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Saturday, September 13, 2014

All Good Women by Valerie Miner

Four young women - all from varying cultural and ethnic backgrounds come together to start training at a secretarial school. Secretary is not their first choice of job but they think that this would be a stepping stone to whatever their dream job is. Whether it be the movies or journalism or teaching. Living together just four girls, is a taste of independence and not something that went down well with the families of the girls. For some of the girls it was an escape from the cloying effect of huge families, extended families, constant needling and just in some cases to get away.

It is 1938 and the whole world is on the brink of change.  These four young women also know that life is going to change but they did not realize how radical the changes would be. In Wanda's case being of Oriental descent, despite having been born in America it became a nightmare. Classified as an alien, and a probably enemy of the American people, she and thousands of those of Japanese descent were overnight taken from their homes and put into barren camps where the treatment meted out to them was horrendous. It seems terrible that no journalist thought of highlighting the  unfair treatment meted out to them for no fault of theirs, other than their race of origin.

With Wanda's internment in the camp the girls grow up almost overnight each one thinking very clearly for themselves as to what they should or should not do. For Teddy a personal awareness of her sexuality and that the sooner it is acknowledged the better though how she is going to do this she does not know.

A coming of age of four young women - a delightful read with the background of WWII looming in the background and how it affected Americans so far away from the actual theatre of war.

The book was sent to me via Netgalley courtesy of Open Road Integrated Media.