The Beantown Girls
An Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestseller. A novel of love, courage, and danger unfolds as World War II’s brightest heroines—the best of friends—take on the front lines. 1944: Fiona Denning has her entire future planned out. She’ll work in city hall, marry her fiancé when he returns from the war, and settle down in the Boston suburbs. But when her fiancé is reported missing after being shot down in Germany, Fiona’s long-held plans are shattered.Determined to learn her fiancé’s fate, Fiona leaves Boston to volunteer overseas as a Red Cross Clubmobile girl, recruiting her two best friends to come along. There’s the outspoken Viviana, who is more than happy to quit her secretarial job for a taste of adventure. Then there’s Dottie, a shy music teacher whose melodious talents are sure to bring heart and hope to the boys on the front lines.Chosen for their inner strength and outer charm, the trio isn’t prepared for the daunting challenges of war. But through it all come new friendships and romances, unforeseen dangers, and unexpected dreams. As the three friends begin to understand the real reasons they all came to the front, their courage and camaraderie will see them through some of the best and worst times of their lives.

The Beantown Girls Details

TitleThe Beantown Girls
Author
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherLake Union Publishing
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II

The Beantown Girls Review

  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to this book, I plan to learn more about the early history of the Red Cross. In 1944, three 25 year old best friends apply for and meet the rigorous demands to become Red Cross Clubmobile girls, whose job it is to help raise morale of the men fighting in the war. Fiona wants to make it to France because her fiance was shot down over Germany months ago and is missing in action. Becoming a Clubmobile girl will get her closer to her fiance, if he is still alive, and give her a chance to do s Thanks to this book, I plan to learn more about the early history of the Red Cross. In 1944, three 25 year old best friends apply for and meet the rigorous demands to become Red Cross Clubmobile girls, whose job it is to help raise morale of the men fighting in the war. Fiona wants to make it to France because her fiance was shot down over Germany months ago and is missing in action. Becoming a Clubmobile girl will get her closer to her fiance, if he is still alive, and give her a chance to do something for the war effort, as she waits to hear any new about him. First the trio has to learn to drive heavy vehicles, make donuts with the explosion prone donut machines, learn to maintain and repair vehicles, learn first aid and how to don gas masks and prove they can keep a smiling and happy demeanor for the shell shocked soldiers, no matter how they are feeling and how their day is going. Fiona, Viv, and Dottie have very distinct personalities and looks so it's easy to follow their path through this time, along with the other Clubmobile girls they meet along the way. Through all of this, it's necessary for Fiona to put aside her heartache and worry about the fate of her fiance and put the welfare of the men fighting the war, ahead of how she is feeling. The sacrifices that these women make are incredible, even during a time when women couldn't be soldiers. These woman end up facing the fact of bombs being dropped all around them and living in tents, on K rations, so far from home, giving their all to help the men who've lived the horror of war. There are memorable side characters, both real and fictional and I especially liked reading about Mrs. Tibbetts, whose three sons were at war while she opened her home to Clubmobile girls. Then there is Jimmy English, who has already lost so much in this war but still serves, as a driver and helper to the Clubgirls. The book is both funny and sad and I'm so glad to have learned about these brave women who gave their all to help others during the war. Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for this ARC. I also won a copy from the Goodreads Giveaway :-)
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes a book just hits you at the right time...and blows you away with its warmth. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ The Beantown Girls is a doozy of a warm-hearted histfic read!Fiona Denning is a planner. She knows who she’ll marry, when, what she’ll do until then. But, in truth, her future is up in the air. It’s 1944, and the war is in full effect. The worst news comes when she finds out her fiancé has been shot down in Germany, and he’s MIA. Fiona is also a do-er, and rather than standby in Boston, she volunteer Sometimes a book just hits you at the right time...and blows you away with its warmth. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ The Beantown Girls is a doozy of a warm-hearted histfic read!Fiona Denning is a planner. She knows who she’ll marry, when, what she’ll do until then. But, in truth, her future is up in the air. It’s 1944, and the war is in full effect. The worst news comes when she finds out her fiancé has been shot down in Germany, and he’s MIA. Fiona is also a do-er, and rather than standby in Boston, she volunteers to be a Red Cross Clubmobile girl overseas. She doesn’t go alone and is able to bring two of her best friends, Dottie and Viviana, along. As one might expect, working on the front in this way is not easy. With it comes danger and the challenges of war right in your face. But at the same time, these three women find new friends, new love, and perhaps new dreams in the making. Now I know why so many of my friends are enthused about this book. At its heart, it’s the most beautiful story of female friendship. The writing is lush, and I fell for this trio of women. They are fun and engaging, warm, and most of all, real. I soaked up all I learned about the Clubmobile, impressed with its role and the impact of these women. Be prepared to have your tissues, but also be ready for a warm heart and some laughs, too. The overall tone of The Beantown Girls is uplifting and inspiring, and I’m so grateful for the time I spent lost in the pages of this stunning book. I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    I read a lot of historical fiction and had never heard of the Red Cross Clubmobile. The Beantown Girls is a heartbreaking yet inspiring glimpse into World War Two and those who served. Jane Healey's beautiful and descriptive writing made me feel as if the girls were my besties and I was right there with them. Be prepared when you read though...a box of tissues close by and a book hangover when finished! I highly recommend The Beantown Girls!
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  • DJ Sakata
    January 1, 1970
    Favorite Quotes:Ready or not, we’re on our way to England. We just went through six weeks of training for these jobs. I had to learn to play badminton, for the love of God. There’s no turning back now.I realized I was in a much better mood than when I arrived. I was supposed to be the one boosting their spirits, but instead that’s exactly what these men had done for me. Sometimes morale was a two-way street.…my heart was aching in ways that felt very familiar and yet so different. It turns out y Favorite Quotes:Ready or not, we’re on our way to England. We just went through six weeks of training for these jobs. I had to learn to play badminton, for the love of God. There’s no turning back now.I realized I was in a much better mood than when I arrived. I was supposed to be the one boosting their spirits, but instead that’s exactly what these men had done for me. Sometimes morale was a two-way street.…my heart was aching in ways that felt very familiar and yet so different. It turns out you can care for two men at the same time, but you never care for them in the exact same way.“We’re off the coast of a place where thousands of American men died. And we’re dancing,” she said, squinting and tilting her head, looking out across the water. “It feels a little off, don’t you think?” “I’ve thought about that,” I said, nodding, leaning over the railing. “But honestly? I think any of the men killed here would say, Damn Hitler! Play that American music and dance. It gives these men some hope and cheers them up. Helps them fight another day.”The beach was a haunted obstacle course of foxholes, concrete pillboxes, and debris… “The captain was right… You can feel the ghosts.” I got goose pimples on my arms again when she said it, because it was true. There was a heaviness to the air that had nothing to do with the dust.Dick kept talking as we drove, in a trance, giving us the play-by-play of all that had happened to him, like a confessional. We couldn’t have stopped him if we had tried. And from the way he was going on, I knew that he would be haunted by the images of that day until he was an old man.The ‘front’ is all around us; it’s not one straight line marked by barbed wire and a big sign.My Review:In addition to top-notch entertainment, this book was eye opening and surprisingly educational. I had no idea that Red Cross volunteers performed these functions. It sounded rather frivolous at first – driving around in trucks to cook and serve doughnuts and coffee to soldiers in battlefield and training encampments – however, they did so much more than that. Heinously nicknamed Doughnut Dollies, they assisted the soldiers with writing letters home; entertained them with music; provided a welcome break from the horrors of war with snacks, candy, and hygiene supplies; provided a kind personal touch while talking and listened to them about their experiences and news from their families at home; provided comfort and gentle reassurance to those coming off the battlefields and POW camps; helped them exchange information to their friends between compounds; although they weren’t nurses they willingly helped in a pinch with the wounded; and anything else they could possibly do to lift morale. I was thoroughly engaged with this adventurous, poignant, profoundly moving and thoughtfully written story and was not surprised at all to learn that the author had performed a massive amount of research and had based her manuscript on actual events and archived writings of the brave and intrepid women who dared such hazardous feats. The storylines were beautifully crafted and expertly paced. I adored these spunky characters and greatly admired their grit and sacrifice. Ms. Healy’s writing was frequently emotive and tapped all the feels multiple times with considerable agility, yet was easy to follow and totally transportive. I instantly fell into a 1944 time machine and was completely immersed in their story - living and working right beside the three brave Bostonians Fiona, Viv, and Dottie. I could feel the rumble of the bomb blasts as well as their bone-weary fatigue, hear the jazz music playing, and smell the pungent and permeating scents of their cigarettes as well as the endless batches of doughnuts they tirelessly created. The author’s magical word skills were deft yet oceans deep; I also felt their excitement, fear, and profound heartache. My eyes stung and my throat constricted more than once at the horrific losses and moving encounters they exchanged with their new friends and frightened soldiers. Any writer who can move my cold heart to such extremes deserves a ten-star rating.
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  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Leaving Boston and their jobs to become Red Cross Clubmobile Girls is where we meet Viv, Dottie, and Fiona.They all had different reasons for joining the Red Cross, but besides being a volunteer, Fiona's other reason was to find her missing fiance, Danny.When they arrive in London, a buzz bomb greets them and scares them to death.WE FOLLOW THE three friends through their seven-day training in all areas and share their fears and their fun during the training and in their jobs as Red Cross Clubmo Leaving Boston and their jobs to become Red Cross Clubmobile Girls is where we meet Viv, Dottie, and Fiona.They all had different reasons for joining the Red Cross, but besides being a volunteer, Fiona's other reason was to find her missing fiance, Danny.When they arrive in London, a buzz bomb greets them and scares them to death.WE FOLLOW THE three friends through their seven-day training in all areas and share their fears and their fun during the training and in their jobs as Red Cross Clubmobile Girls as they moved from one place to the other.The women seemed like a lot of fun and made the best of their time even though they were in dangerous war zones and some of the men weren’t too happy to have women to worry about along with everyone else. But....the men were also happy to have some pretty women to remind them of home and their mothers, sisters, daughters, or girlfriends.Ms. Healey brought you into the story with her light-hearted writing and wonderful research.Her descriptions of the dresses the characters wore was swoon worthy, and the landscape descriptions were equally as good.I enjoyed learning about these women and this program and how these women helped during the war. You will laugh and cry along with them and laugh and cry at their bravery and sweet demeanor.Despite the main story line about war, THE BEANTOWN GIRLS was an enjoyable read filled with friendship, caring, love, and of course tears and sadness. Historical fiction fans and women's fiction fans will love this book.You will definitely need tissues, and we all should be thankful for the men and women who suffered and died so we could have our freedom.A beautiful tribute and history lesson...thanks for sharing and for your marvelous research, Ms. Healey. 5/5This book was given to me by the publisher via NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sherri Thacker
    January 1, 1970
    This book kept me up awake at night into the wee hours. It was interesting to learn about the Red Cross Clubmobile girls and how much they helped during the WW2. I just loved Fiona the best and was rooting for her the whole way. Wow what a story!
  • ABookwormWithWine
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 / 5 rounded upI don't read a whole lot of historical fiction, but man, The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey is a MUST read if you are a historical fiction fan and are interested in reading about World War II. What it's about: Based on the Red Cross Clubmobile girls, The Beantown Girls focuses on 3 friends that decide to join - Fiona, Viviana, and Dottie. Fiona's reason for wanting to join is different from her friends, her fiancé Danny has gone missing in the war and Fiona is determined to fi ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 rounded upI don't read a whole lot of historical fiction, but man, The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey is a MUST read if you are a historical fiction fan and are interested in reading about World War II. What it's about: Based on the Red Cross Clubmobile girls, The Beantown Girls focuses on 3 friends that decide to join - Fiona, Viviana, and Dottie. Fiona's reason for wanting to join is different from her friends, her fiancé Danny has gone missing in the war and Fiona is determined to find out what happened to him any way she can. These 3 friends will see a lot and go through a lot, but the happiness they bring to the men on the front lines, and the friendships and relationships they will foster may just help them make it through the war. I have so much love for this book. The story was amazing, and I bawled my eyes out more than once. I really don't know enough about history, and reading historical fiction like this just truly opens my eyes to the past. I had no idea the Clubmobile girls even existed and I loved reading about what they did for the war. They were right in the middle of everything, and I can't imagine how brave all of those girls must have been.The story is told only from Fiona's POV, but it worked very well for this novel. Her search for what happened to her fiancé was heart-wrenching, but I loved how her friendships helped to get her through. Final Thought: The Beantown Girls is sad for sure, but it also has wonderful moments that made me laugh out loud and overall was very inspiring and positive. I would highly recommend to any historical fiction fan! Healey has become an instant auto-buy author for me, and that is really saying something when HF isn't what I read the most of.Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance review copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Camille Maio
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic story of friendship, love, and bravery. Historical fiction at its finest, inviting the reader into little-known parts of our past and bringing it to bloom with characters we love right away.
  • Aga Durka
    January 1, 1970
    Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I have read quite a lot of books in this category, especially WWII books, which makes it a little hard for me to be surprised and intrigued with the content of another book in this genre. “Beantown Girls” was an exception...I’ve actually learned quite a lot about Red Cross Clubmobile Girls (I’ve never heard of them before *gasp*) and their role in WWII. This book was a refreshing and surprising read about friendship, bravery, companionship, and love. Fion Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I have read quite a lot of books in this category, especially WWII books, which makes it a little hard for me to be surprised and intrigued with the content of another book in this genre. “Beantown Girls” was an exception...I’ve actually learned quite a lot about Red Cross Clubmobile Girls (I’ve never heard of them before *gasp*) and their role in WWII. This book was a refreshing and surprising read about friendship, bravery, companionship, and love. Fiona, Viv, Dottie, Blanch, Frankie, and Martha touched my heart, and I felt like I was one of them, sitting in the Clubmobile, making doughnuts, while having some girl talk. The witty conversations and captivating descriptions of Europe’s landscape during WWII made this novel a real treat to read. Yes, I shed few tears and felt a little beaten down by some of the events in the story, but the beautiful writing, engaging characters, and a history lesson (for me!) in this novel made this book very enjoyable read. I would like to read more books from this author soon. And I hope it is another Historical Fiction! :)Thank you NetGalley, Jane Healey, and Lake Union Publishing for a chance to read this great novel!
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  • Shari
    January 1, 1970
    Barely historical fictionThis is 10 percent historical fiction and 90 percent fluff. More romance, with girls overly concerned with their makeup, who all happen to fall in love at first sight. And then neatly tied up with a bow type ending. 2 stars just for introducing red cross donut mobiles, a subject I had never heard of.
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  • Kristie
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this book was good, but it had a couple of issues: too much romance and too many coincidences. I thought this story was going to be about girlfriends and their experiences in the war. It was that, but it was also about women finding men. I was expecting something more like Code Name Verity and this was a lighter version with the women falling for different soldiers and discussing relationship issues. I didn't mind some of it because I do feel that it would represent the times to some e I thought this book was good, but it had a couple of issues: too much romance and too many coincidences. I thought this story was going to be about girlfriends and their experiences in the war. It was that, but it was also about women finding men. I was expecting something more like Code Name Verity and this was a lighter version with the women falling for different soldiers and discussing relationship issues. I didn't mind some of it because I do feel that it would represent the times to some extent, but it was overdone in my opinion. I also found the story to be too coincidental at times. The soldiers in different groups and the Red Cross girls kept going to or ending up in the same places as other characters. They didn't just end up in the same countries, but the same towns, often bumping into each other. It was just too coincidental and unlikely, which made it difficult to believe at times. With that said, I still thought it was a good story. It kept me engaged and interested in seeing what would happen next. There were certain parts that were written in a way I prefer with less romance and more focus on the relationships between the women or what they observed and went through themselves during the war. The book was not too light and had some moments that were wonderfully portrayed. There were sad parts as well as happy parts and funny parts. I enjoyed that the girls didn't start out perfectly good at everything, however the end was wrapped up a bit too neatly for my taste, making it unrealistic for a war story, but you grow to care about these women, so it was easy to overlook this. Overall, I feel like with the issues I had with the story should have made me like it less, but I still really enjoyed it. I might give it 3.5★ instead of 4★, but bumping it up to 4 fits my enjoyment more than bumping it down to 3. I think if it had been tagged as romance and I had expected more of that, I wouldn't have had an issue with it. Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with a free electronic copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kate Vocke
    January 1, 1970
    It's 1944, and there is a war, and those topics alone typically stop me from reading certain books. SO MANY TIMES I've started reviews with, I'm not a "historical fiction fan but....." BUT, THIS BOOK. This has officially turned me into a HUGE historical fiction fan. I adored every character, I looked forward to reading it every night and rushed to get back to it. And I am SO MAD that it had to end. The emotions in this one are so easy to feel - I found myself laughing out loud, and my husband ke It's 1944, and there is a war, and those topics alone typically stop me from reading certain books. SO MANY TIMES I've started reviews with, I'm not a "historical fiction fan but....." BUT, THIS BOOK. This has officially turned me into a HUGE historical fiction fan. I adored every character, I looked forward to reading it every night and rushed to get back to it. And I am SO MAD that it had to end. The emotions in this one are so easy to feel - I found myself laughing out loud, and my husband kept asking if I was getting sick. Oh the sniffles! I NEVER cry at books! What is happening to me!Oh, AND ... my all time most favorite thing on the planet: Food Trucks! Yes, my friends, World War II food trucks. I loved Band of Brothers, I will drop everything to read/watch/talk about it. It's not often I get really into war stories, but when you flat out fall in love with the characters - it's easy. And this book, a sort of Band of Sisters, but Red Cross girls, is something I really got into - and although I might have teared up during some really tight spots in the story, I flat out bawled when this book was over. It's real, it's gritty, it's relatable, it's full of all the feelings. A new favorite for sure!Fiona Denning is the captain of The Beantown Girls, a group of Red Cross Clubmobile girls that drive a (yes!) food truck throughout the war bringing doughnuts, coffee, candy and cigarettes, but most of all - much needed morale - to the soldiers on the front lines of the war. Fiona thought her life was all put together and headed in a pretty secure direction, when her fiancé Danny heads off to war and soon becomes missing in action. In the blink of an eye her entire life plan has changed. Along with her two best friends, Dottie, as shy musician, and Viv, an outspoken diva of sorts, the three Boston girls join the Clubmobile program and their entire lives change. For Fiona, she wants answers. What happened to Danny and where is he? And is he still alive? For the other girls, it's about finding themselves, a little adventure, and wanting to do something for those who are sacrificing so much. What they find is all of that and more - love, danger, friendship and just learning to live in the moment.I cannot even stress how great of a story this is. It's easily my favorite historical fiction book to date. The girls and the soldiers are forever embedded in my list of favorite casts of book characters. The story is at times terrifying and heartbreaking, but also so much fun as the girls are so easily lovable. The writing is fresh, and enticing and I devoured every word and wish there were more! Bravo Jane Healey!
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  • Aga Durka
    January 1, 1970
    Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I have read quite a lot of books in this category, especially WWII books, which makes it a little hard for me to be surprised and intrigued with the content of another book in this genre. “Beantown Girls” was an exception...I’ve actually learned quite a lot about Red Cross Clubmobile Girls (I’ve never heard of them before *gasp*) and their role in WWII. This book was a refreshing and surprising read about friendship, bravery, companionship, and love. Fion Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I have read quite a lot of books in this category, especially WWII books, which makes it a little hard for me to be surprised and intrigued with the content of another book in this genre. “Beantown Girls” was an exception...I’ve actually learned quite a lot about Red Cross Clubmobile Girls (I’ve never heard of them before *gasp*) and their role in WWII. This book was a refreshing and surprising read about friendship, bravery, companionship, and love. Fiona, Viv, Dottie, Blanch, Frankie, and Martha touched my heart, and I felt like I was one of them, sitting in the Clubmobile, making doughnuts, while having some girl talk. The witty conversations and captivating descriptions of Europe’s landscape during WWII made this novel a real treat to read. Yes, I shed few tears and felt a little beaten down by some of the events in the story, but the beautiful writing, engaging characters, and a history lesson (for me!) in this novel made this book very enjoyable read. I would like to read more books from this author soon. And I hope it is another Historical Fiction! :)Thank you NetGalley, Jane Healey, and Lake Union Publishing for a chance to read this great novel!I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I've read my fair share of World War Two HF and I'm always eager to see a new spin on things, so when I read the description of this and realized I had never even heard of the Red Cross Clubmobile Girls I was excited! The idea of these young women volunteering to help out during such a scary and unsure time was fascinating to me and their bravery was so inspiring. Historical accuracy is so important to me, even when reading fiction and Healey did an amazing job at staying very close to true even I've read my fair share of World War Two HF and I'm always eager to see a new spin on things, so when I read the description of this and realized I had never even heard of the Red Cross Clubmobile Girls I was excited! The idea of these young women volunteering to help out during such a scary and unsure time was fascinating to me and their bravery was so inspiring. Historical accuracy is so important to me, even when reading fiction and Healey did an amazing job at staying very close to true events. Her dates were pretty spot on and her attention to detail was impeccable, and yet she still managed to make this an engaging and fun read despite maintaining historical accuracy. Sometimes when I read a HF I can get bogged down with the details but there was none of that here. I was wholly invested in Fiona, Viv and Dottie's lives and this is due to the authors ability to create such vivid and vivacious characters that leapt from the pages. This was an emotional read, Healey didn't shy away from the horrors of war and the girls were right in the thick of the action so there were some somber scenes. Overall though, this was an ultimately uplifting read and one full of hope, but I did experience a wide variety of emotions while reading. Recommended for fans of HF and especially those who can't get enough of WW2, also the whole concept behind the Clubmobile Girls was so interesting, their sole purpose was to bring some joy and happiness to soldiers far from home, so cool!
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  • Susan Peterson
    January 1, 1970
    This book was wonderful. The author really captured the essence of these women, as well as the servicemen, who served their country during WWII. The story was heartfelt and poignant, leaving me in tears at times, but also making my heart happy in other moments. It was wonderful to watch these women as the evolved, losing their naivety along the way, but gaining strength and courage. The Beantown Girls is compelling and well-paced, a book which will keep readers involved emotionally from the firs This book was wonderful. The author really captured the essence of these women, as well as the servicemen, who served their country during WWII. The story was heartfelt and poignant, leaving me in tears at times, but also making my heart happy in other moments. It was wonderful to watch these women as the evolved, losing their naivety along the way, but gaining strength and courage. The Beantown Girls is compelling and well-paced, a book which will keep readers involved emotionally from the first page until the very end.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I've written this review for Really Into ThisCheck out all of our reviews at https://reallyintothis.comHappy Reading, friends!THE BEANTOWN GIRLS BY JANE HEALEY BOOK REVIEWFiona’s fiance goes missing. Determined to find out the truth, Fiona applies to be a Red Cross Clubmobile girl. Along with her friends, Viv & Dottie, they head across the world. They will be serving coffee & doughnuts & bringing good cheer to the soldiers during World War II.A TRIO OF FIERCE FEMALESFirst, I love thi I've written this review for Really Into ThisCheck out all of our reviews at https://reallyintothis.comHappy Reading, friends!THE BEANTOWN GIRLS BY JANE HEALEY BOOK REVIEWFiona’s fiance goes missing. Determined to find out the truth, Fiona applies to be a Red Cross Clubmobile girl. Along with her friends, Viv & Dottie, they head across the world. They will be serving coffee & doughnuts & bringing good cheer to the soldiers during World War II.A TRIO OF FIERCE FEMALESFirst, I love this group of friends so much. This trio is so incredibly memorable & lovable. While each of the ladies is different, they make a fantastic team. It’s a good thing too. This group needs to band together to make sure they are the best Clubmobile. It’s the only way Fiona can get closer to the action & find out what happened to her fiance.Much like Girls on The Line & Radium Girls, I LOVE a novel about underappreciated females. These Clubmobile Girls are no joke. Driving around in the dark, no gas gauge, no mechanics & grease flying everywhere is rough. Like any book, I highly encourage everyone to read the author’s note. Jane’s note shines a light on Clubmobile Girls who were awarded Bronze Stars. She also makes reference to this Unsolved Mysteries episode featuring German & American soldiers sharing a meal on Christmas Eve during The Battle of the Bulge.THE VERDICTI am Really Into This book! It’s so easy to connect & understand Fiona, Viv & Dottie. Jane Healey writes a memorable novel featuring a band of women who deserve to be celebrated!Special thanks to Get Red PR & Lake Union Publishing for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.2/5 stars, with 1 star added for the idea and research. I wanted so badly to love this book. The description was fantastic, all the ideas were there, but the execution was lacking. The writing seemed stilted and forced from the beginning, and although the characters DID grow throughout the war, they all (particularly Fiona) were shallow and repeated themselves endlessly throughout the book. The exceptions to Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.2/5 stars, with 1 star added for the idea and research. I wanted so badly to love this book. The description was fantastic, all the ideas were there, but the execution was lacking. The writing seemed stilted and forced from the beginning, and although the characters DID grow throughout the war, they all (particularly Fiona) were shallow and repeated themselves endlessly throughout the book. The exceptions to this were Jimmy and Mrs. Tibbetts who had real backstories and motivations. Several of the plot points, too, seemed forced, as though the author had several ideas she wanted to string together before wrapping up the novel almost too neatly. Overall, I loved the idea and I did learn about the "Doughnut Dollies" and the involvement of the American Red Cross in WWII, but the book itself was unsatisfying.
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  • Lynda Loigman
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this story of female ambition and friendship. Jane Healey has written a special story of some of the war's unsung heroines and the fascinating lives they led.
  • The Just-About-Cocky Ms M
    January 1, 1970
    I almost passed on this book, but it was a Kindle Unlimited, so why not take a peek? To be brutally frank—which is my usual style, as y’all know—I was prepared to skim the book, find the mistakes, the historical errors, the dreaded anachronisms, and then cut loose in my review. But it didn’t work out that way.I will say that this type of book has now become terribly trite and overdone: bright, determined, beautiful girls from here, there, and everywhere go forth to “do their bit” for the war eff I almost passed on this book, but it was a Kindle Unlimited, so why not take a peek? To be brutally frank—which is my usual style, as y’all know—I was prepared to skim the book, find the mistakes, the historical errors, the dreaded anachronisms, and then cut loose in my review. But it didn’t work out that way.I will say that this type of book has now become terribly trite and overdone: bright, determined, beautiful girls from here, there, and everywhere go forth to “do their bit” for the war effort, where the effort ranges from SOE operatives to nurses to members of that oh-so-famous club, the French Resistance, and now to the “Donut Dollies.” Add to this almost interchangeable cast a dash of danger, lots of schmoozing with soldiers, a missing boyfriend/fiancé/ husband, and a boatload of romance, and there you have a least a dozen of these books published in the past year. Most were written with all the style, craft, and range of an earnest high school sophomore girl imagining herself in such a scenario.This one was different. Despite having all the above-referenced elements, except for the writing, it worked. The three “Donut Dollies,” Fiona, Dottie, and Viv were not the cardboard cut-outs I’ve met too often. They had personalities and distinct “voices.” The dialogue was natural for the most part, with a spare use of slang from that period post-D-Day. I have to say, however, that way too many folks called each other “Honey” way too often, to the point I was distracted and was almost tempted to count the instances. My favorite bete noir in historical fiction in any era, anachronisms in speech, setting, and custom, was amazingly absent for the most part. And the plot had a respectable arc, with little sagging. The writing style, while competent, was nothing particularly special. At least it was nowhere as cringe-worthy as the overwrought, hand-wringing, Harlequin purple prose with which other books in this same genre niche have been cursed.So what is my criticism here?I have to review the book I read, and not the book that I wish it had been. Despite its good points it nevertheless had the same tendency to use war as more of a backdrop for the characters who experience it instead of almost an integral character with its own identity. I wish it had broken the mold of The Three Musketeers trope, where either lifelong friends go off to war together or meet on the way to war and form enduring insta-friendships. And most of all, I wish the author had abandoned the amazingly clichéd and rather insulting use of “Girls.” Perhaps The Beantown Girls sounds catchy, as did The Lost Girls of Paris, and quite a few other “Girls” wartime sagas. But folks, these were women in their twenties and early thirties, and I think their prototypes, if any still survive, would be seriously miffed at being trivialized.Still, I can recommend this book, although it was not as good as it could have been.
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  • [[ Frankie ]]
    January 1, 1970
    I love picking up a good historical fiction novel, especially those dealing with the Second World War. The Beantown Girls was a heart-wrenching, yet beautiful tale, with an amazing cast of strong female characters. The feelings this book gave me while reading it puts it pretty high up on my list of favorite WWII books. I’m literally at war with myself [no pun intended] trying to decide if I should bump this one up to five stars.I feel this tale really gave an accurate description [obviously base I love picking up a good historical fiction novel, especially those dealing with the Second World War. The Beantown Girls was a heart-wrenching, yet beautiful tale, with an amazing cast of strong female characters. The feelings this book gave me while reading it puts it pretty high up on my list of favorite WWII books. I’m literally at war with myself [no pun intended] trying to decide if I should bump this one up to five stars.I feel this tale really gave an accurate description [obviously based on my readings & research on the topic] of how hard & devastating those times were. Hearing about the love, especially the loss, of these wonderful Clubmobile gals brought tears to my eyes every single time.Even those who aren’t fans of historical fiction would truly enjoy this book & get so much out of it. Give it a try! You won’t regret it, I promise.P.S. — It’s available on Kindle Unlimited which is even better! No reason to pass this one up, if you have a KU account. Or even if you don’t, honestly!
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    A rewarding sentimental journey! This book brought to mind all my favorite classic movies from & about this time period—Pearl Harbor, So Proudly We Hail, Since You Went Away—and the way they celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Loved the camaraderie among the girls, the vignettes of the soldiers (who knew a man saying farewell to a beloved dog could bo so touching), the sweet, quirky supporting characters, the descriptions of clothes & places & music, and especially A rewarding sentimental journey! This book brought to mind all my favorite classic movies from & about this time period—Pearl Harbor, So Proudly We Hail, Since You Went Away—and the way they celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Loved the camaraderie among the girls, the vignettes of the soldiers (who knew a man saying farewell to a beloved dog could bo so touching), the sweet, quirky supporting characters, the descriptions of clothes & places & music, and especially the romance. Such a sweet, satisfying ending!
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  • Laura//lauralovestoread Gelinas
    January 1, 1970
    Another part of WWII history that I never even knew about! The Red Cross Clubmobile Girls helped raise morale during the war handing out coffee, making doughnuts, pitching in wherever help was needed in order to aid the soldiers. I loved The Beantown Girls so much! Fiona, Viviana, and Dottie were the three beauties who were friends since college, and decide to enter this next adventure together, to help the soldiers overseas. *Thank you to netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an advanced copy Another part of WWII history that I never even knew about! The Red Cross Clubmobile Girls helped raise morale during the war handing out coffee, making doughnuts, pitching in wherever help was needed in order to aid the soldiers. I loved The Beantown Girls so much! Fiona, Viviana, and Dottie were the three beauties who were friends since college, and decide to enter this next adventure together, to help the soldiers overseas. *Thank you to netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Moonkiszt
    January 1, 1970
    These were my grandmothers and great aunts!This story filled me with nostalgia and I read it with my veteran family members nudging me when their part of the war was featured . . .including a great aunt who really was a nurse that went to France where she ended up meeting her husband during emergencies in mobile hospitals. . . .it rang true to me. Romance is not my favorite. . And this is a very light read. . .But this had enough other credible storylines that I was able to enjoy it immensely.
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  • Carol (Reading Ladies)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars In Beantown Girls, three best friends conspire to serve their country during WW11 by joining the Red Cross as Clubmobile girls: Fiona is admired for her organizational and leadership skills; Viviana is adventuresome and outspoken; and Dottie is a shy music teacher. Healey uses a linear timeline to tell the story from Fiona’s point of view, and we soon discover that Fiona’s primary objective in this venture is to find more information about her fiance who is missing in action. To qualif 4.5 stars In Beantown Girls, three best friends conspire to serve their country during WW11 by joining the Red Cross as Clubmobile girls: Fiona is admired for her organizational and leadership skills; Viviana is adventuresome and outspoken; and Dottie is a shy music teacher. Healey uses a linear timeline to tell the story from Fiona’s point of view, and we soon discover that Fiona’s primary objective in this venture is to find more information about her fiance who is missing in action. To qualify as Clubmobile girls, the young women were chosen for their inner strength and outer charm, but none of them were prepared for the realities of war or the front lines. In addition to the Clubmobile story line focus, there is a bit of romance for the girls, too.Sometimes the enjoyability factor is the main consideration in declaring a book a great read. This is how I felt after finishing Beantown Girls: “That was a great read!”Fiona, Viviana, and Dottie feel like your best friends! They are realistically drawn, their ideals are admirable (also naive), their friendship is strong and supportive, and their first experiences as Clubmobile girls could be titled “The Bad News Bears Join the Red Cross and Serve Their Country.” Although challenging and different from what they expected, they persevere and don’t give up. They learn their jobs, are courageous in danger, become excellent problem solvers, and are each other’s best cheer leader.After reading many books with two or more time lines and following stories told from multiple perspectives, the straight forward way in which Beantown Girls was written made for a relaxing and quick read. I didn’t have to stop at the beginning of each chapter and think about where I was in the timeline or remember which character’s perspective I would be hearing. The reading experience provides an appreciated change of pace from other more complicated structures, and I think more simplistic writing mirrors the innocence and naivety of these 25-year-old girls. In addition to sprinkling humor and light-hearted banter into the story, the author provides an abundance of vivid details about Clubmobiles, the experience of the women, and the role of Clubmobiles on military bases. Learning about history is the joy of reading well researched historical fiction. It often causes me to wonder what I would have done in this period of history.One part of the writing that was less appreciated was the use of “Jesus” as profanity. If this offends you as a Christian, I would estimate that there are between 15-20 instances of this in the story. Honestly, it was enough to hold me back from giving this a full five stars endorsement. Not only was I personally offended, but I wondered if this type of profanity was even used that much by women in the 1940s. It seemed a bit anachronistic. Again, this is a personal concern and may not affect your reading experience.When the author quickly immerses me into the story in the first few pages, it predisposes me to a higher star rating! This quick engagement is also a good indication for the page turning pace of the entire book, and I wasn’t disappointed. Despite including a great deal of historical facts, the story has an unputdownable quality that makes for a fast read. I also appreciated plenty of action that helped move the plot forward.One comment that I see in other reviews is a reference to the role of women as simply comforting, beautiful distractions for men. Yes, the main role of the Red Cross Clubmobile girls on the base is to serve coffee and doughnuts, dance with the soldiers, and provide good conversation, kindness, and reassurance. Yes, it is uncomfortable for modern women to read about women portrayed in this manner, but I chose to take it in the historical context in which it was meant and feel grateful that perceptions of women are different today. *Spoiler: the girls end up doing so much more than this!This would make a great book club discussion because of some important themes that include: friendship, loyalty, bravery, courage, camaraderie, service to country, role of women in the 1940s and during wartime, new dreams, and love.Favorite Quote: “And all of us that were living in it longed for intimacy and connection, however fleeting, because it reminded us of what mattered most.”I highly recommend Beantown Girls as an inspiring and uplifting story of friendship and service to country. As WW11 stories go, this is a milder and more light-hearted read than some (although the girls do experience some heartbreak and get caught up in a battle at the front). Recommended for fans of well told and well researched WW11 historical fiction, for readers who appreciate stories of brave, independent, and determined women who are difference makers, and for those who are looking for a compelling and engaging read (with a sprinkling of romance!). For more reviews visit my blog readingladies.com
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  • Carla Johnson-Hicks
    January 1, 1970
    This is another great story about the female, forgotten heroes of WWII. In this book we learn about the Red Cross Clubmobile Girls who were supposed to remain behind the lines and serve coffee and donuts to the soldiers in the camps. Fiona finds out her fiancé has been shot down in Germany and she doesn't want to sit back and wait. She convinces her two best friends, Dottie and Viviana to sign up with the Red Cross to head over to Europe. When the ladies pass the tests and are accepted, off they This is another great story about the female, forgotten heroes of WWII. In this book we learn about the Red Cross Clubmobile Girls who were supposed to remain behind the lines and serve coffee and donuts to the soldiers in the camps. Fiona finds out her fiancé has been shot down in Germany and she doesn't want to sit back and wait. She convinces her two best friends, Dottie and Viviana to sign up with the Red Cross to head over to Europe. When the ladies pass the tests and are accepted, off they go. It is not what they had expected. They needed to learn how to drive the clubmobiles, maintain them all while serving coffee and donuts with a smile in a war zone. There role is to raise the morale of the troops, but they end up doing so much more. With all this going on, the toughest thing for Fiona, is to put aside her feelings and the real reason she is there which is to find her fiancé, so she won't get left behind in England. Along with another team of ladies they end up in France facing enemy lines, dealing with explosions, shell-shocked soldiers, and K-Rations as well as finding love.This is a beautifully written story. The author's descriptive writing had me feeling like I was there, hearing the explosions as well as the music. I enjoyed learning about these women and all they did. I liked the personalities of the clubmobile girls as they dealt with the horrors around them. These are real women who just wanted to do something. They were brave and courageous, but they were also caring, loyal and all had their own talents. There is also a host of secondary characters that add much to the story. They are friends, co-workers, performers, soldiers, supervisors and romantic interests. This is a story about war, but it is also a story of friendship. Watching these women support each other through thick and thin and encourage one another was beautiful. This was an inspiring story about the role these brave women played in the war, as well as how friendship and loyalty can make such a difference when in dangerous situations. Yes, there is some romance, but that is secondary to the action and adventure the Clubmobile Girls deal with. Make sure you read the afterword from the author. She gives some facts from her research to show how this story came about. I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction and stories from WWII. I listened to the audiobook of this story and really enjoyed the narration. The narrator gave voice to a host of characters with varying accents that all sounded realistic. I loved the voice of Fiona, who was the main narrator of the story, it was crisp, yet warm. I will look for more books narrated by Sarah Mollo-Christensen.
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  • Reading Badger
    January 1, 1970
    If you are a fan of the historical novels, always eager to see a new spin on things, then “The Beantown Girls” is a great choice. Also, if you are looking for new interesting facts about World War II, then maybe you should find more about Red Cross Clubmobile Girls, which is the central topic of this impressive novel.The author, Jane Healey, has beautifully combined a romantic story during the war, with the adventure of 3 powerful women, who are daunting the challenges of war.Read the full revie If you are a fan of the historical novels, always eager to see a new spin on things, then “The Beantown Girls” is a great choice. Also, if you are looking for new interesting facts about World War II, then maybe you should find more about Red Cross Clubmobile Girls, which is the central topic of this impressive novel.The author, Jane Healey, has beautifully combined a romantic story during the war, with the adventure of 3 powerful women, who are daunting the challenges of war.Read the full review here:https://readingbadger.club/2019/04/03...
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    So good, I didn’t want it to end!
  • Linda Zagon
    January 1, 1970
    Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The Beantown Girls” by Jane Healey, Lake Union Publishing, February 5, 2019Jane Healey, Author of “The Beantown Girls” has written an intriguing, intense, heart-breaking, emotional, enthralling and captivating novel. The Genres are a marriage between Fiction and History of World War Two, and the role of the Red Cross Clubmobile Girls. Kudos to Jane Healey for the hours of research, interviews, and authentication of the time period and the Red Cross ClubMobile Girl Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The Beantown Girls” by Jane Healey, Lake Union Publishing, February 5, 2019Jane Healey, Author of “The Beantown Girls” has written an intriguing, intense, heart-breaking, emotional, enthralling and captivating novel. The Genres are a marriage between Fiction and History of World War Two, and the role of the Red Cross Clubmobile Girls. Kudos to Jane Healey for the hours of research, interviews, and authentication of the time period and the Red Cross ClubMobile Girls. The author vividly captures through her amazing writing skills and descriptions the destruction of the War and morale of the soldiers, and the hard task and danger of the women from the Red Cross bringing some comfort, donuts, coffee and conversation.When Fionna Denning learns that are fiancee is missing when his plane is shot down in Germany, she is determined to find out what happened. Fiona and her two friends Viviana, and Dottie leave Boston and volunteer with the RedCross ClubMobile Girls, in Europe to bring comfort to the soldiers at the frontline of the war. The girls would make donuts, coffee, and have candy for the men. I don’t think I will ever think of a donut in the same way after reading this book. It was dangerous and difficult work.I appreciate that Jane Healey discusses the importance of sisterhood and friendship. I learned how courageous and brave these women were. Music, dancing, singing, and entertainment were important to cheer everyone up at this devastating time. Be warned, keep your Kleenex close at hand. This is also a story of love and hope. I would highly recommend this amazing novel to those readers who look forward to reading about World War Two. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.
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  • Ella Carey
    January 1, 1970
    I loved so much about Jane Healey's wonderful The Beantown Girls- the warm hearted characters, their good cheer and courage in the face of the devastation of war. I did not know much about these women who drove around the battlefields of Europe, supplying the troops with doughnuts and really, keeping their spirits up. I read that Jane Healey read these women's diaries as part of her research, and I think she's really captured the spirit of that generation. Her writing style is so natural, that I I loved so much about Jane Healey's wonderful The Beantown Girls- the warm hearted characters, their good cheer and courage in the face of the devastation of war. I did not know much about these women who drove around the battlefields of Europe, supplying the troops with doughnuts and really, keeping their spirits up. I read that Jane Healey read these women's diaries as part of her research, and I think she's really captured the spirit of that generation. Her writing style is so natural, that I felt I was sitting down with a friend over coffee while she told me this compelling, important and moving story set during World War Two.
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  • Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 STARS - Even as an avid reader of WWII Historical Fiction I was surprised that I had never heard of the Red Cross Clubmobile girls and their influence on the war effort. This was a group of young, educated American women who were sent overseas to bring a little bit of home to the men on the front lines. While their main duties included serving donuts and coffee to the men, their morale boosting presence was what benefitted the soldiers the most. The story is well-researched and benefited fro 3.5 STARS - Even as an avid reader of WWII Historical Fiction I was surprised that I had never heard of the Red Cross Clubmobile girls and their influence on the war effort. This was a group of young, educated American women who were sent overseas to bring a little bit of home to the men on the front lines. While their main duties included serving donuts and coffee to the men, their morale boosting presence was what benefitted the soldiers the most. The story is well-researched and benefited from the author's use of journals from real Clubmobile girls. While the story deals with war, The Beantown Girls is a lighter Historical Fiction read so readers who don't want too much violence and gore, and don't mind a few sweet, sentimental moments, should enjoy this book. Through her charming characters, who go from naïve to knowledgeable to independent and brave, Healey broaches topics of sexism and gender roles in war as well as friendship and the sacrifice that so many gave to end the war. Healey's writing style had a casual feel but felt like it relied too heavily on dialogue to fill the pages. A lot of 'she said this' kind of thing which isn't my favourite style. Overall, The Beantown Girls is an interesting read that gives readers a look at another aspect of WWII (with a clearly American perspective) that focuses on a small group of women who helped in the war effort. It's Historical Fiction, with a strong romantic focus but it's also a book about friendship, sacrifice, loss and hope in the bleakest of times. Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.
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