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When We Had Wings

A novel by

From three bestselling authors comes an interwoven tale about a trio of World War II nurses stationed in the South Pacific who wage their own battle for freedom and survival.

The Philippines, 1941. When U.S. Navy nurse Eleanor Lindstrom, U.S. Army nurse Penny Franklin, and Filipina nurse Lita Capel forge a friendship at the Army Navy Club in Manila, they believe they’re living a paradise assignment. All three are seeking a way to escape their pasts, but soon the beauty and promise of their surroundings give way to the heavy mantle of war.

Caught in the crosshairs of a fight between the U.S. military and the Imperial Japanese Army for control of the Philippine Islands, the nurses are forced to serve under combat conditions and, ultimately, endure captivity as the first female prisoners of the Second World War. As their resiliency is tested in the face of squalid living arrangements, food shortages, and the enemy's blatant disregard for the articles of the Geneva Convention, the women strive to keep their hope— and their fellow inmates—alive, though not without great cost.

In this sweeping story based on the true experiences of nurses dubbed "the Angels of Bataan," three women shift in and out of each other's lives through the darkest days of the war, buoyed by their unwavering friendship and distant dreams of liberation.

"A novel rich in historical detail that immerses readers in the dangers and deprivation WWII nurses suffered in the Pacific, wrapped up with a hopeful ending." -Booklist

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"Three fierce women from differing backgrounds come together in the Philippines during World War II to unwillingly be thrust into the chaos of evil that will blast their worlds apart. Lawhon, McMorris, and Meissner seamlessly blend three nurses' stories and secrets with one deft and immersive storytelling voice. When We Had Wings asks the important question--how do we know what we can become until we must become it?--and answers it with a resounding novel of suspense, courage, and grand love. Based on the true story of the first female prisoners of World War II, When We Had Wings is thrilling, riveting, and deeply felt; a do-not-miss historical fiction masterwork." - Patti Callahan

"A riveting novel by a trio of powerhouse authors that offers a fresh take on World War II fiction, one that is uncannily resonant today. Set in the lush tropics, When We Had Wings is an utterly original tale about courage, duty, and endurance." - Fiona Davis

"Three of the biggest powerhouses in historical fiction come together to pen this breathtaking story of three nurses serving in the Philippines during the Second World War." - Pam Jenoff

"When We Had Wings is a story of strength and sisterhood inspired by the little-known experiences of the 'Angels of Bataan.' With gorgeous language and stunning historic detail, Lawhon, McMorris, and Meissner plunge readers into the Philippines and the epic struggles of the Pacific. Filled with heart and pathos, this is a story of hope, faith, and the power of friendship in the face of indescribable hardship." - Allison Pataki

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