Cover Image: Sisters in Arms

Sisters in Arms

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This was a very interesting book about these 2 black women women grace was the one who had a mother who really didn't understand her very well who wanted her to be appianosed and that's what she really didn't want to do and the other 1 was a very wealthy woman and and she was writing for her father's paper and she was very well educated and how she really wanted to do more with her life so she joins the army woman on record and Halley's 2 women finally meet and how they have different perspectives on life And how grace connected to only on the girl's nerves because she knew more I was around more The tables they got lack of clothes but I think they did a marvelous job what they had to do I do and showed aversity especially when they were going overseas and they have that they're gonna get hit by torpedo and how the other girl really couldn't understand the other girl what she went through with that attack and it was interesting
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Thank you to William Morrow and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this ARC of Sisters in Arms by Kaia Alderson.  I just started reading historical fiction a year ago and I never thought I would enjoy it.  I have found to the contrary that I thoroughly enjoy the subject.  

Sisters in Arms brought a little known (to me) aspect of  World War II to my attention.  Two young ladies from different socio-economic backgrounds. Eliza working for the family newspaper under the thumb of her overbearing father.  Grace trying to live out  her mother's dream of becoming a concert pianist.  Both looking for their own meaning and way  in life.  The characters were likeable and the plot easy to follow.  It was light reading and easy to pick up where I left off if I put it down for a couple of days.  I felt this story was more about the lives of Grace and Eliza who happened to join the WAAC (WAC) as opposed to actual army/war life.   Overall, it was an interesting read.
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Enjoyed a bit of a different look at World War II with following the first Black WACs through their recruitment, training, and overseas service. Grace and Eliza were compelling enough characters and it was easy to root for their success. Grace's relationship with Jonathan was a little frustrating because it didn't seem all that clear whether they had strong feelings for each other, so the relationship kind of plodded along for me. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC!
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During WWII Eliza and Grace are young Black women who enlist in the only all Black battalion in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). Their backgrounds are totally different, and they struggle to get along. Yet each is determined to do her part in spite of the segregation and racism that they face on and off base in the US and Europe. It is unlike anything they have experienced in their lives up north. In fact, all the women in the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion are determined to succeed and prove their worth. The women pull together knowing that they cannot be less than perfect at all times. 

For readers interested in untold stories of WWII, this is an important entry as it tells of Black women who deserve to be remembered. I highly recommend this book. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine, especially novels that take place during World War 2. I did not think there was much new I could learn about this time, however, this book proved me wrong. Two women, Eliza and Grace, join the first all Negro unit of WAC. Each woman has her own reason for enlisting, and when they first meet do not like each other. Prejudice and bigotry follow this unit in the states and also in Europe where the unit is sent to resolve a massive problem with the delivery of mail to the soldiers. Eliza and Grace develop a tentative friendship that faces many obstacles and missed opportunities. Their relationship is well developed and their individual personalities shone through.
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This was a part of WWII history I was never taught in school and I enjoyed learning about it through Sisters in Arms. Alderson did a good job of bringing these characters to life, illustrating the challenges and inequities they faced, both as women and as women of color. And those challenges didn't only come from the Caucasian military. The obstacles they had to overcome in order to serve their country originated in their Black families and communities as well. They truly were trailblazers. 

Overall, I thought the author did a good job of showing both the overt as well as the subtle racial aggressions these women were subjected to - at boot camp, after being commissioned, and when out in the communities - and how that impacted the evolution of these characters. Knowing many of the incidents were based on actual events and people made them all the more raw, realistic, infuriating, and heartbreaking. They also provided the opportunity to explore the resilience, strength, and evolving maturing of Grace and Eliza throughout their journey. The women who returned home following their service in Europe were vastly different from the girls who impulsively applied to serve their country.

While the pace of the story was steady and kept my interest engaged, I eventually grew a bit tired of the petty personal differences between Eliza and Grace. There were more than a few times when I wanted to tell them to grow up (they do...eventually). Also, the ending seemed rushed and open ended. By that time, I had become invested in these two women. I wanted more information about their lives following their return. Though hints are dropped and the ending is hopeful, I guess I wanted that package wrapped with a big bow of details. Overall though, Sisters in Arms was a solid read detailing an important chapter in our history and putting college-educated, hard-working, vulnerable, but determined, Black female faces to the historical facts. I recommend it. 

*ARC received for fair and unbiased review
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A good read about WWII and the American negro units. I didn't know much about the topic so I enjoyed the historical elements that are weaved into the novel.  The main characters are developed well. There are moments of violence, one slightly graphic. The ending left me wanting more. It seemed to end abruptly and not complete wrap up the story. I'm not sure if a book 2 is planned and that's why the ending was the way it was but it was a bit of a cliff hanger.
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Sisters in Arms highlights many “never befores” in its story of courageous Negro women (the term used in the book).

I won’t go into all of the "never befores" and spoil the story, but the main one is the newly formed Unit of Negro WACS during WWII. As a group, they accomplish many feats and successfully overcome many obstacles that had never before been done. Many of these are a first for the Army and for their race. 

Grace and Eliza are the main characters who guide us through this unprecedented period of time. Through them, the author helps us feel the anguish of their parents as they send their daughters off to the army and to situations unknown. We struggle with the female soldiers as they face racism and rancor. We cheer for Grace and Eliza as they, in their own way, pave a path for future generations.

I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I especially like the author notes at the end and all the research she did to write this story. Thank you #netgalley #sistersinarms and #williammorrow/customhouse for an arc of this book.
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Sisters in Arms by Kaia Alderson is an excellent historical novel about the Black WAAC (Women’s Army Auxiliary Crops).  
I really enjoyed this book and didn’t want it to end.  Grace and Liz, two black women from NYC join the Black WAAC for different reasons. One came from money, one didn’t.    When they first meet at the induction center and butt heads, they hope to never see each other, but that doesn’t happen.  
I leaned so much from this book.   It opened my eyes as to what these women had to fight in order to serve their country.  Discrimination here in the US, as well as in the army, being female.   What strength they had.  I wanted to learn more about Major Charity E Adams and I’m thankful that Kaia Alderson included all her resources for this book.   One book I want to read now is One Woman’s Army: A Black Officer Remembers the WAC by Charity Adams Earley 
I highly recommend this book for WW2 historical fiction fans.
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Sisters in Arms by Kaia Alderon is a WW2 historical fiction novel that focuses on two young women from different socioeconomic backgrounds who became a part of the first African American WAC (Woman’s Army Corp) 6888 Postal Battalion that served both in the UK and France. The Battalion consisted of strong, brave, and selfless women who faced racial and gender discrimination, yet through it all found resilience and new friendships.  These women risked their lives for an army that didn’t believe they had what it takes. Their job was to ensure letters from loved ones get to the servicemen overseas. 

The story is told from the perspective of Grace, a classically trained pianist (her mother’s dream) who wants to compose and play jazz, and Eliza who is a society column reporter for her father’s newspaper (but wants to write the sports column). Both are well-educated, resourceful, intelligent, and committed to representing their country, their sex, and their race. As different as they are, I loved both Grace and Eliza and admired the friendship and support they gave each other through difficult times. 

This is a beautifully written novel that unfolds a piece of history that I knew nothing about.  I highly recommend reading this memorable and well-developed novel.
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A wonderful WW2 story, about a little known part of the American forces--the first African American women's unit, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion.

Both Grace and Eliza have been raised in the north--Grace to a working class family, Eliza to a wealthy newspaper publisher.  They are college educated, and while there are plenty of issues for blacks in NYC, it is nothing compared to the south or the segregated army they both become apart of.  Both women become officers as they form the first black women's unit, sent to Europe towards the end of WW2.

The novel focuses on the friendship and difficulties Grace and Eliza face, trying to prove that they are capable of serving and serving well,  The unit itself isn't well known historically and Alderson does a great job showing the challenges these women faced both home and abroad.
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This historical fiction tells the story of the only black women’s  battalion during WWII. It’s based on a true story, and was filled with heroic women facing racism and terrible odds,. I loved it.
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Sisters in Arms, the debut novel by Kaia Alderson, tells the story of the 6888th Postal Battalion, a unit of the WACs during WWII comprised entirely of Black women. I love historical fiction in general and WWII fiction in particular, and enjoyed learning something new and reading about experiences of women in the war of which I was largely unaware.

The two main protagonists come from quite different New York City backgrounds  - their relationship develops throughout the novel as they move from recruits to experienced officers stationed abroad. I was surprised by the amount of prejudice they experienced throughout their careers, wrongly assuming that the army was more racially egalitarian at the time. Not unexpectedly they both believed that they had to more than prove themselves given their sex and race. Their journey of mistakes of successes provides an interesting and inspiring story.
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Sisters in Arms is the story of the first group of all -black women who were sent overseas during World War II.  Grace Steele and Eliza Jones are two of the women who were part of the Six Triple Eight.  Their job was to ensure American servicemen received letters, etc. from their loved ones.  The women faced racism at home and abroad.
Grace and Eliza were very different and had a rocky relationship.  Both women had personal issues and family problems that were part of the story.
The story of the WAC was one that I was unfamiliar with...especially the brave women of the Six Triple Eight.  That was interesting and I would have liked to learn more about the women and their mission.
Thank you Net Galley.
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I really enjoyed learning more about the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) in WWII.  While I have heard of the WAAC, I didn’t know they were the first class of female officers in the army and also the first Black women allowed to serve.  This was written with great deal of historical accuracy (I loved reading about all the research and real life characters that were included in the novel).  However, I felt some it was a bit fast paced and more time could have been spent with the main characters and the significant incidences in their lives.  Overall, I still enjoyed this well-researched historical fiction.
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Sisters in Arms, by Kaia Alderson, is the story of two women from different backgrounds who meet when they both join the U.S. Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps against their family’s wishes. Grace is a pianist who has hopes of attending Julliard. Eliza is the daughter of the owner/editor of a newspaper who wants to do more than cover the fluff pieces her father keeps assigning to her. Both women are accepted into the first WAAC Officer Candidate School. As two of only forty Negro women who are allowed to be a part of the class, Grace and Eliza experience triumph and tribulation along the way but they also discover themselves. 
As I started reading this book I felt that Grace’s character was a little stilted and rigid. However, as the story progressed I realized that it was a reflection of Grace, who held herself to a very exacting standard and did not let anyone know the real her. If you are looking for a story about WWII from a different perspective, try Sisters in Arms.
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A 4.5 star read in my book!  It’s a work of historical fiction based around WWII African American women joining the war effort.  It details theirs backgrounds and centers on two main protagonists that develop a friendship after they grow to respect each other’s differences.  The prose is easy to read and the picture painted is a vibrant one.  Thanks to NetGalley for the early read.
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Grace Steele has just frozen during a piano audition for Julliard when she remembers a letter in her bag with return address: The War Department. It is an invitation from Mary McLeod Bethune to join the US Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. 

Eliza Jones is working for her father’s newspaper, Harlem Voice, when she receives a phone call from Mary McLeod Bethune. Both of these young black women are dealing with major life disappointments when they arrive at the Army induction center—it’s 1942. 

To the protestations of their families Eliza and Grace are seeking comfort and distraction to lives that have not played out as they hoped. Now they are taking two of the 40 spaces that had been allotted to African American women at OCS. They may be frenemies at the beginning but finding their mission to be one in common they begin to look at one another in new ways. After training at Fort Des Moines Iowa the women are commissioned into the all Colored WAC awaiting their next orders--the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalian, known as the Six Triple Eight.

Written with a great deal of historical accuracy this is both informative and a great read. I can't recall another WWII story that actually takes the reader inside a unit made up entirely of women, let alone women of color. There are incidents of discrimination, of harrassment, of celebration, and of extreme tragedy.  I am grateful to have learned about this little known historical first.

Thank you to @williammorrowbooks, @harpercollinsus, #NetGalley for this #advancereaderscopy. #bookclubgirlfreefriday.
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Loved this book! Great story of female friendship. World War II is the backdrop for a story of how people do not need to be exactly alike to be friends.
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What a debut novel! An engaging and really interesting read about a WWII unit that was comprised of African American women soldiers who  served in the UK and France.   We see the struggles and discrimination faced by these women through the eyes of Grace and Eliza the first African American officers of the 6888 Battalion of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. 
 Based on true events this is a enlightening read and provides an insight into an area of WWII I knew nothing about.
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