LOVE AND GLORY by Jeane Westin


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Like Dailey's Silver Wings, Santiago Blues (1984), which celebrated the WW II WASPs, this is a flag-snapping version of all those male, for-the-glory-of-the-corps sagas so popular in 1940's flicks, here within the frame of a long overdue if corny tribute to the women of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (later the demeaning ""auxiliary"" was removed). More romance-centered than Silver Wings (which had some hard aircraft info), this first novel takes four comrades in arms from 1942 to the war's end, with men heavily on the mind. Among the four officer candidates training at Fort Des Moines in Iowa in 1942: Page Hannaday, army brat and general's daughter; twice-divorced, wise-cracky Bunny from New Jersey; gorgeous Elisabeth Gardner, who hustled her shady way in Manhattan's garment center to marriage to wealthy Marne; and tiny Jill Hammersmith, doggedly loyal to her wounded vet fianc‚, Neil, who seems to hate her now. The four make it through Basic with the stereotypical tough top-sergeant and gibes from the men. They'll finally get their bars and swing by on parade: "". . .part of the parade at last, part of the Army,"" exults Jill. Page gets a European assignment as a General's aide; Jill will be in Italy in cryptology; Bunny, after dropping out on a fizzled man-chase and reenlisting as an NCO, will be a darkroom technician in Australia and New Guinea; but Elisabeth, in the wake of some dirty work performed for the punishing garment center biggie that she has a passion for, is discharged from the quartermaster department. Page and professor Paul, who accompanies her on some dangerous missions (she saves a group of GIs with a warning--and a rifle), differ on a ""woman's place""; Bunny weighs security with a stolid sort and life with a clowning private; while Jill, learning confidence, finds a brief happiness with the man she thought had once betrayed her. There'll be some war action, love and sex (gentle to gymnastic), heroics and tragedy (the death of one of the four). With the well-deserved salute to the WACs, a recruiting poster in an old, familiar drill. Then it's hi, hi, heee. . .

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Simon & Schuster