From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini, a bold, revelatory novel about one of the great untold stories of World War I—the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, who broke down gender barriers in the military, validated women as essential workers, and battled a pandemic as they helped lead the Allies to victory.
In June 1917, General John Pershing arrived in France to establish American forces in Europe, but communications with Allied commanders and troops in the field were perilously unreliable. Pershing needed telephone operators who could swiftly and accurately connect multiple calls, speak fluent French and English, remain steady under fire, and provide the absolute secrecy required for conveying classified military information. At the time, nearly all American telephone operators were women—but women were not permitted to enlist, or even to vote in most states. Nevertheless, the U.S. Army Signal Corps promptly began recruiting them.