When We Had Wings

When We Had Wings

Unabridged — 12 hours, 41 minutes

When We Had Wings

When We Had Wings

Unabridged — 12 hours, 41 minutes

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Overview

From three bestselling authors comes an interwoven tale about a trio of World War II nurses stationed in the South Pacific who wage their own battle for freedom and survival.

The Philippines, 1941. When U.S. Navy nurse Eleanor Lindstrom, U.S. Army nurse Penny Franklin, and Filipina nurse Lita Capel forge a friendship at the Army Navy Club in Manila, they believe they're living a paradise assignment. All three are seeking a way to escape their pasts, but soon the beauty and promise of their surroundings give way to the heavy mantle of war.

Caught in the crosshairs of a fight between the U.S. military and the Imperial Japanese Army for control of the Philippine Islands, the nurses are forced to serve under combat conditions and, ultimately, endure captivity as the first female prisoners of the Second World War. As their resiliency is tested in the face of squalid living arrangements, food shortages, and the enemy's blatant disregard for the articles of the Geneva Convention, the women strive to keep their hope- and their fellow inmates-alive, though not without great cost.

In this sweeping story based on the true experiences of nurses dubbed "the Angels of Bataan," three women shift in and out of each other's lives through the darkest days of the war, buoyed by their unwavering friendship and distant dreams of liberation.

"A novel rich in historical detail that immerses readers in the dangers and deprivation WWII nurses suffered in the Pacific, wrapped up with a hopeful ending." -Booklist


Editorial Reviews

DECEMBER 2022 - AudioFile

This audiobook opens when three young nurses stationed in the Philippines become fast friends at the outset of U.S. involvement in WWII. Saskia Maarleveld captures the naïve optimism of Army nurse Penny, Navy nurse Eleanor, and Filipina nurse Lita in their early, glamorous days together in Manila. With the arrival of the Japanese army, the trio’s tropical idyll turns to turmoil, and Maarleveld’s tone reflects the nurses’ deep commitment to their work despite the horrors of war. In chapters that alternate their points of view, the nurses become prisoners of war in different locations. This audiobook would have been better served by three narrators, allowing the listener to more easily keep the thread of each character. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing fictional account of the real Angels of Bataan. N.M.C. © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine

Publishers Weekly

08/29/2022

Lawhon (Code Name Hélène), McMorris (The Edge of Lost), and Meissner (The Nature of Fragile Things) team up for an illuminating story of the nurses stationed in the Philippines during WWII. Minnesotan Eleanor Lindstrom becomes a nurse to move on from a broken heart; Penny Franklin flees a tragic personal life in Texas; and Filipina Lita Capel hopes to use the job to gain entrée into the U.S., like her older sisters. The three become friends in the Army Navy Club in Manila in August 1941, an idyllic time until their lives are upturned by the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The authors ably depict the stark shift in the women’s work during wartime and convey how their friendship continues to inspire them to prevail when faced with hardships after they are separated—Eleanor to Santa Scholastica College, Penny to Corregidor Island, and Lita to the Bataan Peninsula. The atrocities—including starvation and subsistence living—pile up, not only for soldiers but also for the nurses and the civilians turned internees. Though the three women’s personalities seem interchangeable, the authors pull off a gripping and seamless narrative. With this fine tale, the authors succeed at bringing to readers’ minds the courage and sacrifice of those who inspired it. Agent: Elisabeth Weed, Book Group. (Oct.)

Booklist

Three superstars of historical fiction team up to tell the story of the Angels of Bataan, nurses in and around the armed forces in the Philippines during WWII . . . Ariel Lawhon, Kristina McMorris, and Susan Meissner have crafted a novel rich in historical detail that immerses readers in the dangers and deprivation WWII nurses suffered in the Pacific, wrapped up with a hopeful ending.

BookBub

Inspired by the experiences of the nurses known as the Angels of Bataan, this novel written by three bestselling authors is an emotional story of friendship and courage.

Historical Novel Society

This is a fresh take on a very full genre of WWII retellings, and the authors do an excellent job keeping the timeline clear. If you enjoy reading about WWII, and want more than just the European front, this is a different vantage point worth reading.

Booktrib

This work of historical fiction offers a perfect pick for your book club.

New York Times bestselling author of The Woman wit Pam Jenoff

'Three of the biggest powerhouses in historical fiction come together to pen this breathtaking story of three nurses serving in the Philippines during the Second World War.'

New York Times bestselling author of The Magnifice Allison Pataki

'When We Had Wings is a story of strength and sisterhood inspired by the little-known experiences of the 'Angels of Bataan.' With gorgeous language and stunning historic detail, Lawhon, McMorris, and Meissner plunge readers into the Philippines and the epic struggles of the Pacific. Filled with heart and pathos, this is a story of hope, faith, and the power of friendship in the face of indescribable hardship.'

New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Fiona Davis

'A riveting novel by a trio of powerhouse authors that offers a fresh take on World War II fiction, one that is uncannily resonant today. Set in the lush tropics, When We Had Wings is an utterly original tale about courage, duty, and endurance.'

New York Times bestselling author of Surviving Sav Patti Callahan

'Three fierce women from differing backgrounds come together in the Philippines during World War II to unwillingly be thrust into the chaos of evil that will blast their worlds apart. Lawhon, McMorris, and Meissner seamlessly blend three nurses' stories and secrets with one deft and immersive storytelling voice. When We Had Wings asks the important question—how do we know what we can become until we must become it?—and answers it with a resounding novel of suspense, courage, and grand love. Based on the true story of the first female prisoners of World War II, When We Had Wings is thrilling, riveting, and deeply felt; a do-not-miss historical fiction masterwork.'

DECEMBER 2022 - AudioFile

This audiobook opens when three young nurses stationed in the Philippines become fast friends at the outset of U.S. involvement in WWII. Saskia Maarleveld captures the naïve optimism of Army nurse Penny, Navy nurse Eleanor, and Filipina nurse Lita in their early, glamorous days together in Manila. With the arrival of the Japanese army, the trio’s tropical idyll turns to turmoil, and Maarleveld’s tone reflects the nurses’ deep commitment to their work despite the horrors of war. In chapters that alternate their points of view, the nurses become prisoners of war in different locations. This audiobook would have been better served by three narrators, allowing the listener to more easily keep the thread of each character. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing fictional account of the real Angels of Bataan. N.M.C. © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine

Product Details

BN ID: 2940175305433
Publisher: Harper Muse
Publication date: 10/18/2022
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 200,339
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