We Can Do It!
released OUT NOW! 461 pages | Paperback
Author Michael Grant
Publisher Electric Monkey
2015 was the year when, finally, every part of the US military could recruit women as well as men. But what if that had happened decades ago? Front Lines is an exploration of this intriguing “what if ”, set in a world in which a 1940 Supreme Court decision opened the armed forces to females. The rest of WWII proceeded as we remember – only this time, it wasn’t just men being drafted…
It focuses on the early wartime experiences of three young women joining the army: white Rio Richlin, escaping small- town California; Frangie Marr, a poor black girl from Oklahoma; and Rainy Schulterman, a Jewish teenager lucky enough to be assigned to army intelligence. Rio finds herself continually underestimated, while Frangie struggles in an army where men and women can share dorms but non- white soldiers still serve in segregated units, and Rainy strives to find out what’s really happening in Europe.
It feels far more like a war story than a fantasy – beyond that tweak to history, there are no genre elements – but this is to the novel’s credit. If women had fought in that war, in that army, this, you feel, is how it would have been. A great concept combined with rounded, engaging characters make this a riveting read. Rhian Drinkwater
Michael Grant grew up in a military family, moving regularly – he attended 10 US schools, plus three in France.