Warner, Oct 2002, 14.00, 378 pp.
In 1952, the six women meet at the US Drampton Air Force Base in rural Norfolk, England. The sextet of military wives have in common husbands flying F-84s to keep the Russkies at bay. Five Americans (Betty Gillis, Lois Moon, Gayle Jackson, Audrey Rudman, and Peggy Dewey) and the native (Kath Pharoah) are bored with nothing to do and frightened that their spouse might not make it home this time. In their respective hometowns, these six females would not give any of the others the time of day, but here at Drampton a bond of friendship forms.
Over the next four decades, though they each go their separate ways, their friendship remains in tact. They share the elation of triumphs and the agony of defeats. Divorce, death, and children not in that order enter the equation, but the sextet stays in touch as they age differently.
Though the tale starts extremely slow so that the six key characters can be distinguished from one another, once the tale soars it never lands until the ending. In many ways each protagonist represents a stereotype of western women during the latter half of the twentieth century, but author Laurie Graham never allows any of her stars to linger too long in one shell without maturing or smoothly metamorphosing. This turns the novel into a delightful look at “You've Come a Long Way Baby” that will provide pleasure to the baby booming past FUTURE HOMEMAKERS OF AMERICA
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner