Girls on the Line by Aimie K. Runyan Book Review
The lowdown from Goodreads
Publication Date November 7, 2018
December 1917. As World War I rages in Europe, twenty-four-year-old Ruby Wagner, the jewel in a prominent Philadelphia family, prepares for her upcoming wedding to a society scion. Like her life so far, it’s all been carefully arranged. But when her beloved older brother is killed in combat, Ruby follows her heart and answers the Army Signal Corps’ call for women operators to help overseas.
As one of the trailblazing “Hello Girls” deployed to war-torn France, Ruby must find her place in the military strata, fight for authority and respect among the Allied soldiers, and forge a victory for the cause. But balancing service to country becomes even more complicated by a burgeoning relationship with army medic Andrew Carrigan.
What begins as a friendship forged on the front lines soon blossoms into something more, forcing Ruby to choose between the conventions of a well-ordered life back home, and the risk of an unknown future.
Girls on the Line by Aimie K. Runyan Book Review
Mom wants a comfy life for her daughter. Too bad her daughter wants more out of life & she isn’t afraid to go out of her comfort zone to find it. Following her heart, Ruby heads to France to help the US in WW I.
First, I need to say I love Ruby. She is strong-willed, determined & so smart. Ruby is one of those rare people who doesn’t tell you how to get the job done. Instead, she shows you. As she puts in her application to be a “Hello Girl” she is fearless against every challenge that comes her way. Although I finished Girls on the Line, I’m not sure I’m ready to let go of Ruby.
Let me tell you, Aimie researched the heck out of Girls on the Line. Reading through her Author’s Note is amazing. A friend sent her an article on the under-celebrated “Hello Girls”. In the 1970’s, an attorney fought for these women to receive benefits and honor for their military service. They fully deserve it.
Reading through what their job entails is intense. Imagine receiving a call, connecting the cal and translating it in a different language knowing one mistake could alter the course of the War. Throw in an everchanging system of codes to thwart spies and you’ve got yourself a very stressful work environment. Oh, and the women are working, resting, studying & sleeping- without electricity no less. Don’t get it twisted, these women play a huge role in the War. I’m glad Aimie helps bring their important story to life.
I am Really Into This book! Ruby is such a fantastic & memorable character. Also, I love stories (especially true!) about badass, strong women who persevere. If you’re a fan of historical fiction & strong women you’re sure to love Girls on the Line.
Be sure to check out The Radium Girls by Kate Moore. It’s another tale about undercelebrated women.
Special thanks to Aimie K. Runyan for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.
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From even my earliest years, I loved jotting down stories and really, really bad poetry. I dabbled in the world of the short story for a long time, until I finally sat down one fateful February day and decided that my beloved short story, “Days of Plenty” deserved to become a novel. I felt (and feel) it was a story the world needed to hear. More importantly, I knew that after thirty-three years of life, seven years of marriage, and two children, I finally had the life experience to tell it. Thus, Promised to the Crown was born.
Since Promised, and its little sister Duty to the Crown, I’ve moved forward in time. The World Wars–especially their untold stories–will be my stomping grounds for the foreseeable future. My newest novel, Daughters of the Night Sky is a complete departure from my earlier works, but the stories of the long-forgotten female pilots on the Russian front in World War Two deserved to be told. There are so many similar missing pages in our history books, particularly women’s contributions to the war efforts, from this era that I may stay here quite awhile. Plus, people keep sending me “articles we thought you’d find interesting” about the wars, and lo and behold, shiny new book ideas comes to life. (Feel free to keep sending those articles, everyone!)
Before transitioning to full time writing, I taught French to high schoolers, with occasional stints into English, Public Speaking, and Competitive Forensics. When I’m not writing or wrangling my wayward kiddos, I enjoy hiking, baking, sewing (especially costumes), music (especially live), theater, movies, and all things sacred unto Nerd Culture.
I’m proud to be a member of the Tall Poppy Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Pikes Peak Writers, and the Women’s Fictions Writers Association.