Naturally enough, when a book is about Pearl Harbor and the events surrounding the attacks there, it is confronting.
The author did a great job of describing how life was for the people stationed there, before the attacks, and I felt like I was right there in the 40's, with Poppy, April, Grace and Eva, who were enjoying their time in Hawaii as young, single women. I enjoyed the scenes that the author set, and part of me wanted to go back and live in that time period myself, when people got dressed up to go to dances and things were a little more innocent. However, there were some aspects of that time that I am glad we have left far behind us as well. Women didn't have much of a say nor did they have as many options as the young women of today, and I am glad that has changed. Good manners could make a comeback though, any time they like!
Then, of course, came the attacks and the horror of that day was described very well, as were the aftereffects which were horrifying also. Grace was a bit squeamish about blood so that was interesting, considering she was a nurse! I think nursing was a slightly different kind of profession back in those days, although I had a friend who fainted the first time she saw an operation being done, so girls not being entirely suited to their profession isn't an entirely new thing.
This book was an excellent snapshot in time in so many ways.
The Girls Of Pearl Harbor, is a wonderful book about three young nurses working in Hawaii, two sisters April and Grace are army corps nurses and their new friend Eva is a nurse in the navy. In their spare time girls enjoy everything the island has to offer and it's a adventure in paradise. They enjoy going to the beach, swimming, and the attention of so many young handsome men. Of course they have no idea their world is about to change, when on the 7th of December 1941 the Japanese army bomb Pearl Harbor, the three nurses lives are changed forever and nothing could prepare them for what happens during and after they attack. The damage to Pearl Harbor is massive, buildings, ships and planes are destroyed by bombs and are on fire. They had no warning about Japanese forces attacking the island, the girls are caught up in a battle zone of flying bullets, bombs landing, patients with terrible wounds, burns and the severe loss of life. They also feel very vulnerable after the attack, being stranded in Hawaii, they have no idea if the Japanese would return and attack the now isolated island?
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, America declares war against the Japanese and joins the allied forces fighting in WW II. Grace, April and Eva decide to leave Hawaii and they volunteer to go to North Africa. Here the nurses are working in very primitive conditions, the hospital is made up of a series of tents, the food is horrible, the water is foul, flies drive them crazy, they can't have a proper bath, toilet facilities are a long drop and it's also stinking hot. All three women have their own personal issues to deal with, they have all experienced loss, grief and one had a difficult childhood. They're all effected by their work as nurses, the terrible injuries, soldiers with shell shock, the constant danger, a nasty doctor, lack of sleep, one very difficult patient and the poverty of the local people. The Girls Of Pearl Harbor takes you on a emotional journey, it's a story about how friends can help each other cope during tough times, young nurses growing up and becoming strong independent women, once the war is over they will choose to follow their dreams, one decides study to be a doctor and they all fall in love.