Emmaline Balakin has recently arrived in France to serve as a war librarian during World War I after leaving her job at the dead letter office . The front is much more difficult than she expected and the conditions at the hospital are beyond imaginable. Emmaline encounters racism, sexism, finds love with a wounded soldier and builds a special bond with Nellie, a driver serving for the Red Cross.
In 1976, Kathleen Carre is among the first class of women accepted to the United States Naval Academy. Like Emmaline, she also encounters racism and discrimination . She finds that while women are admitted to the Naval Academy, they aren't necessarily accepted there.
I thought I knew how the two stories were going to intersect, but I was surprised by the way the story unfolded. The author did an excellent job writing independent stories, but also relating them back to each other and drawing the parallels over time.
Both women's stories are so inspiring and this novel really sheds a light on how far we have come, but also how far we still have to grow on these issues. The War Librarian was inspiring, memorable and engaging, truly a perfect historical fiction read.
I received this book courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.