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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Radium Girls and history and WWII buffs, The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line takes you inside the lives and experiences of 15 unknown women heroes from the Greatest Generation, the women who served, fought, struggled, and made things happen during WWII - in and out of uniform, for theirs is a legacy destined to embolden generations of women to come.

The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line are the heroes of the Greatest Generation that you hardly ever hear about. These women who did extraordinary things didn’t expect thanks and shied away from medals and recognition. Despite their amazing accomplishments, they’ve gone mostly unheralded and unrewarded. No longer. These are the women of World War II who served, fought, struggled, and made things happen - in and out of uniform.

Liane B. Russell fled Austria with nothing and later became a renowned US scientist whose research on the effects of radiation on embryos made a difference to thousands of lives. Gena Turgel was a prisoner who worked in the hospital at Bergen-Belsen and cared for the young Anne Frank, who was dying of typhus. Gena survived and went on to write a memoir and spent her life educating children about the Holocaust. Ida and Louise Cook were British sisters who repeatedly smuggled out jewelry and furs and served as sponsors for refugees, and they also established temporary housing for immigrant families in London.

Retired US Army Major General Mari K. Eder wrote this book because she knew their stories needed to be told - and the sooner the better. For theirs is a legacy destined to embolden generations of women to come.

©2021 Mari K. Eder (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line

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Ending very poorly done

I did not like the ending. Leave out the Nancy Pelosi, Greta Thurnberg and Ilhan Omar information. Stick to your original women in the story.

5 people found this helpful

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Life

Great account of female bravery and tenacity. thank you to Major General Mari K Eder to passing keeping the fire on and sharing these wonderful history facts.

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Spoiler: author applauds non-WWII women

This book would have rated 5 stars if the author had stuck to the subject of her book—WWII women of distinction who were not given the accolades much earlier than they did. I got most of the way through chapter 17 where the author chose to show her “wokeness” including Nancy Pelosi, Greta Thumberg, and Ilhmar Omar in the same light as the women who were the subject of the book. Those three women are often out of touch with reality and including them in this book is an insult to the WWII hero’s.

2 people found this helpful

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Girls who created their own path

Outstanding short stories about women trailblazers. Their actions during WW2 launched women into the light. The women walked a narrow path that has widened into large highways for today's women and my granddaughter to travel. This is a must read history.

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Eyes Up and Open

The stories were inspiring, some more than others. I have a fee favorites (Millie, Alice, and Charity) and will use their stories to elevate my future career goals and life path.

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Great book, about the lives of unsung hero's.

Pulls out, the woman who put their lives on the line for freedom during WWII . Fighting the Nazi's and sometimes the male driven establishment. well written, well spoken.

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Important Life Stories of Outstanding Women

I think that the women chosen to be profiled in this book are fascinating, brave, and determined. The presentation is fine but does not equal the strength and grit of the women. Perhaps giving more space to examples of more specific incidents in their lives would help, even if not as many profiles were included.

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Powerful Stories for Girls of all Ages

I'm thrilled to have found this book & enjoyed the stories of impact these women made in spite of so many barriers being thrown in their path. I shared some of the stories with my 9 year old grand daughter while we were together & we both had great conversations about challenges women have faced to do the things she now feels are a normal option in life for her.

I admire the research that must have gone into this work...and the skillful way the author wove each woman's story! The narrator was a perfect match. I loved her voice! Every girl in our country should have access to this book!!!

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loved it

This was excellent. Eder included a wide variety of women - some of them were spies or members of the French resistance, but many of them weren't, which really helped build her overarching message that bravery or being ground-breaking doesn't just look like one thing - it can look like a lot of things, and it can matter and deserve respect even when you don't do something that would play well in an action movie. I also appreciated her acknowledgment of how racism as well as sexism really impact women's ability to gain respect and recognition for their actions. The chapters about people I've read about in the past also generally lined up with I've read, which says to me that Eder did her research despite writing shorter pieces about each of the subjects rather than an entire book.

A couple people in reviews complained about her drawing modern parallels at the end of the book. It's true, she does do that, presumably because she wants people who read it to think about more than just patting themselves on the back for understanding that World War II was really, really awful from the safety of the 21st century where we can't do anything about it. That's not actually a bad thing.

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Fascinating

This a series of biographies that share with us some Womens history. This story is one that should be read or listened to by all. These women were rebels and groundbreaking and ohhhh so humble.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-02-21

Realistic/flawed/fantastic people & their stories

Regardless of race, gender, preference, religion or culture, this book has something that almost everyone will feel a deep connection to. The story does not glorify or paint anyone as perfect heroes, DOES NOT push political agendas, nor does it romanticise hardships; the stories are rich windows into the lives of people who fought, lost, loved and actually existed. Many of those who counted as 'stepping out of line' did not out of self-interest nor did they expect awards or praise; at the time they did not think of the actions as extraordinary, they were merely doing what had to be done. There are people familiar to mainstream such as 'Joan of Arc' and others I have never heard of before, people from our parents and grandparents generation.

As someone who has been struggling from a recent trauma, this book was powerful not only because of the inspirational people but because even though at times a focus person could have been broken, struggling, lost or seemingly with no way out, they kept going. It talked about how the journey was not easy and linear or at times measurable, regardless, they kept going. It recognised the great personal price many bore, the mental and physical wounds that left many forever changed but they kept going.
They lived, loved, lost and were ordinary people, with extraordinary stories.

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  • Jacques M
  • 12-15-21

Great Collection of Wonderful Girls Stories.

I enjoyed this Book immensely, on the edge of my chair with alot of the stories, cheering, and hoping things would go well, some extremely sad stories too, but overall a great read/listen.

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  • Wednesday's Child
  • 11-15-21

Very blinkered

Quite clearly written from a "How America won WWII" perspective. I was so frustrated with how ignorant the author is to the very significant contributions of other countries and their women. Americans always seem to be looking for the next pat on the back. How is one woman's contribution to the war effort by soldering wire onto reels any greater than the woman who stayed on the farm mustering and shearing sheep? Why shouldn't both women be recognised? It's just geography!