four stars

An interesting look into an integral part of our history and the women who made a difference.

I voluntarily read an advanced copy.
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Thank you St.Martin's Press for allowing me to review The League of Wives. Releasing April  2/19, this is a remarkable story.

I first became interested in this book when I heard that Reese Witherspoon had signed on to adapt and produce this book. She always chooses to portray the most interesting stories about women. The League of Wives is an incredibly detailed book detailing the group of wives who's husbands were MIA in the Vietnam war. These men were captured by the Vietnamese and held in horrible conditions in camps. Wounds were barely treated, some suffered in solitary confinement and some were marched through angry crowds to be beaten and belittled. 
The families were left in limbo and were barely given any information. With their husbands not in active duty nor killed in action, they often had trouble accessing paycheque and other benefits military wives usually rely on while their husbands are away. After years of trying to tow the company line, they formed The League of Wives to keep the missing men and POWs in the minds and hearts of the government and the media, and did everything they could to try and get their husbands home or at least out of the camps that tortured them and they were treated inhumanly in. 
The League of Women was a dense and very detailed account of this fight. I found it a little hard to keep all the names and dates and events straight. But, I am glad I learned more about these woman and am very excited to see it come alive in screen.
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The League of Wives is a fascinating true story of brave women, military spouses who will do the unimaginable to bring their husbands back home from the Vietnam War. These women, who formed The National League of Families had become the POW and MIAs most fervent advocates, going to extraordinary lengths to facilitate their husbands’ freedom

Prior to this book, I was unaware of this part of history, it is a truly inspiring and moving story,  I am very glad I was able to learn about this great women. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin Press for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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A terrific book: equal parts harrowing and uplifting. The author did a great job keeping it as politically non-partisan as possible, and a fantastic job portraying the women themselves.  I felt I truly came to know them. I’m not ashamed to say that I was sobbing at the end. I understand it has been optioned for a movie and I truly hope that comes to pass. It would certainly make a good one.
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This was an interesting story I knew nothing about, but it just lacked a little bit compared to other non-fiction I’ve read recently. The slow parts were a little drawn out and the book could’ve been 50 pages shorter.
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What a fabulous book!   I lived through this time and really knew nothing about the wives and families of POWs and MIAs from the Vietnam War.  It was so interesting to find what these women and families had to do to get their loved ones home. This was just the beginning of the feminist movement and while these women do not necessarily represent that movement they were not willing to sit idle and watch the government do nothing to rescue their husbands.  They spoke out and continued to barrage the government to just be heard.  They would not sit back back and be called "the little woman." or the "good little army or navy wife."
The reason for 4 stars instead of 5 was due to the fact that there was so much repetition of the League meetings, meetings with government officials, etc.  I think that could have used some editing and shortened by about 50 pages. 
 A definite read for anyone wanting to know more about what life was life for POW families during the Viet Nam War and what had to be done to get them home.
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Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Heath Hardage Lee for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me. 

- I could see this making a good movie. 
- Different women and their personalities represented 
- Recognize some of the POWs as future politicians 
- A not too political look at the Vietnam War 

- The feminism
- The wives went from shutting up, behaving themselves, and being good Navy Wives to forces of nature changing thoughts and minds during the Vietnam War #BadAssLadies

- Many parts are boring and drawn out - the first 1/2 of the book 

Wish that: 
- It was not as underwhelming 
- Got to the interesting parts quicker 

Overall, a good interesting book about the strong women whose husbands were POW/MIA soldiers during the Vietnam War. It’s a heartwarming story about a terrible event, but the details don’t interest me that much.
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A fascinating account of a time in history which we in Britain generally know little about. I would say that this is more of a documentary than a novel but even so, it is a relatively easy read and worth a look.
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Having just traveled to Vietnam and toured the Hanoi Hilton, I have been fascinated by books about Vietnam and the Vietnam War from various perspectives. Heath Hardage Lee's The League of Wives did not disappoint. This is a tale of the phenomenal women supporting the amazing soldiers who were POWs/MIAs during the war. It's fascinating to see the women becoming stronger advocates throughout the narrative. A great read for military spouses, history buffs, and those interested in powerful women!

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
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A moving testament to determined women, The League of Wives, is the story of a group of military spouses who moved incredible impediments to bring their men home from the Vietnam War. As the US changed socially and culturally from 1965-1973, the women fought social convention and their own government to bring public awareness to their plight. Eventually they prevailed and many of the men returned. The epic tragedy was the member wives whose husbands never came back. I liked the follow up the author provided at the end. There was an in depth bibliography and end notes. Fierce women who stood by their husband even from thousands of miles away.
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These women are the true definition of grit, grace, perseverance, and strength. In the future, every time I feel sorry for myself during a deployment, I'll think about these women and the trials they endured. It can not be underestimated how rare it was for women to speak up and step up to the plate with aplomb like these women did. The "Officer Wive's Handbook" is no joke. Still, to this day, we are encouraged not to do anything to interfere with our husbands' career trajectories, The actions of these women were epic and unprecedented. 

I enjoyed learning the stories of "the league of wives" but I found the details difficult to slog through at times, and that's coming from someone who lives the military life!!

An interesting and eye-opening and inspiring story for sure.
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League of Wives is a fascinating account of the changing role of POW/MIA wives during the Vietnam War. The wives initially remained by-the-book and kept news about their husbands and how they were being mistreated silent. However, there was soon a transition to them taking a more active role in aiding their husbands once they realized the LBJ and his administration was not doing all it could to help. While the focus of the book was on getting action to take place regarding the POWs, it also briefly covered the changing times within the U.S which I enjoyed. It was a cohesive, well-organized, and well-researched nonfiction piece. Kudos to those courageous women! 

Thank you to St Martin's Press and Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book.
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The women in this book are true heroes - they took on their husband's roles and responsibilities in their marriages while they were POWs (not an easy task in those years) and charged ahead into unchartered territory as activists.  Their activism may have saved the lives of their husbands and hundreds of other POWs.  It is truly an inspiring story but I found it difficult not to skim through much of the detail in the middle third of the book.  This is a really interesting topic that I knew very little about prior to reading this book but I felt there was simply too much detail to rate it higher than 3 stars. 

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me an early release in exchange for an honest and fair review.
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A time in history the Vietnam War our country torn about.These brave women Marines wives became true American heroes,.There husbands were being held captives our government doing nothing to bring them home.These women wouldn’t take no for an answer they went to war with their own government to bring their husbands home. a book A group of women I will not forget, #netgalley #st,Martinsbooks
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Thank you Net Galley and St Martin's Press for this arc.

I was 9 years old in 1965 when this slice of history began.  I remember my Mom fighting tooth and toenail to be admitted into law school (a fight that lasted  her nearly eight months).  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been enacted and in Birmingham, Alabama the struggle to achieve racial integration was slow and awkward at best.  I was a kid.  I was aware of the War in Viet Nam by junior high.  It wasn't until I was in high school before my folks encouraged us kids to watch the war reports on the evening news.  Yes, I had a POW/MIA bracelet ….  Jeremiah Denton was a "State Son". 

What I was unaware of is the fight these ladies put up....  with the military and the government(s).  I cannot imagine the transformation they had to go through from the Stepford Wife / Donna Reed model expected of military officer's wives to the fighting tigresses they had to become in order to survive their ordeal (all the while trying to raise their children).  Heath Hardage Lee has done a excellent job documenting their grit and determination in their fight to bring their husbands home from Viet Nam.  I finished this feeling that yes, cynicism will serve us all well at some time and also proud that I have a vagina.
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Great story! Gets better each time I read it. I remember this time in history. these women were courageous and determined to save their husbands, despite the us government wanting  to ignore them. Everyone needs to read this book to understand this time in history.
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This is a remarkable side note of history that needed to be told.  These courageous women were taught to be perfect "Navy wives", to keep their homes decorated, raise their children and entertain properly in order to help their husbands obtain promotions.  But when their husbands were shot down over Viet Nam and became prisoners of war they found their strength and inner resolve and would not back down until they got their men home.  I greatly admire them and I am very glad I was able to learn their story.
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