Monday, April 12, 2021

Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig


Title:  Band of Sisters

Author: Lauren Willig

Read by:  Julia Whelan

Publisher: HarperAudio

Length: Approximately 15 hours and 59 minutes

Source: Review Copy from HarperAudio and Netgalley.  Thank-you! 

 Band of Sisters is the story of nineteen Smith College graduates who go to the front lines in World War I France to help French civilians survive after being ravaged by the Germans.   Emmie Van Alden convinces her best friend Kate Moran to go with her to France after a rousing speech from Smith alumna Betsy Rutherford.  Emmie comes from a life of privilege with a domineering mother, while Kate lived a hardscrabble life and was a scholarship student at Smith.  As the ladies arrive in France, they face many obstacles and the true brutality of war.  Will they be able to make a difference and will they make it home alive?

 I was fascinated by this story.  I had never known about American women social workers in France during World War I and the important work that they completed to help French women and children survive.  I loved their stories and how they worked to ensure that there would be food and education for the people.  I also loved how they were resourceful and made do with what they had, including putting together their vehicles.  They also faced hard and scary situations.  Together the women are able to make their way through it, although like in many situations, there were people who didn’t get along with everyone else.  I loved their bonds that they forged.  I also loved a wonderfully sweet romance that occurs as well. 

 I listened to the audiobook version and it was hard to stop listening to it.  It was excellent.  I especially like the author’s note at the end where she discussed her research and the real story.  She used snippets from the real letters written by the women and real events to create this fictional story. 

 Overall, Band of Sisters is a riveting historical fiction novel about a group of brave women who made a difference in World War I and deserve to be remembered.


  1. Yes, this was really a very good book. I enjoyed it very much too!

  2. I do like Lauren Willig...and this time period.

  3. It is a great author and time period!