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Girls on the Line: A Novel Kindle Edition
“Girls on the Line brings to vivid life the unknown story of American women who served on the front lines of World War I as telephone operators, working under shellfire and exhaustion to keep front-line officers connected during battle. Philadelphia socialite Ruby battles family disapproval to volunteer at the front, finding camaraderie and sisterhood among her fellow operators who risk their lives as much as any soldier, and fight to be accepted as soldiers in their own right. Runyan illuminates these little-known women of the past in a moving tale of female solidarity and courage.” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network
“A worthy war narrative with a strong, likable female lead and a solid supporting cast.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Runyan’s book represents the best of historical fiction…[Girls on the Line] is about the power of female friendship and feminism, as these women fight for equal rights and recognition. The pages crackle with history, the story of the unsung heroines of WWI, comradery, and finding the courage to be your true self.” —Historical Novel Society
“An intriguing and original novel inspired by the female telephone operators of WWI, Girls on the Line will delight fans of historical fiction. Now is the time for stories about strong, courageous women, and through her heroine, Ruby Wagner, Aimie K. Runyan crafts an absorbing tribute to a group of extraordinary women who played a vital role in the war.” —Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author
“Once again Aimie K. Runyan shines a much-deserved spotlight on unsung female heroes in history. Set during the First World War, Girls on the Line follows the arduous journey of an army telephone operator forced to navigate a world of codes and spies and the complexities of love. Brimming with strong women who are easy to root for, this story of loyalty and sacrifice make for an inspiring, heartfelt read.” —Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of The Edge of Lost
“Runyan brings America’s first women soldiers back to life in a heartfelt tale of love, loss, heroism, and war.” —Elizabeth Cobbs, author of The Hello Girls
About the Author
Aimie K. Runyan writes to celebrate history’s unsung heroines. She is the author of three previous historical novels, including the internationally bestselling Daughters of the Night Sky and Promised to the Crown. She is active as an educator and speaker in the writing community and beyond. She lives in Colorado with her wonderful husband and two (usually) adorable children. Visit her at www.aimiekrunyan.com.
- ASIN : B07CWV47JY
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (November 6, 2018)
- Publication date : November 6, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 1796 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 361 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #44,910 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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The writing was done well and the book pays attention to historical accuracy, but the main character is prone to self-righteous monologues and has very few faults, which the author makes very clear from the get-go. She is characterized as a modern feminist who is constantly under attack for her ideals. And while I am a feminist myself, the trope that the main character falls into is more like a Disney princess playing the victim rather than an inspirational female character. All we hear throughout the novel is 'woe is me, I'm so oppressed', and it's overdone to an extreme that takes away from the enjoyment of the novel. I don't think these themes are bad, per se, just overdone. The 'I am right in every situation and far superior while being both a feminist champion for women and humble and gorgeous at the same time' characterization is so off-putting and quite unrealistic.
There is also a sex scene, please be aware.
All in all, I would not recommend.
Did you know though that decades before, there was another group of 'hidden figures' in America's history? A group of women whose 'call to duty' would not be ignored or set aside.
The brave women who served with the U.S. Army's Signal Corp in battle-torn Europe during World War I.
In GIRLS ON THE LINE, Aimie K Runyan brings to life, in rich detail and engrossing narrative, the story of the 'hidden figures' in American history that predated those of America's space program. GIRLS ON THE LINE, a beautifully atmospheric set piece, is the story of a group of humble telephone operators in peacetime who became true heroines of World War I. These remarkable women, who more than once put themselves 'in harm's way', undisputedly changed the course of the war and in the process, saved countless lives.
Ruby Wagner is from a prominent Philadelphia family, engaged to be married to the son of another prominent Philadelphia family. Ruby has everything that she could ever want - the comforts of a well-to-do family and the privilege that goes with that - a future of ease and comfort - marriage, albeit an arranged one, to a kindhearted, good and decent man.
Everything she could want.
Except true happiness.
And true love.
As much as Ruby loves her parents, and tries to live up to their expectations, she is also resolved to be 'her own' woman and make her own decisions about her life. Part of her 'strike' for independence is taking a job, despite her mother's vehement objections as a telephone operator with Pennsylvania Bell.
When America enters the war, Ruby spends her days working the switchboards, rolling bandages for the Red Cross, and attending social functions where her mother 'grooms' Ruby for entry in to Mainline society. And then one day, in a cruel and ironic twist of fate, Ruby's family receives word that her older brother Francis has been killed on the muddy battlefields of Europe. When Ruby hears that the Army is looking for skilled telephone operators to join the war effort by enlisting in the U.S. Army's Signal
Corp and going to Europe, where their vastly superior skills will be put to the test both behind and at the forefront of the battle lines, she knows in her heart that this is how she will honor her brother, and the countless others who lost their lives.
Not by rolling bandages back home and indulging in all the comforts of being thousands of miles away from the war.
All too soon, Ruby is serving overseas in a forward area, embroiled in intrigue - did someone say "spy in our midst?" - and, unexpectedly, romance.
I'm going to stop here. To say anymore would be venturing into 'spoiler alert territory'.
Great historical fiction doesn't just tell a story. It immerses the reader into a particular place and time in history, bringing to life characters and events so realistically that the reader feels they are actually 'there'.
Aimie has done just that. Replete with the mores and manners of the period, the author weaves narrative and character effortlessly to create a tapestry rich in detail, mood and atmosphere. Her meticulous research lends such a degree authenticity one has to remind themselves that GIRLS ON THE LINE is a work of fiction. Personally, I am half-tempted to travel to the author's
home - that wouldn't be 'stalkerish', would it? - for a peek at the time machine she must surely have hidden away in her garden
My sincere "Thank you" to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and the author, Aimie K. Runyan, for a free electronic ARC of this novel.
Top reviews from other countries
I hadn’t heard of these American ladies, recruited from the WW1 era of telephone exchange operators, and their service in France.
Although this is fiction, it gives a good insight into what their lives and living conditions were like and the work they performed - their loves and their friends. Very enjoyable.
There is also a lot of woman's own type stuff that would appeal more to female readers . All in all pretty good read.