Reviewed: “All Good Women” by Valerie Miner

All Good WomenALL GOOD WOMEN is the sweeping story of the experiences of four women in America during World War II. Written by Valerie Miner, it centers on a quartet of women who meet in typing school shortly before America enters the war.

Teddy Fielding, Moira Finlayson, Ann Rose, and Wanda Nakatani come from hugely different backgrounds and the war affects them in hugely different ways. Teddy is a Dust Bowl transplant struggling with her mostly hidden homosexuality. Moira is a Catholic girl who dreams of being in the movies and ends up pregnant before she’s married. Ann is Jewish and her parents were German immigrants who left as much of their heritage behind as they could. Wanda is American-born Japanese and ends up in the detention camps that were erected after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Alternating equally between the women, good friends put under a microscope to see how the war impacted their lives, the story is equally interesting on four different levels. It’s easy to see how much research Miner put into the story and how important the topic was to her.

That being said, the novel has a few faults. It’s too descriptive. Hardly anything is left to the reader’s imagination and it’s easy to find yourself skimming page-long paragraphs about the decision to make tea or plant cucumbers in order to find some dialogue and action.

In the end, it’s a truly unique look at a part of American history that has been written about in all forms countless times.

(I received a copy of ALL GOOD WOMEN through NetGalley in exchange for an honest, original review. The review will be cross-posted on NetGalley, Goodreads, and my blog.)

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