A review by alayna
Band of Sisters: The Women of Smith College Go to War, by Lauren Willig


Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig tells the story of Smith College alumna who volunteer as WWI relief workers in 1917.

The novel follows Julia, Emmie, and mostly Kate Moran, a young woman from a working-class family and whose academic scholarship places her in classrooms with daughters of the elite. As Kate navigates war-torn France, she wrestles who she is among her peers: the proud, capable woman she knows she is verses the "charity girl" her classmates consider her.

Kate's working-class background will made her uniquely capable of navigating the challenges of war-torn France. She understood the importance of emphasizing dignity as well as charity to villagers as they rebuild their lives and livelihoods. But Kate also learned that the women of Smith College had their own unique skills to solve problems in ways she wouldn't have considered..

This book was very well researched which gave it a great sense of place. But at times I felt overwhelmed by the details. Even so, I appreciated learning about the variety of ways that women supported the war effort. Through a variety of letters we learn about the relatives of our cast of characters and the ways they are supporting both the war and suffrage efforts.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to historical fiction lovers. The audiobook was narrated by Julia Whalen and was especially enjoyable.