Saturday, July 17, 2021

Sisters in Arms by Kaia Alderson

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars 
Pages: 374 pages
Published: August 2021

I purchased Sisters in Arms by Kaia Alderson as an early release through my Book of the Month club membership. The synopsis is what made me select this book. The story narrowly focuses on two African American women from different backgrounds who, in an attempt to run away from some challenges at home, join the Women's Army Corps during World War II. The book is historical fiction in that the two primary characters are fictional; however, the Women's Army Corps that quickly cleared a months-long backlog of mail for soldiers, was indeed real. Many of the secondary characters in the book are based on real people and some points of the broader plot are based in fact. 

I really enjoyed reading about this part of U.S. history that has been hidden but is now making its way to the forefront. In July of 2021, news outlets reported that the 6888 Central Postal Directory Battalion may finally receive a Congressional Medal for their efforts. 

The book is a fast and easy read. I did this as a buddy read with one of my bookish friends. We set out to just read the first five chapters before discussing but quickly surpassed that! The underlying theme of race and the time period the book was set in created tension. Because these women were doing something groundbreaking with respect to race and gender there wasn't much foreshadowing needed to predict that some horrible conflict was going to be the central and defining aspect of the story's plot. The things I didn't care for in the book was the alternating perspectives without giving a clear indicator. Additionally, in dialogue, I wish the author would have just referred to some of the secondary characters by name. For example, in chapter 5, there's an exchange between Eliza and her parents. And as the dialogue transitions from character to character, the author identifies Eliza but refers to her parents as "Mother" and "Father," which I found a little cumbersome. 

Overall, this was a good book about an important, overlooked, part of U.S. history. I would love for Alderson to explore writing additional books about some of the other secondary characters in the book. It would make for an engaging series. (And I'm not even big on book series!) 

Recommendation: I would definitely recommend this book as an educational read for middle schoolers and up. The historical background and creative writing makes it a pleasurable read. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


Post a Comment