A very powerful and poignant book that details personal stories of Soviet women who served in WW II. The personal accounts are at once moving, insightful, heartbreaking and inspiring. I could not read more that a dozen pages at once- i needed time to fight back the tears and to think through about what i read. The book also gave a grim glimpse of treatment of the service women after the war. While the men came back home as heroes, the women were treated as whores just because they fought alongside and mixed with men during the war. I found this more heartbreaking and infuriating than the actual horrors of war.
This is one of the few books that left a mark on me and stayed with me long after i finished reading it. It made the horrors of war so real and personal, instead of an illusory thing that happens to other people in other countries.
The author said that she wanted to write a book that would make a war, or even an idea of war, repulsive and abhorrent to anyone. For me, she succeeded in her purpose. There is nothing, nothing romantic, chivalrous, or high ideal about a war. It's just dirt, carnage, suffering, hate, and anguish.
This is an emotionally hard book to read, but it must be read. It tells a story about the "un-glamorous" side of war that was hidden for so long, but desperately needed to be told.
ezhurbin thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over
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