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Get thought-provoking The Women book club questions to have a meaningful discussion of bestselling author Kristin Hannah’s powerful new historical fiction book. Plus, get free printable book club questions to prepare for your in-person book club.

Copies of the women by Kristin Hannah.
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About The Women

The Women is Kristin Hannah’s Vietnam War book about the experiences of women during and after this war, and it’s one of her best works to date. Readers can expect the same blend of historical fiction, strong female leads, and emotionally charged events she so often gives us in her books, but this time, it’s all just a bit more impactful.

In The Women, Hannah excels at covering just about every major issue surrounding the Vietnam War in a very realistic way, all through the eyes of Frankie, a duty-driven young American woman, who follows her brother to the War by enlisting as a nurse.

There, the realities of war are more horrific than she ever could have imagined, and she copes by entertaining a few male suitors as she saves lives. Back in America, however, not only is she not deemed a hero but she’s discarded and mistreated as a veteran.

This affects her physical, mental, and emotional health and demands a reckoning. The reader walks away with both a comprehensive understanding of the controversial nature of this War and a profound respect for the women (and men) who served in it.

With its complex characters, historical events, and themes of war, love, grief, trauma, health, friendship, femininity, and more, The Women is an excellent book club selection that offers, and array of topics to discuss.

The Women Book Club Questions

Warning: There are major plot spoilers in The Women discussion questions below.

Why is this book called The Women?

Why do you think Kristin Hannah chose the character name “Frankie”?

Compare and contrast The Women with any other Kristin Hannah books you’ve read.

Did you learn anything new about the Vietnam War by reading The Women?

Compare and contrast The Women with other content you’ve consumed about the Vietnam War.

Describe Frankie’s personality, both strengths and weaknesses.

Describe Frankie’s views on heroism.

What compelled Frankie to go to Vietnam?

How did Frankie’s family change after the loss of Finley?

How did Frankie’s family honor Finley?

Kristin Hannah is known for rich descriptions of places. What stands out about how she described Vietnam?

Did the details of Frankie’s job duties in the Vietnam War surprise you?

How did the depictions of the horrors and atrocities of war make you feel?

Did the casualties of war surprise you?

What characteristics do you attribute collectively to Frankie and “The Women“?

What compelled Frankie to stay in Vietnam?

How did Americans view the Vietnam War versus veterans?

Compare and contrast Frankie’s experiences in Vietnam versus America.

Compare and contrast Frankie’s parents’ perspectives on her service and life experiences.

Compare and contrast the treatment of female versus male veterans of the Vietnam War as portrayed in The Women.

Why do you think female veterans of the Vietnam were often treated differently?

How did Frankie feel as a female veteran in America at the time?

How did public perception of the war differ from reality, especially over time?

Discuss war protests as part of the plot.

Discuss the controversial nature of Frankie’s sexual health and pregnancy as a single woman at the time.

Why do you think Kristin Hannah chose to focus so much of the story on Frankie’s sexual health?

Do you think Frankie’s miscarriage was the result of her service?

Compare and contrast Frankie’s love interests.

Did the plot twists involving Rye surprise you?

Why did Frankie agree to marry Henry?

How did the Vietnam War change Frankie’s worldview?

How did Frankie’s experiences in the Vietnam War impact her decisions?

How did Frankie’s romantic relationships change her?

What role did friendships (i.e., Barb and Ethel) have in Frankie’s life?

Why did Kristin Hannah incorporate prisoners of war (POWs) and missing in action (MIA) into the novel?

Discuss addiction as a theme in The Women.

Discuss post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a theme in The Women.

Discuss grief as a theme in The Women.

Did “the system” fail Frankie as a female veteran?

Discuss the physical and psychological effects of war as presented in the novel.

Do you think veterans are treated better today?

The “music of Vietnam” is referenced. What does it represent?

What role does art play for “The Women“?

Were you happy with the open way the story ended with regard to Frankie’s romantic life?

How did Frankie’s parents change over the course of the story?

How did Frankie’s experience visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. make you feel?

What is Frankie’s legacy?

Discuss the meaning of the final, declarative sentence of the novel.

Did you find anything interesting about the author’s note and acknowledgments at the end of The Women?

What will you take away from your reading experience of The Women?

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the story of The Women by Kristin Hannah about?

The Women by Kristin Hannah is about a young American woman who enlists in the Vietnam War as a nurse. She experiences the horrors of war as she saves lives, but she finds herself discarded and mistreated as a female veteran, leaving her to cope with these experiences while not always having the support she needs.

Conclusion

These The Women book club questions will foster meaningful discussion about a powerful historical fiction novel that has it all, from complex characters to historical events, and themes of war, love, grief, trauma, health, friendship, and femininity.

Keep the conversation going. Share your thoughts on this thought-provoking read or any questions you may have in the comments below.

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