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Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War
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Published:
Scribner 2014
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Description
"A raw, intimate look at the impact of combat and the healing power of friendship" (People): the lives of three women deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and the effect of their military service on their personal lives and familiesnamed a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly.
"In the tradition of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Richard Rhodes, and other masters of literary journalism, Soldier Girls is utterly absorbing, gorgeously written, and unforgettable" (The Boston Globe). Helen Thorpe follows the lives of three women over twelve years on their paths to the military, overseas to combat, and back home...and then overseas again for two of them. These women, who are quite different in every way, become friends, and we watch their interaction and also what happens when they are separated. We see their families, their lovers, their spouses, their children. We see them work extremely hard, deal with the attentions of men on base and in war zones, and struggle to stay connected to their families back home. We see some of them drink too much, have affairs, and react to the deaths of fellow soldiers. And we see what happens to one of them when the truck she is driving hits an explosive in the road, blowing it up. She survives, but her life may never be the same again.

Deeply reported, beautifully written, and powerfully moving, Soldier Girls is "a breakthrough work...What Thorpe accomplishes in Soldier Girls is something far greater than describing the experience of women in the military. The book is a solid chunk of American history...Thorpe triumphs" (The New York Times Book Review).
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/05/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781451668124
ASIN:
B00GEECHA2
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Helen Thorpe. (2014). Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War. Scribner.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Helen Thorpe. 2014. Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women At Home and At War. Scribner.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Helen Thorpe, Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women At Home and At War. Scribner, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Helen Thorpe. Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women At Home and At War. Scribner, 2014.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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      • bioText: Helen Thorpe was born in London to Irish parents and grew up in New Jersey. Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, New York magazine, The New Yorker, Slate, and Harper's Bazaar. Her radio stories have aired on This American Life and Sound Print. She is the author of Just Like Us, Soldier Girls, and The Newcomers and lives in Denver.
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title
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fullDescription
"A raw, intimate look at the impact of combat and the healing power of friendship" (People): the lives of three women deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and the effect of their military service on their personal lives and familiesnamed a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly.
"In the tradition of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Richard Rhodes, and other masters of literary journalism, Soldier Girls is utterly absorbing, gorgeously written, and unforgettable" (The Boston Globe). Helen Thorpe follows the lives of three women over twelve years on their paths to the military, overseas to combat, and back home...and then overseas again for two of them. These women, who are quite different in every way, become friends, and we watch their interaction and also what happens when they are separated. We see their families, their lovers, their spouses, their children. We see them work extremely hard, deal with the attentions of men on base and in war zones, and struggle to stay connected to their families back home. We see some of them drink too much, have affairs, and react to the deaths of fellow soldiers. And we see what happens to one of them when the truck she is driving hits an explosive in the road, blowing it up. She survives, but her life may never be the same again.

Deeply reported, beautifully written, and powerfully moving, Soldier Girls is "a breakthrough work...What Thorpe accomplishes in Soldier Girls is something far greater than describing the experience of women in the military. The book is a solid chunk of American history...Thorpe triumphs" (The New York Times Book Review).
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from June 2, 2014
        Journalist Thorpe (Just Like Us) tells the moving story of three women in the Indiana National Guard who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Following her subjects from 2001 to 2013, Thorpe draws on interviews, personal correspondence, emails, diaries, medical records, and even therapists’ notes to portray their lives before, during, and after deployments. Michelle Fisher, a “music-loving... left-leaning” college student; Desma Brooks, a single mom with three children and three jobs; and Debbie Helton, a grandmother in her 50s and one of the longest-serving females in the National Guard, had different reasons for enlisting before 9/11. Not expecting to go to war, the three women bonded during their service in Afghanistan as part of the 113th Support Battalion at Camp Phoenix in Kabul. Through the years—in Afghanistan, where they diligently fulfilled their duties and struggle to adapt to military culture; in their return to civilian life; in the redeployment of two of them to Iraq—their support for each another never wavers. They speak openly about their drinking, illicit affairs, and struggles to fit in among a civilian population that seems oblivious to either war. Highlighting how profoundly military service changed their lives—and the lives of their families—this visceral narrative illuminates the role of women in the military, the burdens placed on the National Guard, and the disproportionate burden of these wars borne by the poor. Agent: Denise Shannon, Denise Shannon Literary Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2014

        Some 15 percent of the American military is female, and more have served in combat than ever before. For 12 years, Thorpe (Just Like Us) followed three women who enlisted in the Indiana National Guard, including a broke college student, a single mother, and a grandmother. None expected to go to war, but they were all deployed to Afghanistan. We follow their excruciatingly complicated and generally difficult lives and meet their families, lovers, children, and coworkers. We see them deal effectively with military duties, handle wanted and unwanted sexual attention, drink too much, and lose friends in ambushes. One, driving a truck, is hit by an improvised explosive device, changing her life forever. Another goes through her deployment and never feels threatened. They disagree about the war, support one another in uniform, and transition back into civilian life, though not without some setbacks. Thorpe provides a mass of detail on daily life, so much that it becomes almost mind-numbing despite the appealing humanity of these women. VERDICT This intimate narrative of the lives of ordinary Americans provides great insight into military life and is suitable for libraries with military collections.--Edwin Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, KS

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        July 1, 2014
        For the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, unprecedented numbers of men and women from the National Guard were called up and sent overseas. This book tells the story of three such womenwhat they thought they were getting into and what they got into and came out of, changed forever. The book flies by with its personal stories (some with names changed) of young Michelle, who just wanted help with her college education; Desma, a mother who had to leave her young children behind, twice; and grandmother Debbie, who served twice, too, while supporting the few other women and many of the men she encountered. Thorpe fills this gripping tale with the women's own words, texts, and letters (from friends and their children, as well), and the story is engrossing and heartbreaking at once. Thorpe notes in the acknowledgments that the women's full-bore contributions to the book were not just to enlighten readers but also to let other war veterans know that they are not alone in their struggle to put their lives back together after a deployment.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 24, 2014
        Thorpe traces the lives of three women in the Indiana National Guard who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, highlighting how profoundly military service changed their lives and the lives of their families. Reader Postel keeps a steady pace, but her tone is flat most of the time, often sounding automated. These dry spells are relieved by the sections with multiple first-person accounts, when Postel makes use of different voices and livens up her narration. She differentiates the voices of the three women and their family quite well, distinguishing them all and using a commanding or compassionate tone depending on the context. A Scribner hardcover.

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"A raw, intimate look at the impact of combat and the healing power of friendship" (People): the lives of three women deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and the effect of their military service on their personal lives and familiesnamed a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly.
"In the tradition of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Richard Rhodes, and other masters of literary journalism, Soldier Girls is utterly absorbing, gorgeously written, and unforgettable" (The Boston Globe). Helen Thorpe follows the lives of three women over twelve years on their paths to the military, overseas to combat, and back home...and then overseas again for two of them. These women, who are quite different in every way, become friends, and we watch their interaction and also what happens when they are separated. We see their families, their lovers, their spouses, their children. We see them work extremely hard, deal with the attentions of men on base and in...
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