War Girls, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


As featured on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour. 1914: war has broken out across Europe and beyond. Nothing will ever be the same again for those caught up in the conflict.

This collection of short stories explores how the First World War changed and shaped the lives of women forever.

A courageous nurse risks her life at the Front Line; a young woman discovers independence and intrigue in wartime London; and a grief-stricken widow defends her homeland amidst the destruction of war.

Through these and other tales, War Girls presents a moving portrait of loss and grief, and of hope overcoming terrible odds.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical
  • ISBN: 9781783440603



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This is an excellent set of short stories that go into detail about single girls during World War I, well most of them start off as girls but end up as women. It's full of tragedy and heartbreak and realistic treatments of what happened with a lot of these people who were at a life-changing part of the 20th Century. As Sally Nicholls says in her story Going Spare "They didn't just do nothing... All those women. They changed the world."Theresa Breslin's Shadow and Light is about a gifted artist who becomes a nurse in the front lines, the end made me cry. Seriously this was a very good story. There is a romance but it's not simple.Ghost Story by Matt Whyman features an older woman, a female sniper on the Turkish side, who takes up arms when everyone else is gone.Storm in a Teashop by Mary Hooper is about a waitress in a cafe who discovers that nothing is as it seems and that the Front can be at home.The Marshalling of Angelique's Geese by Rowena House features Bird Flu and the implications of live animals with so many men at the front.Mother and Mrs Everington by Melvin Burgess is a story of learning what real courage is and how much harder it is to talk about bravery than experience it.Sky Dancer by Berlie Doherty is again about perception, the perception of a girl whose pilot boyfriend disappears and then she goes to the front to entertain the troops, finding out what the reality is of the situation. The last paragraph almost broke my heart.Piercing the Veil by Anne Fine explores the hope that spirtualism brought many of the people on the home front.The Green behind the Glass by Adele Geras deals with a girl learning about the death of the boy who she was falling in love with but was engaged to her sister, and her experiences in Kew with him that influence her life and what appears to be her future self meet.Going Spare by Sally Nicholls is about an older woman telling about her experience of being part of the Spare generation, going to balls with very few boys and finding that she could have a place in society, even without the "normal" place that women had, and that maybe it was these "spare" women who had the time and energy to make a lot of change happen.All in all a good set of stories, heartbreaking in places but well worth a read.

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