When We Had Wings
A Story of the Angels of Bataan
by Ariel Lawhon, Kristina McMorris and Susan Meissner
Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld
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Pub Date 18 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 27 Oct 2022
From three bestselling authors comes an interwoven tale about a trio of World War II nurses stationed in the South Pacific who wage their own battle for freedom and survival.
The Philippines, 1941. When U.S. Navy nurse Eleanor Lindstrom, U.S. Army nurse Penny Franklin, and Filipina nurse Lita Capel forge a friendship at the Army Navy Club in Manila, they believe they’re living a paradise assignment. All three are seeking a way to escape their pasts, but soon the beauty and promise of their surroundings give way to the heavy mantle of war.
Caught in the crosshairs of a fight between the U.S. military and the Imperial Japanese Army for control of the Philippine Islands, the nurses are forced to serve under combat conditions and, ultimately, endure captivity as the first female prisoners of the Second World War. As their resiliency is tested in the face of squalid living arrangements, food shortages, and the enemy’s blatant disregard for the articles of the Geneva Convention, the women strive to keep their hope— and their fellow inmates—alive, though not without great cost.
In this sweeping story based on the true experiences of nurses dubbed “the Angels of Bataan,” three women shift in and out of each other’s lives through the darkest days of the war, buoyed by their unwavering friendship and distant dreams of liberation.
“Lawhon (Code Name Hélène) and Meissner (The Nature of Fragile Things) team up with romance writer McMorris (The Edge of Lost) for an illuminating story of the nurses stationed in the Philippines during WWII . . . the authors pull off a gripping and seamless narrative. With this fine tale, the authors succeed at bringing to readers’ minds the courage and sacrifice of those who inspired it.”—Publishers Weekly
“Three of the biggest powerhouses in historical fiction, Ariel Lawhon, Kristina McMorris and Susan Meissner, come together to pen the breathtaking novel When We Had Wings, the story of three nurses serving in the Philippines during the Second World War. Combining the lush setting of the South Pacific with the unfathomable hardships of the combat theater, this book shines a light on a little-known aspect of history with a tale of unlikely friendship and the unshakable strength of the human spirit.”—Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman with the Blue Star
“In When We Had Wings, three bestselling and beloved authors deliver a story of strength and sisterhood inspired by the little-known experiences of the ‘Angels of Bataan.’ With gorgeous language and stunning historic detail, Lawhon, McMorris, and Meissner plunge readers into the Philippines and the epic struggles of the Pacific. Filled with heart and pathos, this is a story of hope, faith, and the power of friendship in the face of indescribable hardship.”—Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post
“Three fierce women from differing backgrounds come together in the Philippines during World War II to unwillingly be thrust into the chaos of evil that will blast their worlds apart. Lawhon, McMorris, and Meissner seamlessly blend three nurses’ stories and secrets with one deft and immersive storytelling voice. When We Had Wings asks the important question—how do we know what we can become until we must become it?—and answers it with a resounding novel of suspense, courage, and grand love. Based on the true story of the first female prisoners of World War II, When We Had Wings is thrilling, riveting, and deeply felt; a do-not-miss historical fiction masterwork.”—Patti Callahan, New York Times bestselling author of Once Upon a Wardrobe and Surviving Savannah
“A riveting novel by a trio of powerhouse authors that offers a fresh take on World War II fiction, one that is uncannily resonant today. Set in the lush tropics, When We Had Wings is an utterly original tale about courage, duty, and endurance.”—Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace
|DURATION||13 Hours, 4 Minutes, 2 Seconds|
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 137 members
The story was about three nurses from different background who meet during WWII. The nurses become fast friends and, as with war, everything changes in a heartbeat. The horrors of war and hardship of what they had to endure while still remaining friends.
Thank you NetGalley, publisher and authors for the opportunity to listen to the audio.
One of my favorite genres of books is historical fiction. And when it is set during WWII, it is a big draw for me. This amazing story, while about WWII, focused on a different aspect than those I’ve typically read. This book was set in the Pacific conflict ... specifically the Philippines. It also dealt with the little known story of the military nurses who served during this time. Words cannot describe the horrors they endured and the evil they witnessed. However, the friendships that developed were cherished and helped them face another day. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the dedication the women displayed in such difficult circumstances, the strength of character, and their determination to survive. This is definitely one to put on your to-be-read list. It is heart wrenching but has you cheering them on hoping they will survive and be rescued.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Muse for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
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