For fans of Radium Girls and history and WWII buffs, The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line takes you inside the lives and experiences of 15 unknown women heroes from the Greatest Generation, the women who served, fought, struggled, and made things happen during WWII–in and out of uniform, for theirs is a legacy destined to embolden generations of women to come.
The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line are the heroes of the Greatest Generation that you hardly ever hear about. These women who did extraordinary things didn’t expect thanks and shied away from medals and recognition. Despite their amazing accomplishments, they’ve gone mostly unheralded and unrewarded. No longer. These are the women of World War II who served, fought, struggled, and made things happen–in and out of uniform.
I requested this book through Netgalley because of course I want to read a book about some amazing women. And I am really glad I did so.
In this book we read the stories of 15 women who in some way contributed in the war effort… maybe by being a pilot, a spy, a smuggler for Jewish refugees, part of the resistance, a map maker or by sorting out the mess that was the postal services. Women may not have fought on the front lines, but still they were incredibly important during WWII… something for which they didn’t get their rightful recognition until far too late.
Although most of the women included in this book are American, I hugely appreciated the other nationalities included in this book. Especially the Dutch Diet really struck close to home (being Dutch myself) and just… wow. That women, as all the others included in this book, was so incredibly strong and inspirational.
The book itself is incredibly well written. I’m impressed the the anecdotes Eder managed to include in here. The chapters themselves are also just the perfect length, making this whole book very easy to read. After the stories of the 15 women, we are told about how long it took for them to get their medals. We also get to see how the actions of these and other women during WWII influenced future generations, especially the Baby Boomers. Eder concludes her book by showing how there are still too many firsts, and drawing our attention to some of the women and girls who step out of line today (such as Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai, but also many more).
If you want to read a book filled to the brim with strong, smart, brave, amazing and inspirational women… please pick this up. I adored it.