35 Quotes from The Women by Kristin Hannah

As we read The Women, we couldn’t stop flagging great quotes from the great Kristin Hannah novel about a nurse in Vietnam. We narrowed it down to the best book quotations, and you can see them all below!

The Women Quotes by Kristin Hannah

IMPORTANT NOTE: As these quotes cover the entire book, there are spoilers.

“Women can be heroes… I mean it, Frankie. It’s 1966. The whole world is changing.”

“Men keep us in boxes, make us wear starched virgin white, and tell us that docs are gods. And the worst part is, we believe them. “

“I stuck it out and now I’m glad I stayed. That’s what I’ve learned, Frank. I am better and stronger than I ever thought … I want it all, Frank. A husband, a kid, a career, a big ole life that ends when I can barely get out of my rocker. With kids and friends and animals all around me. You’ll find out what you want over here, too. I promise.”

“…It doesn’t matter where you’re from or how you grew up or what god you believe in, if you’re here, you’re among friends. We’ve got you.”

“Thanks.” “For what?” “Just for being here, I guess. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to save a man in Nam.”

“I believe in old-fashioned things. Like love and honesty. And vows.”

“It is a strange world we are all in – volatile and uncertain. We, Americans I mean, can’t seem to talk to each other anymore. Our disagreements seem insurmountable.”

“I imagine it would feel wonderful to be good at something that mattered. That is something too many women of my generation didn’t consider.”

“War was full of goodbyes, and most of them never really happened; you were always too early or too late.”

“That’s one thing this war had taught her, there was never enough time for the people who mattered.”

“Love mattered in a ruined world, but so did honor. What was one without the other?”

“Some things could be partied away, pushed aside by booze and drugs, and momentarily forgotten. Not this.”

“I guess I have to feel lucky to have known him and to have learned from him. Too damn many lessons to learn over here, but one that’s for sure is this – life is short. I don’t know if I ever really believed that before. I do now.”

“Not much time here for grief, even though there is plenty of cause.”

“The protests made them feel that their sacrifices meant nothing, or, worse, that they were doing something wrong. “

“Canada. You know you’re doing something wrong if you piss them off.”

“There is no winning in war. Not this war, anyway. There was just pain and death and destruction.”

“Can’t they support the warriors and hate the war? Our men are dying every day in support of their country. Doesn’t that matter anymore?”

“From here, the war was almost beautiful. Maybe that was a fundamental truth. War looked one way for people who saw it from a safe distance. Close up, the view was different.”

“If she had learned anything during her tour, it was this – say what you meant while you could.”

“She used to think of the Civil Rights Act as a triumphant end but she now saw it as a fragile beginning.”

“Life over here is short and regret lasts forever. Maybe happy now, happy for a moment, is all we get. Happy forever seems like a shit load to ask in a world on fire.”

“The world might be changing, but we women are still second-class citizens. And Black women. Well. You do the math.”

“True love. She hadn’t known until now – this second – that she’d been waiting for it all her life. Saving herself for it, believing in it, even in the midst of war.”

“Come on Rye, this is who we are. We are believers following our beliefs. I believe in you – your duty, your honor. Do you believe in me?”

“I’m sorry is a shitty, useless, not enough thing to say. But what else is there?”

“From now on, all of them would have a deep understanding of both man’s cruelty and his heroism.”

“She’d joined the war to find her brother and found herself instead. In war, she’d found out who she really was and who she wanted to be.”

“For a moment, she held back, but the effort it took felt toxic as if the stories she wanted to share might turn to a poison inside of her.”

“But time – and friendship – had done exactly as promised: pain and grief had grown soft in her hands, almost pliable. She found she could form them into something kinder if she was deliberate in thought and action, if she lived a careful, cautious life, if she stayed away from anything that reminded her of the war, of loss, of death.”

“I wasn’t afraid to go to war and I should have been. I am afraid to go to the memorial and I shouldn’t be.”

“We were forgotten, all of us Vietnam vets, but especially the women most of all.”

“We were the last believers, my generation. We trusted what our parents taught us about right and wrong, good and evil, the American myth of equality and justice and honor. I wonder if any generation will ever believe again.”

“The women had a story to tell, even if the world wasn’t quite yet ready to hear it, and their story began with three simple words. We were there.”

“Thank God for girlfriends. In this crazy, chaotic, divided world that was run by men, you could count on the women.”

“Remembrance matters.”

Printable List of Quotes from The Women

If you would like a printable version of this list of quotes from The Women, it is included in our downloadable, custom book club kit. The kit also includes a set of printable bookmarks featuring three of our favorite quotes from the novel and so much more!


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