Hot Best Seller

Sisters of the Great War

Availability: Ready to download

Inspired by real women, this powerful novel tells the story of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I August 1914. While Europe enters a brutal conflict unlike any waged before, the Duncan household in Baltimore, Maryland, is the setting for a different struggle. Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape the roles that society, and thei Inspired by real women, this powerful novel tells the story of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I August 1914. While Europe enters a brutal conflict unlike any waged before, the Duncan household in Baltimore, Maryland, is the setting for a different struggle. Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape the roles that society, and their controlling father, demand they play. Together, the sisters volunteer for the war effort--Ruth as a nurse, Elise as a driver. Stationed at a makeshift hospital in Ypres, Belgium, Ruth soon confronts war's harshest lesson: not everyone can be saved. Rising above the appalling conditions, she seizes an opportunity to realize her dream to practice medicine as a doctor. Elise, an accomplished mechanic, finds purpose and an unexpected kinship within the all-female Ambulance Corps. Through bombings, heartache and loss, Ruth and Elise cherish an independence rarely granted to women, unaware that their greatest challenges are still to come. Illuminating the critical role women played in the Great War, this is a remarkable story of resilience, sacrifice and the bonds that can never be vanquished.


Compare

Inspired by real women, this powerful novel tells the story of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I August 1914. While Europe enters a brutal conflict unlike any waged before, the Duncan household in Baltimore, Maryland, is the setting for a different struggle. Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape the roles that society, and thei Inspired by real women, this powerful novel tells the story of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I August 1914. While Europe enters a brutal conflict unlike any waged before, the Duncan household in Baltimore, Maryland, is the setting for a different struggle. Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape the roles that society, and their controlling father, demand they play. Together, the sisters volunteer for the war effort--Ruth as a nurse, Elise as a driver. Stationed at a makeshift hospital in Ypres, Belgium, Ruth soon confronts war's harshest lesson: not everyone can be saved. Rising above the appalling conditions, she seizes an opportunity to realize her dream to practice medicine as a doctor. Elise, an accomplished mechanic, finds purpose and an unexpected kinship within the all-female Ambulance Corps. Through bombings, heartache and loss, Ruth and Elise cherish an independence rarely granted to women, unaware that their greatest challenges are still to come. Illuminating the critical role women played in the Great War, this is a remarkable story of resilience, sacrifice and the bonds that can never be vanquished.

30 review for Sisters of the Great War

  1. 5 out of 5

    "Avonna

    Check out all my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com SISTERS OF THE GREAT WAR by Suzanne Feldman is a Woman’s fiction/historical fiction story which follows two American sisters who volunteer to work at the front during WWI. Both want to escape the conventional roles society and their father demand they follow. Ruth Duncan has grown up assisting her doctor father and dreams of attending a medical school to train as a doctor rather than the nursing school she is currently attending. Her Check out all my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com SISTERS OF THE GREAT WAR by Suzanne Feldman is a Woman’s fiction/historical fiction story which follows two American sisters who volunteer to work at the front during WWI. Both want to escape the conventional roles society and their father demand they follow. Ruth Duncan has grown up assisting her doctor father and dreams of attending a medical school to train as a doctor rather than the nursing school she is currently attending. Her father refuses to even consider assisting her and wants her to be a nurse then a wife and mother. Elise Duncan has grown up being able to take anything mechanical apart and put it back together again. She is currently living at home and is the mechanic for her father’s car he needs for house calls. She has always felt different than other girls and her father believes she will continue to live at home and never marry. Both sisters want their freedom and travel to England to join the war effort. Ruth volunteers as a nurse and Elise follows volunteering as an ambulance driver and are sent to the front at Ypres, Belgium. As both adjust to the appalling conditions, they also both seize the opportunities to realize their dreams. The sisters suffer heartache and loss, but also realize their resilience and strengths. Bonds of friendship are forged that cannot be broken by war. I really enjoyed this story even as there are many scenes depicting the horrors and suffering of the troops and volunteers during WWI. The field hospital doctors and nurses had to deal with so much loss and the lack of current medical knowledge and antibiotics underscore how lucky we are with the medicine of today. The sister’s personal dreams and love interests are depicted with strength, vulnerability and empathy. This Women’s fiction/historical fiction story realistically depicts some of the horrors of WWI, feminist issues and an LGBT relationship all through the eyes of two American sisters. I recommend this Women’s fiction/historical fiction story.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    This is a really hard one to review. As for the story, it is absolutely wonderful, highly deserves 5 stars. I loved Ruth, John and Elise. But why did we have to take a downward spiral into a gay relationship. I do not judge; I respect everyone’s decisions but I have no interest whatsoever of reading a detailed gay sexual experience. The storyline had so much going for it, I don’t know why those scenes had to be covered. They didn’t add anything to the story, to me they just detracted. If I had n This is a really hard one to review. As for the story, it is absolutely wonderful, highly deserves 5 stars. I loved Ruth, John and Elise. But why did we have to take a downward spiral into a gay relationship. I do not judge; I respect everyone’s decisions but I have no interest whatsoever of reading a detailed gay sexual experience. The storyline had so much going for it, I don’t know why those scenes had to be covered. They didn’t add anything to the story, to me they just detracted. If I had not had so much time and interest invested into this book, I would have shut it up and quit. But I wanted to find out if Ruth’s dreams come true, did John continue being a surgeon and what happens after the war. So, I just kept pushing the forward button on my Kindle to get past them. Even keeping the relationship lighter or alluding to it would have helped. I received an ARC from Harlequin along with NetGalley for my honest review. Due to the content that was not revealed in the description of the book, this one went down to 3 ½ stars rounded up to 4…. (Because this is a really good story if you can get past some of it).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman is a great WWI historical fiction that highlights some of the integral ways women added to the war front. I loved reading these journeys that sisters Ruth and Elise Duncan experienced as they left their controlling father and smothering lives in America and right into the war in Europe. Ruth makes her contribution as a nurse on the battle front experiencing the brutalities firsthand that the soldiers endured. Elise finds her calling as a driver in the Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman is a great WWI historical fiction that highlights some of the integral ways women added to the war front. I loved reading these journeys that sisters Ruth and Elise Duncan experienced as they left their controlling father and smothering lives in America and right into the war in Europe. Ruth makes her contribution as a nurse on the battle front experiencing the brutalities firsthand that the soldiers endured. Elise finds her calling as a driver in the Ambulance Corps. Through their stories we see love, loss, heartbreak, death, and pivotal changes scattered amongst rays of hope and resilience. The author does a great job giving the reader a visual of the atrocities and losses of warfare in the early 20th century. Brutal but necessary. I enjoyed the sister’s stories and enjoyed how they progressed, grew, and changed. A great historical fiction for anyone interested in strong female characters and the WWI timeframe. 4/5 stars Thank you EW and Mira Books/Harlequin Publishing for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 10/26/21.

  4. 4 out of 5

    The Library Lady

    Entertaining, but there's nothing here you won't find in a lot of similar books, and a hokey, hokey ending. Entertaining, but there's nothing here you won't find in a lot of similar books, and a hokey, hokey ending.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Immersive, evocative, and affecting! Sisters of the Great War is an alluring tale set in German-Occupied Belgium and France during WWI that follows two American sisters, Ruth, a nurse who yearns to be a surgeon, and Elise, a mechanic with unprecedented skills with an engine, as they head to the front lines to help transport, heal, and save as many lives as possible in a landscape littered with blood, tears, ashes, ruins, and lost men. The prose is vivid and smooth. The characters are dependable, c Immersive, evocative, and affecting! Sisters of the Great War is an alluring tale set in German-Occupied Belgium and France during WWI that follows two American sisters, Ruth, a nurse who yearns to be a surgeon, and Elise, a mechanic with unprecedented skills with an engine, as they head to the front lines to help transport, heal, and save as many lives as possible in a landscape littered with blood, tears, ashes, ruins, and lost men. The prose is vivid and smooth. The characters are dependable, courageous, and resilient. And the plot is a moving tale of life, loss, self-discovery, heartbreak, determination, hope, loyalty, tragedy, survival, friendship, love, and wartime medicine. Overall, Sisters of the Great War is an emotive, rich, absorbing tale by Feldman that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the feelings, lives, and personalities of the characters you can’t help but be enthralled and fully invested from start to finish. Thank you to Suzanne Feldman for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Linda S.

    Sisters of the Great War: A Novel tells the story of two American sisters who volunteer for the British war effort during WWI - the eldest, Ruth, as a nurse, and the younger sister, Elise, as an ambulance driver. The sisters' story is phenomenally told by the author and we learn that Ruth wants to become a doctor rather than a nurse and Elise has her own secrets she is afraid to share. No spoilers - but it's definitely worth the read. It is a story of sacrifice, hardship, and love, and I really Sisters of the Great War: A Novel tells the story of two American sisters who volunteer for the British war effort during WWI - the eldest, Ruth, as a nurse, and the younger sister, Elise, as an ambulance driver. The sisters' story is phenomenally told by the author and we learn that Ruth wants to become a doctor rather than a nurse and Elise has her own secrets she is afraid to share. No spoilers - but it's definitely worth the read. It is a story of sacrifice, hardship, and love, and I really enjoyed it. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Olga Zilberbourg

    I feel lucky to have been asked to blurb this book! Here's my full blurb for it: Suzanne Feldman's SISTERS OF THE GREAT WAR is a deeply life-affirming book, the kind that will sustain you through the darkest of times. Set in the battlefields of Flanders, in the midst of a devastating trench warfare, vividly described, this novel is grounded in history yet boldly contemporary in its depiction of the two female protagonists. It shines the spotlight on women in active roles at the front as a nurse I feel lucky to have been asked to blurb this book! Here's my full blurb for it: Suzanne Feldman's SISTERS OF THE GREAT WAR is a deeply life-affirming book, the kind that will sustain you through the darkest of times. Set in the battlefields of Flanders, in the midst of a devastating trench warfare, vividly described, this novel is grounded in history yet boldly contemporary in its depiction of the two female protagonists. It shines the spotlight on women in active roles at the front as a nurse who is also doctor-in-training, and an ambulance driver. Feldman avoids easy binaries: her characters can be both practical and romantic, sensual and able to withstand terrible deprivations of war, care for hundreds of wounded men for days and months on end, and break down at the sight of a Christmas tree. These women are real and vulnerable, yet they never lose sight of their priorities and of the people they love. I couldn't help falling in love with them, both for their vulnerabilities and their strengths. I found this book immersive, profoundly affecting, and transformative in my appreciation and understanding of women of the past.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tissie

    Sisters of the Great War is the story of Ruth and Elise Duncan, two sisters who enlist in the army during WWI. They have their reasons to do so, whether it’s pursuing a dream or escaping from their father’s oppressive household; what awaits them in Ypres, though, has nothing to do with ideals, morals, or the need to do the right thing. [Keep reading @ Bookshelves & Teacups] Sisters of the Great War is the story of Ruth and Elise Duncan, two sisters who enlist in the army during WWI. They have their reasons to do so, whether it’s pursuing a dream or escaping from their father’s oppressive household; what awaits them in Ypres, though, has nothing to do with ideals, morals, or the need to do the right thing. [Keep reading @ Bookshelves & Teacups]

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    World War I historical fiction with unusual twists. A fascinating opportunity to look inside the operating rooms of surgeons during the Great War and a nurse who courageously did much more than anyone ever expected. Plus, a glimpse into the relationship between two ambulance drivers at a time when women were forced to hide these feelings. And a detailed description of the last few weeks of WWI as well as the days immediately after the armistice in France and England. One of the most realistic stor World War I historical fiction with unusual twists. A fascinating opportunity to look inside the operating rooms of surgeons during the Great War and a nurse who courageously did much more than anyone ever expected. Plus, a glimpse into the relationship between two ambulance drivers at a time when women were forced to hide these feelings. And a detailed description of the last few weeks of WWI as well as the days immediately after the armistice in France and England. One of the most realistic stories I’ve read about this time period. I not only learned a great deal but I was inspired to do further research. Exceedingly highly recommended. Thank you very much to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    4.5 stars. Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman is a powerful novel that highlights the dangerous jobs undertaken by women during World War I. In 1914, sisters Ruth and Elise Duncan live with their widowed father and grandfather in Baltimore. Both young women have unconventional choices for their careers. Elise is mechanically inclined and her physician father indulges her by allowing her to work on his car. During her childhood, Ruth tagged along father to his medical practice and she want 4.5 stars. Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman is a powerful novel that highlights the dangerous jobs undertaken by women during World War I. In 1914, sisters Ruth and Elise Duncan live with their widowed father and grandfather in Baltimore. Both young women have unconventional choices for their careers. Elise is mechanically inclined and her physician father indulges her by allowing her to work on his car. During her childhood, Ruth tagged along father to his medical practice and she wants to follow in his footsteps. Her dream is dashed by his insistence women are nurses not doctors. The sisters’ grandfather introduces them to John Doweling, the son of  a British family friend. As World War I intensifies, John completes medical school early in order to join the military. As Ruth contemplates her future, she and Elise volunteer to work at the temporary hospital in Ypres, Belgium. Close to the brutal fighting, Ruth and Elise’s lives are forever altered by their experiences. Ruth is bitterly disappointed at her father’s decree that she become a nurse. Meeting John is transformational in more than one way and she yearns for the opportunity to pursue her career aspiration. Ruth can never seem to please her father, so after an angry encounter, she sets her plans in motion to work as a nurse in Ypres. But nothing in her life can prepare for the conditions she finds at the field hospital. Terrified yet committed, Ruth’s aptitude for surgery is put to use as wounded soldiers pour into the operating room. She and John are reunited and their friendship soon turns much deeper. Elise’s interest in working on cars is unorthodox yet she cannot give up doing what she loves. She will not allow Ruth to go to Ypres on her own and they set off on their journey together.  Elise has never really experienced any type of hardship so she is shocked at the conditions she finds upon her arrival.  She is a hard worker and her fellow ambulance drivers soon come to rely on her mechanical abilities. Elise forms a close friendship with fellow driver Hera Montraine and the two are soon inseparable. Sisters of the Great War is a riveting novel that is incredibly fascinating. The sisters' anguish, the unbearable conditions and heartrending decisions play out against the vivid backdrop of the hospital and raging battles at the front. Ruth and Elise and well-developed characters that grow and evolve during their transformational years during World War I. Suzanne Feldman’s meticulous research results in an educational and unforgettable novel about women who volunteered to fill precarious jobs during the Great War.

  11. 5 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    I loved this historical fiction book about two American sisters who volunteer at the front during WWI. There aren't as many WWI books so it was nice to read about what life was like for the women working on the frontlines as ambulance drivers, nurses and doctor's assistants. The author does such a great job bringing what it was like on the front to vivid life. The conditions in the medical tents and the state the makeshift hospitals, as well as the primitiveness of the medical treatment was all I loved this historical fiction book about two American sisters who volunteer at the front during WWI. There aren't as many WWI books so it was nice to read about what life was like for the women working on the frontlines as ambulance drivers, nurses and doctor's assistants. The author does such a great job bringing what it was like on the front to vivid life. The conditions in the medical tents and the state the makeshift hospitals, as well as the primitiveness of the medical treatment was all described to great effect. Told in alternating perspectives between the two sisters, Elise dreams of being an actual doctor, and her sister Ruth finds the freedom to be her true self far away from the strictures of heteronormative life in American society. Both sisters find romance on the front, Ruth with another woman ambulance driver and Elise with an army surgeon. Highly recommended for any historical fiction fans, especially those wanting to know more about the bravery and courage of women in WWI. Great on audio and perfect for fans of Band of Sisters or The woman on the front. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my advance review copy!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bev Walkling

    I read this book in about a 12 hour time period with a few breaks here and there. I found it to be extremely well written and vivid in it's descriptions of the conditions that the wounded and those caring for them faced on a daily basis. How any of the wounded survived is amazing given the dirt, lack of antibiotics and absence of sterile conditions. The only thing it didn't touch on was the Spanish flu which so devastated the world during the latter part of the great war. My great aunt served ov I read this book in about a 12 hour time period with a few breaks here and there. I found it to be extremely well written and vivid in it's descriptions of the conditions that the wounded and those caring for them faced on a daily basis. How any of the wounded survived is amazing given the dirt, lack of antibiotics and absence of sterile conditions. The only thing it didn't touch on was the Spanish flu which so devastated the world during the latter part of the great war. My great aunt served overseas as a Canadian nurse in the great war and it was definitely part of her experience. This novel explored many issues relating to the role of women including women as doctors, women as mechanics, women and the vote, same sex relations and more. The characters were believable and grew into women of strength in spite of the challenges that they faced.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    I received a copy of this book from Book Browse and liked it very much. The book is about two girls from Baltimore who volunteer during WWI. Ruth Duncan wants to be a doctor, but her father (who is a doctor) believes women should only marry or become a nurse. Her sister Elise is a good mechanic and has kept her fathers car running and becomes a volunteer ambulance driver. John Doweling is a family friend who is a doctor. The girls are stationed in Belgium along with John. The horrors of war are I received a copy of this book from Book Browse and liked it very much. The book is about two girls from Baltimore who volunteer during WWI. Ruth Duncan wants to be a doctor, but her father (who is a doctor) believes women should only marry or become a nurse. Her sister Elise is a good mechanic and has kept her fathers car running and becomes a volunteer ambulance driver. John Doweling is a family friend who is a doctor. The girls are stationed in Belgium along with John. The horrors of war are graphically described and weather always seems to make things even worse. Elise finds love with another ambulance driver, Hera. Ruth find love with John. John encourages Ruth to pursue her desire to be a doctor. War does not leave all these characters without injury and there is suspense . The Germans bomb the hospital areas and the anticipation of who might be injured or killed keeps you reading. If you like war stories, as I do, this one is a little different.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christine Cazeneuve

    By far, one of the best books I have ever read. The story of two sisters, Ruth and Elise, who volunteer to join the war efforts during WWI. One as a nurse and the other as an ambulance driver. The author writes so that you will feel that you are actually right there experiencing everything that they do. You will laugh, cry, get angry, scared and frustrated but you will never regret reading this book. Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” The quote is by William Tecumseh Sherman. While Sherman was referring to the American Civil War, it is just as germane to World War I, and indeed any war either before or since. Sisters of the Great War focuses on, not those who fired the shots, but rather those whose duty it was to hear the s Originally published at Reading Reality “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” The quote is by William Tecumseh Sherman. While Sherman was referring to the American Civil War, it is just as germane to World War I, and indeed any war either before or since. Sisters of the Great War focuses on, not those who fired the shots, but rather those whose duty it was to hear the shrieks and groans of the wounded. Those who were tasked with the duty of transporting the wounded from the “front” to the makeshift hospitals nearly always inadequately staffed with doctors, nurses and orderlies who did the best they could with what little they had to patch them up if they could, invalid them out if they could not, or at least give them as much peace and surcease from pain as possible as they died. Ruth and Elise Duncan represent two of those women. Ruth as a nurse, and Elise as an ambulance driver and mechanic. The story in Sisters of the Great War is the story of service on the front lines of that hell, undertaken with a lot of pluck, a great deal of stubbornness, and no small amount of naivete as a way of escaping privileged but unfulfilled lives under their father’s dictatorial thumb. In Baltimore. In the United States. In 1914. Three years before the Americans entered the war. They volunteered, not really knowing, as no one did in 1914, that the war was going to take four long years of trenches and gas and devastation. Ruth left behind her father’s stern disapproval in the hopes that somehow, someway, serving as a nurse in wartime would give her the experience and the attitude needed for her to live her dream and become a doctor. Elise just came along to keep her sister safe. Not that, as it turned out, safety was what either of them was built for. Nor was there any safety to be had in hospital tents or in barely functioning ambulances that were shelled almost as often as the trenches. This is a story of perseverance in the face of bombs, shells and prejudice, railing against the lice and the substandard food and the even worse conditions and the sheer bloody-mindedness required to do not nearly enough with not nearly enough in order to save as many as possible – even if that wasn’t nearly enough either. But they tried their best. They kept trying in the face of all the odds. And in the end, it was enough. Escape Rating A: There have been plenty of stories featuring women who served in World War I as nurses or ambulance drivers. I can think of three off the top of my head; Phryne Fisher, Maisie Dobbs and Bess Crawford. (It may or may not be a coincidence that all lead mystery series.) But the thing that struck me about all three of those heroines in comparison to Ruth and Elise Duncan is that in all three of those cases, in spite of the war being a critical part of each of their experiences, the brutal, devastating, depressing horror of the experience itself is a bit glossed over. Phryne firmly keeps herself from looking back at her experience as an ambulance driver, while Maisie’s wartime experience effectively occurs between stories. Even Bess Crawford a nurse in a forward aid station, just as Ruth Duncan is at the beginning of her career, seems to carefully glance away from the worst of the gore in the operating theater to focus on the more individual gore of the murders that Bess uncovers. What feels singular about Sisters of the Great War is that it uses Ruth’s and Elise’s slightly separated perspectives to put the nearly neverending horrors of the war and the desperation of the health care workers attempting to save them in the center of the story. We’re with them every draining, numbing step of their way. We feel for them and with them and it makes their experience searing and horrifying and so very human. They’re both trying so hard and it’s never enough and they keep doing it anyway. We can’t turn our eyes away from their story – because they didn’t. And yet, they’re not superhuman. We see their hopelessness and their fears and their exhaustion and we’re with them. But because the story doesn’t gloss over just how much hell this war is, it’s a hard book because their experience, and the entire experience of that war, was so very hard and so deeply dark. Not that there aren’t light moments in the story and in their hopes for the future – even as both of those things are full of fear. Ruth may have volunteered to escape their father, but she is also following the man she loves. Elise finally admits the truth of her own heart, and lets herself fall in love with another woman in spite of the censure they will face. They do emerge from their war, bloody, often literally, and not either unscathed or unbowed. But they find the light at the end of their long dark tunnel and the entire experience makes for an extremely compelling read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Audrey Adamson Stars in Her Eye

    Suzanne Feldman used real women as inspiration for this tale of two American women working on the front of World War I. It's August 1914 and Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape women restricting society, and their controlling father. Ruth longed to be a doctor a profession not easily given to women. Elise loved working on her father's care and was seen as particularly peculiar. Really throwing a wrench into their lives, Ruth volunteers for the war as a nurse even though the US was not part of th Suzanne Feldman used real women as inspiration for this tale of two American women working on the front of World War I. It's August 1914 and Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape women restricting society, and their controlling father. Ruth longed to be a doctor a profession not easily given to women. Elise loved working on her father's care and was seen as particularly peculiar. Really throwing a wrench into their lives, Ruth volunteers for the war as a nurse even though the US was not part of the war. Elise refuses to let Ruth go alone and becomes an ambulance driver. Throughout the war, these women learn a lot about the world as well as about themselves. While there is tragedy and loss, this is one of the lighter books I have read about WWI. Focusing on the critical role women played also gives it a different perspective from many books about the time period I have read. Feldman moves through the cruelty and hurts focusing on each woman making it character motivated instead of being propelled by the war. We saw their personal changes as they go through the war and see them bloom even more than they would in the society they had left. I love that this tackled several women's issues. Not only do the readers get angry when Ruth is told she can't be a doctor because she's a woman, but we also want to take Elise in our arms as she goes through her sexuality. Elise has to balance love and work as she becomes to realizes she is a lesbian. For me, this journey was twice as hard as Ruth's Ruth knew what she wanted and fought for it whereas Elise was getting to know the stranger inside her. Overall, this is a war that won't make you cry or your heart hurt in despair. While tragedy and loss aren't ignored, the book follows the sisters and their lives instead of just the violence of war. This would be a good book for that Fall break. Publication Date: October 26 I received an ARC from the publisher; all opinions are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Sisters of the Great War is set near the front lines of Ypres, Belgium during WW1. When life with their domineering father becomes unbearable and the path he charts for them unacceptable, two young American sisters, Ruth and Elise, volunteer to serve in the war in Belgium. Ruth works at a mobile hospital, trying to nurture her dream of becoming a doctor but finds male attitudes, in general, make this very difficult. Elise joins the Ambulance Service and puts her skill at fixing vehicles to use. Sisters of the Great War is set near the front lines of Ypres, Belgium during WW1. When life with their domineering father becomes unbearable and the path he charts for them unacceptable, two young American sisters, Ruth and Elise, volunteer to serve in the war in Belgium. Ruth works at a mobile hospital, trying to nurture her dream of becoming a doctor but finds male attitudes, in general, make this very difficult. Elise joins the Ambulance Service and puts her skill at fixing vehicles to use. In the difficult conditions of war, seeing constant death and life-changing injuries, the sisters also struggle to find their place in the world and be accepted without judgement of their choices. While the story is fiction, it is inspired by real women who served in the war. Having recently helped my son with his WW1 history homework, including watching documentaries of life on the front, the author did a fantastic job of bringing to life the destruction, death and despair of the war. One character in the novel who served with Ruth in the mobile hospital, when the war ends in 1918, sums it up well: “All those young men. All of them, dead now. People say it’s an entire generation. What a useless waste of lives.” But the novel also shows the indomitable spirit of the young women who bravely served in this four year war and survived such difficult situations. The lives of the male soldiers they touched with their care and compassion, the friendships and relationships the women form, the hopes and dreams that they hold onto, uplifts this book and provides a hopeful future for Ruth and Ellis. I haven’t read a lot of WW1 historical fiction (most of the ones I’ve read are set in WW2) and I found this an interesting, engrossing and informative one. I finished this one last night and I woke up still thinking about it. Very well done!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    Ruth and Elise Duncan not only defy their strict father, they defy convention. Volunteering for the war effort, the sisters each take on different roles while attending to those injured in the war. Not only does Ruth aspire to become a doctor, Elise begins driving as part of an all-female ambulance group. The sisters strive to remain close despite rather bleak conditions. For Ruth, her love of medicine comes second to her love of her fellow man, and does not let the fact that she is a woman dete Ruth and Elise Duncan not only defy their strict father, they defy convention. Volunteering for the war effort, the sisters each take on different roles while attending to those injured in the war. Not only does Ruth aspire to become a doctor, Elise begins driving as part of an all-female ambulance group. The sisters strive to remain close despite rather bleak conditions. For Ruth, her love of medicine comes second to her love of her fellow man, and does not let the fact that she is a woman deter her from her goals. Both Ruth and Elise find a chance at love, but not without its challenges. Before that could even happen they leave home armed with a lot of experience in fields that were mostly denied to women. Leaving their father and grabbing ahold of whatever freedoms they could, their travels eventually bring both sisters to Ypres, Belgium. Conditions are beyond deplorable, but hope slowly shines through for both sisters. This was no delicate story. In fact, some of the field scenes were heartbreaking. Loss seemed to be winning time and again, especially when medical practices were severely lacking. Beyond that, Elise found love in an unlikely place, further proving her strong sense of independence. While this powerful story emphasized Ruth and Elise finding groundbreaking experiences, Elise's story also had more than a bit of a sensitive story that is not the norm for a historical fiction story. This was a great story when it came to seeing medicine in the eyes of women during that time. I also enjoyed the relationship the sisters shared, especially when it came to Ruth really understanding Elise. Many thanks to MIRA and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andreajanel_reads

    Ruth and Elise have struggled to meet the demands of their father. His expectations of womanhood, and a woman's role in the world, are those of a nurturing homebody with no aspirations outside the domestic sphere. Edwardian society is unforgiving and it is impossible to weather even the tiniest scandal. When Ruth is inadvertently arrested in the middle of a suffrage protest her father is incensed and she is dismissed from nursing school. Her arrest becomes a window to evaluate what she truly wan Ruth and Elise have struggled to meet the demands of their father. His expectations of womanhood, and a woman's role in the world, are those of a nurturing homebody with no aspirations outside the domestic sphere. Edwardian society is unforgiving and it is impossible to weather even the tiniest scandal. When Ruth is inadvertently arrested in the middle of a suffrage protest her father is incensed and she is dismissed from nursing school. Her arrest becomes a window to evaluate what she truly wants from life, and to forge her own path. Her younger sister Elise is trapped and unhappy as well, forever tinkering with their father's automobile, never more content than when she is covered in grease with a wrench in her hand. Ruth's meeting with a young doctor, and his assurance that her skills will be needed on the battlefield, is serendipitous. She accepts his invitation. The bloody, tragic fields of WWI are the destiny that Ruth and Elise pursue. Ruth finally has the opportunity to engage in an operating room as more than a nurse, and Elise finds love and purpose as a mechanic for the trucks that ferry supplies and soldiers to and from the front. Pick up this lovely book if you enjoyed Band of Sisters or Masterpiece Theatre's Crimson Fields, are intrigued by the origin of the suffrage movement in Canada, or want an intriguing glimpse behind the scenes of WWI. A heartfelt thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    theliterateleprechaun

    Focusing on the role women played and the sacrifices they made during World War 1, Feldman crafts the tale of the two unconventional Duncan sisters from Baltimore, Maryland, who volunteered with the British at the Belgian Front. Ruth Duncan is a nursing student and longs to become a doctor but her widowed father refuses to allow it. Longing to escape the roles that society, and their controlling father, demand, Ruth signs up and helps out in the medical field in Ypres, Belgium, hoping to one day Focusing on the role women played and the sacrifices they made during World War 1, Feldman crafts the tale of the two unconventional Duncan sisters from Baltimore, Maryland, who volunteered with the British at the Belgian Front. Ruth Duncan is a nursing student and longs to become a doctor but her widowed father refuses to allow it. Longing to escape the roles that society, and their controlling father, demand, Ruth signs up and helps out in the medical field in Ypres, Belgium, hoping to one day become a doctor. Her sister, Elise, an accomplished mechanic, works as an ambulance driver and a wartime mechanic and loves the camaraderie, acceptance, and friendship in the all-female Ambulance Corps. Both find love amid the battlefields of World War 1, Ruth with a doctor who encourages her dream to become a doctor, and Elise with another female ambulance driver. Both sisters work and live through bombings, heartache and loss, yet believe it’s worth it to experience independence that they wouldn’t enjoy at home. Despite a slow plot, a writing style I didn’t enjoy, characters I couldn’t connect with and uncomfortable (for me) moments, it’s still a remarkable and unique story of resilience, sacrifice and camaraderie and features the critical role women played in WW1. This book features a LGBTQ relationship not stated in the synopsis. Publishes October 26, 2021. I was gifted this advance copy by Susanne Feldman, Harlequin, MIRA, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Em__Jay

    SISTERS OF THE GREAT WAR by Suzanne Feldman is set during the harrowing times of World War One. It’s the story of Americans, Ruth and Elise Duncan, and their time spent as war volunteers - Ruth, as a nurse, and Elise, as an ambulance driver. Feldman tackles several key themes in the book. There’s the struggle for female autonomy. This is something that greatly affects Ruth as a woman trying to make her way in the male dominated field of medicine. There’s Ruth and Elise’s relationship with their SISTERS OF THE GREAT WAR by Suzanne Feldman is set during the harrowing times of World War One. It’s the story of Americans, Ruth and Elise Duncan, and their time spent as war volunteers - Ruth, as a nurse, and Elise, as an ambulance driver. Feldman tackles several key themes in the book. There’s the struggle for female autonomy. This is something that greatly affects Ruth as a woman trying to make her way in the male dominated field of medicine. There’s Ruth and Elise’s relationship with their staunchly patriarchal yet often hypocritical father - he’s a firm believer in traditional roles for women and yet he exploits both daughter’s skills in ‘male’ vocations for his own benefit. And then there is the war. Feldman doesn’t shy away from the horrors that soldiers and support staff faced. I liked that Feldman showed that for every person there a different motivation for being part of the war effort, and the story also raises the question of whether too high a price can be paid to win a war. The ceaseless work of caring for the soldiers takes up a significant part of the story, and while I can imagine this is an accurate depiction, from a reader’s perspective I felt at times I was missing out on the opportunity to better connect with the characters. If you’re interested in reading further about some of the themes found in this book, the author has kindly provided a list of sources.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    The Review This was so beautifully crafted and vividly descriptive that readers will feel instantly transported into the narrative. The stark contrast between the restrictive household the protagonists started out into the visceral hellscape of the front lines of WWI and the interlaced story of deeply personal growth with strong themes throughout really made this story shine brightly. The horrors of war the sisters endured showed a much different aspect of the Great War than most projects tackle, The Review This was so beautifully crafted and vividly descriptive that readers will feel instantly transported into the narrative. The stark contrast between the restrictive household the protagonists started out into the visceral hellscape of the front lines of WWI and the interlaced story of deeply personal growth with strong themes throughout really made this story shine brightly. The horrors of war the sisters endured showed a much different aspect of the Great War than most projects tackle, highlighting the physical and mental effects the battles had on nurses and physicians in the field. The psychology and personal development of both Ruth and Elise were so engaging and brilliantly written. The themes of feminist struggles and the deep hardship of the LGBTQ community who had to remain hidden in the face of overwhelming battles like those faced in WWI really highlighted the intimate relationships they both formed with friends and loves alike, and their bond with one another as well. The Verdict A gripping, thought-provoking, and entertaining women’s fiction and historical fiction read, author Suzanne Feldman’s “Sisters of the Great War” is a must-read this fall. The growth and perseverance the sisters held onto in the face of great adversity, and the way their historical storyline and struggles can resonate with so many readers today made this a thoroughly enjoyable read and is not to be missed.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Ruth and Elise, loving sisters from Baltimore, volunteer for service in WWI for very different reasons. Ruth has always wanted to be a physician like her father but has been frustrated in nursing school- and then she's expelled. Elise loves cars. Loves them. Ruth doesn't exactly follow the handsome John, a British physician who is a friend of the family, off to Belgium but she does, becoming a nurse in field hospitals. The injuries are horrible, the conditions grim, and Ruth begins to find her f Ruth and Elise, loving sisters from Baltimore, volunteer for service in WWI for very different reasons. Ruth has always wanted to be a physician like her father but has been frustrated in nursing school- and then she's expelled. Elise loves cars. Loves them. Ruth doesn't exactly follow the handsome John, a British physician who is a friend of the family, off to Belgium but she does, becoming a nurse in field hospitals. The injuries are horrible, the conditions grim, and Ruth begins to find her footing in surgery, against the rules. Meanwhile, Elise is driving ambulances too and from the trains which bring the wounded and to and from the front. And she finds a special friend who becomes her love. There are some lovely emotional scenes as Elise discovers her truth. There have been many WWI novels in recent years; this is distinguished by the LGBTQ angle, the characters, and the storytelling. And by the speech given by one of the nurses to Ruth on Armistice Day- wow. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. I was never sure (a good thing) who would live and I found myself caring deeply not only for the sisters but for the rest as well. It was a page turner for me. Excellent read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Judy Odom

    Sisters of the Great War is a mesmerizing story of two sisters who leave America to enlist in the Great War. Ruth is a nurse and her sister Elise will become an ambulance driver at the Front. The horror at the Front is soon apparent and you are pulled into the horrific injuries and death. How the soldiers are triaged quickly, some have no chance and the others face brutal conditions at the hospitals as the staff work around the clock. Being an ambulance driver is just heroic. My grandmother was a S Sisters of the Great War is a mesmerizing story of two sisters who leave America to enlist in the Great War. Ruth is a nurse and her sister Elise will become an ambulance driver at the Front. The horror at the Front is soon apparent and you are pulled into the horrific injuries and death. How the soldiers are triaged quickly, some have no chance and the others face brutal conditions at the hospitals as the staff work around the clock. Being an ambulance driver is just heroic. My grandmother was a Sister in The Great War and was injured so I thought of her often as I got lost in the story of the sisters. This book will stay with me for a long time to come. Thanks to NetGalley and Harelquin - Trade Publishing (U.S. & Canada) - Mira for a captivating read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I won an ARC of this book in a Giveaway and I could not put it down!! Ruth and Elise.....I don't know how they got through all of that horror. I don't know how the people who did this for real were able to get through it. They fought to get through it though and they did one hell of a job. I loved watching Ruth go from being a nurse in their eyes to being an actual doctor. That was so cool! And the relationship between Hera and Elise was just so sweet!! They were protective of each other and the I won an ARC of this book in a Giveaway and I could not put it down!! Ruth and Elise.....I don't know how they got through all of that horror. I don't know how the people who did this for real were able to get through it. They fought to get through it though and they did one hell of a job. I loved watching Ruth go from being a nurse in their eyes to being an actual doctor. That was so cool! And the relationship between Hera and Elise was just so sweet!! They were protective of each other and they guided each other and in the end they won and that made me really happy. I loved this book so much and I recommend it to everyone!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary B

    Picked this up to read as a part of Remembrance Day week, not at all familiar with it or the author. It was a great choice, as it deals with both the atrocities of The Great War, as well as how women were still considered well below the status of "human". Two sisters, both at odds with their doctor-father who had raised them both in the strict fashion of the time, decided to volunteer overseas as nurse and ambulance driver respectively. With very little training, they were immersed in the war in Picked this up to read as a part of Remembrance Day week, not at all familiar with it or the author. It was a great choice, as it deals with both the atrocities of The Great War, as well as how women were still considered well below the status of "human". Two sisters, both at odds with their doctor-father who had raised them both in the strict fashion of the time, decided to volunteer overseas as nurse and ambulance driver respectively. With very little training, they were immersed in the war in no time and ill-prepared for what they encountered. Lots of detail of a War unlike any other (not for the squeamish). Relationships and romance. Pretty much something for anyone. Quite well written with good variety of characters. I am quite pleased to have discovered this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Thank you to Bookbrowse.com and Harper Collins Publishers for an ARC of this novel in exchange for a fair review. A variation of this review has been submitted to Bookbrowse.com. Historical fiction about World War I gets short shrift compared to the large number of books written about World War II. This novel carves out a small section of the war to tell the story of two sisters who leave the comfort of their Baltimore home to join Britain's war effort as a nurse and an ambulance driver. They ar Thank you to Bookbrowse.com and Harper Collins Publishers for an ARC of this novel in exchange for a fair review. A variation of this review has been submitted to Bookbrowse.com. Historical fiction about World War I gets short shrift compared to the large number of books written about World War II. This novel carves out a small section of the war to tell the story of two sisters who leave the comfort of their Baltimore home to join Britain's war effort as a nurse and an ambulance driver. They are sent to Ypres, Belgium and are immediately in the middle of some of the most gruesome parts of the war. This novel showed women leaving their homes, going to war and then having the ability to live different lives than their mothers. World War I opened up the possibilities for women to have careers and lives that did not include marriage and children.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeni López

    This book was amazing! I took my time reading it- it was so heart wrenching. I look forward to reading more from this author

  29. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Ruth and Elise Duncan sign up to serve as a nurse and driver during WWI. The sisters are looking for a way to escape the feminine roles society expects them to fill - Ruth plans to become a doctor (forbidden by her father) and Elise wants to work as a mechanic. Both find love, comradeship, and appreciation of their skills on the bloody, muddy battlefields. Their stories are well-told, although some descriptions of the setting are very detailed while large chunks of time are glossed over quickly. Ruth and Elise Duncan sign up to serve as a nurse and driver during WWI. The sisters are looking for a way to escape the feminine roles society expects them to fill - Ruth plans to become a doctor (forbidden by her father) and Elise wants to work as a mechanic. Both find love, comradeship, and appreciation of their skills on the bloody, muddy battlefields. Their stories are well-told, although some descriptions of the setting are very detailed while large chunks of time are glossed over quickly. The novel does a good job portraying the mores of the time and the horrors of WWI.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alexis (hookedtobooks)

    Thank you Harlequin Trade Publishing for the copy of this book. - Read if you like: WW1 fiction, Somewhere in France - I absolutely loved this book. Follows two American sisters who enter the war as a nurse and an ambulance driver. Ruth wants to become a doctor but her father refuses to let her go to medical school. Elise loves working with cars, so when her sister joins the war, she goes too. - I really loved reading about their adventures and sacrifices. Loved how they were willing to go above and b Thank you Harlequin Trade Publishing for the copy of this book. - Read if you like: WW1 fiction, Somewhere in France - I absolutely loved this book. Follows two American sisters who enter the war as a nurse and an ambulance driver. Ruth wants to become a doctor but her father refuses to let her go to medical school. Elise loves working with cars, so when her sister joins the war, she goes too. - I really loved reading about their adventures and sacrifices. Loved how they were willing to go above and bey0ond to help and fight for their loved ones, and for what each deserves in their lives. - CW: war, death, amputation, sexism, homophobia.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...