I heard a lot of great things about the book, which follows three women, from very different backgrounds (a grandmother, a college student and a mom) when they join the National Guard and eventually see action in war.
I've had friends and acquaintances join the military or are children in military families, so I had some idea of what I might read, but this was definitely an eye-opener. These women join for different reasons, have different issues, but end up having very similar experiences. Sexism. Discrimination. Dealing with wanted and unwanted attention. Being isolated as being among the few women there. Dealing with combat and the stresses of war and finding perhaps not so healthy outlets.
That said, I found it difficult to get into. Initially I really enjoyed it, but I tend to have trouble with books that shift perspective (The Warmth of Other Suns has a similar structure, switching between 3 different main views) so drastically. It helps that these three women eventually meet and become friends, but quite often I really prefer an author find a way to meld all three instead of constantly switching between them.
I also found the book sometimes much too detailed. I got a little bored reading so much into their love lives and the boyfriends/partners/etc. they left behind. It's understandable that this is part of many soldiers (male or female) experiences, where adultery and hook-ups (as well as drug use) are not at all uncommon when dealing with war and violence. But after a while I just wasn't interested in knowing how some of these relationships came together or disintegrated.
But as I mentioned before, this gives a deeper insight. Beyond those waving flags and welcome parades, soldiers come back (if they come back) to family, friends, colleagues, etc. who have no idea what they went through and likely can't imagine it. It's sad to see how and why people could be drawn to serve (college tuition is one item that really appeals to one of the women) but to see how little support they get from the government and how much red tape there can be.
Might recommend this to someone (female OR male!) who is considering enlisting or has a general interest in the military.