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Book Review : A woman’s place

March 13, 2009

A Woman’s Place by Lynn Austin (Bethany House, 2006) is the story of four women whose lives become unexpectedly intertwined when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbour in December 1941. With American men suddenly involved in the war there is a shortage of employees at the shipyards in Stockton and our four main characters find themselves as co-workers.

Virginia is a housewife and mother of two school age boys who no longer feels needed at home. Working at the shipyards and helping the war effort gives her life a purpose and meaning.

Helen is a single woman and a school teacher who resigned to look after her parents who have now past away. She is suddenly left with too much time on her hands. However she has to wait for the commencement of the school year to rejoin the teaching staff so in the meantime she takes a position at the shipyards.

Rosa is recently married after a whirlwind romance and is now staying with her in-laws until her husband returns from the war. However her in-laws have a vastly different life style to what Rosa is accustom to and desperately needs something to do to keep out of their way.

Jean is building up her funds to go to college with her twin brother after the war. She is also helping her sister and children while her husband is away in the services. She has a boyfriend back in her home town but wonders if he really shares her hopes and dreams.

A Woman’s Place has a stronger Christian content than, A Proper Pursuit, but this is still handled well. Lynn Austin has created four very different, but believable, women who find friendship in an undesirable situation. Through the remainder of the war they share joy and tears in a moving and enjoyable tale.

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith