Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Woman's Place

by Lynn Austin.

Set during WWII, this story revolves around the lives of 4 women who have very different lives from one another:

  • Virginia (Ginny), a married mother of two school-aged boys who feels that her family doesn't need her and isn't interested in her
  • Rosa, a fiery young Italian girl who marries a marine she just met right before he leaves for basic training
  • Helen, an uptight, lonely and bitter old spinster
  • Jean, an ambitious young woman whose heart is set on going to college and having a career.
These four women all get jobs at a shipyard that has been set up to build ships and aircraft carriers for the war effort and learn to love and help one another. A lot happens in the book, and although there is a lot of sadness (it is set during WWII, after all) it has a happy ending. 

Themes in the book include racism, women in the workplace, sexism, friendship, romantic love, faith in God, and loyalty. I identified most with Ginny and was pleasantly surprised at her happy ending. I liked that there wasn't any cussing or graphic sex scenes.There were some loose ends that never were tied up to my satisfaction, and I think it touches a little lightly on some very serious issues that might deserve more attention, but overall it was a quick and easy and pleasant read, which is probably what is was intended to be. It made me wonder what life was truly like for those women during WWII who were called to work in factories while the men in our nation were away fighting in the war. My opinion is that except for a short time in the world's history (during the 1950's) most all lower and middle class women worked at whatever job was available to bring money and other resources into the family but maybe I'm wrong. 

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