Prolific author, Lynn Austin, well know for her biblical and American Civil War novels brings to life the early 1940’s to tell the story of four woman whose lives are forever changed by the Second World War.
Four women, brought together by America’s call for women to aid the war effort, take jobs at the Stockton Shipworks and train in electronics. Newly married Rosa wants to escape the disapproval of her parents-in-law while her husband Dirk fights overseas, Jean, the youngest, dreams of going to college, Helen is all alone after the death of her elderly parents and the wealth left to her is simply not enough and Virginia is desperately afraid she has become nothing more than a “servant” to her husband and sons. Working as a team the women discover that their differences are not enough to stand in the way of friendship. They discover abilities previously untapped and challenges never before experienced. When tragedy strikes and prejudice threatens to separate them these women find strength and hope in eachother and discover that faith and friendship is truly enough to overcome all things.
Lynn Austin has written a beautiful novel that held my interest throughout all of its 446 pages. Each chapter is written from the perspective of one of the characters but this is not a distraction or hard to follow. Despite finding Virginia’s timidity irritating in the early chapters she soon developed into a character I understood more as her personality and circumstances were revealed. The remaining three characters were fascinating and believable and while from another era, their hopes, fears and challenges were easy to relate to. The author transports you to the 1940’s with relevant detail and obviously impeccable research. The prejudices these women face entering a man’s world are explored as well as other issues as relevant today as they were then like racisim, prejudice, bitterness and forgiveness.
A Woman’s Place is a tribute to all women who sacrificed so much while their men were sacrificing their lives during the World War II era.