The League of Wives by Heath Hardage Lee

The League of Wives by Heath Hardage Lee
The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Genre: Historical Non-Fiction
Length: Full Length (336 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

The true story of the fierce band of women who battled Washington―and Hanoi―to bring their husbands home from the jungles of Vietnam.

On February 12, 1973, one hundred and sixteen men who, just six years earlier, had been high flying Navy and Air Force pilots, shuffled, limped, or were carried off a huge military transport plane at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. These American servicemen had endured years of brutal torture, kept shackled and starving in solitary confinement, in rat-infested, mosquito-laden prisons, the worst of which was The Hanoi Hilton.

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In a page-turning work of narrative non-fiction, Heath Hardage Lee tells the story of these remarkable women for the first time. The League of Wives is certain to be on everyone’s must-read list.

These women had guts. Period.

I can’t imagine being in the shoes of the League of Wives. Each woman’s husband has been captured in Vietnam and the wives don’t know what happened to them. Talk about stress. Like I said, I can’t imagine how they handled it.

The author handles this topic, the POWs and MIA soldiers in Vietnam with a special touch. The writing flows well and I got caught up in the struggle of each woman profiled. I had no idea how much Ross Perot or Bob Dole did for these soldiers and their family. I learned a lot through the reading of this book. A reader who lived through this era might not learn as much, but that shouldn’t be a deterrent.

This isn’t an easy read. Now I know that sounds strange. I just said the writing flows well, but then I said it’s not an easy read? The author shows how these women went through the wringer and how they did (or sometimes didn’t) handle the stress of their situation. It’s hard to read about women struggling to cope. They’ve got kids, family and their determination to get their husbands home. It’s a lot to handle. Some did. Some didn’t.

Give this book a try. It’s worth the read. Recommended.

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