Inspired by true events, The Women of the Post is the story of the all-Black Women’s Army Corps Battalion which sorted over one million pieces of mail for the U.S. Army during WW11.
Women of the Post by Joshunda Sanders
Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Biographical, WWII, WAC, England, Diverse Read, U.S. History, Racism and Prejudice,
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My Summary of Women of the Post:
Welcome to my stop on the #HarperCollins Summer 2023 Blog Tour. Thanks #NetGalley @HTP_Books @ParkRowBooks for a complimentary e ARC of #WomenOfThePost upon my request. All opinions are my own.
Judy Washington works from dawn til dusk in the Bronx Slave Market. She jumps at the chance to join the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) when the opportunity presents itself. Judy makes friends with other women in the unit which is under the leadership of Second Officer Charity Adams, one of the only Black officers in the WAC. They are transferred to Birmingham, England as part of the 6888th Central Postal Battalion also known as the “six triple eight” (the only unit of Black women to serve overseas). The women work tirelessly to reunite soldiers with their loved ones through the letters they write.
This story of friendship and women supporting women is told from three perspectives: Judy, Charity, and Mary Alyce. (Charity and Mary Alyce are based on real individuals) Each POV is engaging and informative.
I love the untold stories that historical fiction provides! Of course, it always sends me down a Google rabbit hole of research. Here is a picture of the real women of the 6888th Battalion under the leadership of Charity Adams:
In addition to the historical context, I also love the themes of perseverance, determination, problem-solving, friendship, breaking barriers, and women supporting women. More difficult to read about but just as thought-provoking are the instances of racism and prejudice.
Books Talking to Each Other
Part of the FUN of reading is when books talk to each other! In other words, you might read several books in a month that all have the same theme or same location or the same historical event. Sometimes, when reading histfic, I wonder to myself if a certain character in my current book knows of other characters in related books! Am I the only one who does this?
Well, just before reading Women of the Post I read The First Ladies which features Mary McLeod Bethune. What literary fun to have Bethune mentioned in Women of the Post. I thought Hey, I know her! The Black women in the 6888th Battalion were able to serve because of Bethune’s activism.
As is sometimes the case, my Google research leads to questions that affect my reading experience. Charity Adams is a real person who in real life marries a man and has children after her years of military service. In Women of the Post, the author portrays her as gay. In her author notes, Sanders mentions this and indicates that this part of her portrayal isn’t reality. She continues to explain that she wanted to incorporate this aspect of life that was probably a real occurrence among some women who served. I completely understand and appreciate her intentions, but I wish that the author had portrayed this using a fictional character.
Recommending Women of the Post
I recommend Women of the Post for fans of engaging historical fiction and for readers who appreciate thoughtful stories of real women who served their country and broke barriers. Book clubs might enjoy thoughtful discussion possibilities.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Meet the Author of Women of the Post, Joshunda Sanders
Joshunda Sanders is the author of How Racism and Sexism Killed Traditional Media: Why the Future of Journalism Depends on Women and People of Color and The Beautiful Darkness: A Handbook for Orphans. In 2017, she was the recipient of a Hedgebrook residency. She has presented at SXSW, TED City 2.0, and at Princeton University, among many other places as a speaker and expert. She lives and works in New York City.
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