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From an award-winning, "meticulously observant" (The New Yorker) , and "masterful" (BOOKLIST ) writer comes a groundbreaking account of three women deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and how their military service affected their friendship, their personal lives, and their families.

America has been continuously at war since the fall of 2001. This has been a matter of bitter political debate, of course, but what is uncontestable is that a sizeable percentage of American soldiers sent overseas in this era have been women. The experience in the American military is, it's safe to say, quite different from that of men. Surrounded and far outnumbered by men, imbedded in a male culture, looked upon as both alien and desirable, women have experiences of special interest.

In Soldier Girls, Helen Thorpe follows the lives of three women over twelve years on their paths to the military, overseas to combat, and back home ... and then overseas again for two of them. These women, who are quite different in every way, become friends, and we watch their interaction and also what happens when they are separated. We see their families, their lovers, their spouses, their children. We see them work extremely hard, deal with the attentions of men on base and in war zones, and struggle to stay connected to their families back home. We see some of them drink too much, have illicit affairs, and react to the deaths of fellow soldiers. And we see what happens to one of them when the truck she is driving hits an explosive in the road, blowing it up. She survives, but her life may never be the same again.

Deeply reported, beautifully written, and powerfully moving, Soldier Girls is truly groundbreaking.



About the Author

Helen Thorpe

Helen Thorpe is the author of Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War. Doris Kearns Goodwin said of this book: "With a novelist's perception of character, drama and telling detail, Helen Thorpe magically weaves together the stories of three very different but equally compelling women soldiers. Taken together, their stories provide an intimate window on life in the military, the impact of war and the difficult transition to home. This is an absolutely terrific and important work." And O Magazine wrote: "Parenthood and roadside bombs, young love and PTSD - finally, a nuanced look at the lives of female soldiers that is as intimate as it is groundbreaking."

Previously, Helen Thorpe has written magazine stories for the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Texas Monthly, Westword, and 5280. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Her first book, Just Like Us, was published by Scribner in 2009. It was named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts adapted the book for the stage in 2013. Soldier Girls was published by Scribner in August 2014.

Author Photograph by Marea Evans.



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