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    Meticulously researched and detailed, A Thousand Sisters is about the thousand or so airwomen in the Russian Red Army that were the only combat force with women in it, during WWII. Since it was Wein's book, writer of the beautifully written Code Name Verity, I was especially excited to read this book. However, it did not live up to my expectations as an engaging book, albeit non-fiction, about the brave and legendary women of Russia. A couple of chapters in, I realized the format of the book was not entirely conducive to constant reading. The sheer bombardment of details, names and places was enough to overwhelm me. I barely kept a few names in my mind, and trudged along through the book, as it recounted the varied experiences of the women, their general childhood during the Lenin and Stalin era, and the wartime regulations that curtailed and freed them. It recounted specific experiences for a lot of women, and highlights of their individual career paths, but the problem with how Wein arranged the events by theme and not always chronology meant that the reader is frequently jumping back and forth between different women and times. It would have probably been more interesting had it focused on a few women exclusively and written in others around them, instead of just being this woman, that contingent, that force. I did like the fact that it gave a general background to their situation, and made constant comparisons to the treatment of airwomen in Western countries. Some missions were recounted, which made for exciting stories in between all the information being thrown at you. As a person who is checking it out as a starting point for research, it will probably make for a good choice; it might just bore a leisure reader like me. I tried out the audiobook early on in the book, and it was a much smoother read on audio than in print. (Which just goes to say, don't knock audiobooks!)
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