I was unable to blog last week- more on that in tomorrows post- so I’m combining my “Year In Books” weeks 5 and 6 posts.
We Band of Angels by Elizabeth M. Norman was my choice for week 5. I absolutely loved it. It tells the stories of Army and Navy nurses in World War II who were caught in the fighting and later imprisoned by the Japanese on Corregidor and Bataan. These brilliant and resilient women were the first American women in uniform to be in a combat zone. And what a combat zone to be in. The fighting in the Pacific was brutal and these women endured it with an astounding amount of strength and grace. There was only one thing wrong with this story- I had never, in all my years of studying history, heard anything about them. And that made me mad. Like, really hopping mad. Because these women deserve to be remembered. What they did and were put through during the war deserves to be told in every classroom. These women treated horribly injured soldiers, many of whom they knew personally, and continued to treat them even when bombs were dropping all around them. They were practically abandoned by the Army and Navy and then spent 3 years in Japanese internment camps fighting tropical diseases, starvation, and the wounds and illnesses that threatened their patients lives- because even in the camps they were nurses first and prisoners second. These women were heros. For real. Read this book. Acknowledge these amazing women and tell everyone you know about them. They were extraordinary women placed in some of the most bleak and brutal circumstances. And when the war was over they were treated first as tools of propaganda and then simply ignored for the remainder of their service and lives. And that sucks. Again, read this book and learn about these women. Elizabeth Norman treats these women’s stories with dignity and respect- possibly because she too, is a nurse. I’m just so thrilled to have finally learned about these brilliant women and their brave service. READ THIS BOOK.
Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac was my week 6 book. Honestly? I didn’t like it. I feel so bad because I know it’s a classic but I just couldn’t get into the story. It’s like a soap opera, and I am really not into soap operas. Awww man. I just feel so badly about this. Maybe it’s better in French? I did think the characters were interesting but the story didn’t pull me in. (I’m shrugging and grimacing) Sorry.
What have you guys been reading the past two weeks??