“The Girls Who Stepped Out Of Line” recounts the incredible stories of fifteen women who answered the call during World War II not only to serve but to also make history. They overcame fears, witnessed unspeakable acts of war, and created the future. It is impossible to condense these lives and experiences into a short review, so I am listing each name with a short sketch.
There is nothing to say better than what they say for themselves.
- Alice Marble — international tennis star. “I did what I’ve always done. I fought.”
- Hilda Gimpel Eisen — Germans and Russians in the woods. “You either make it or you don’t. You have nothing to lose.”
- Stephanie Czech Rader – X-2, a spy. “What the heck was I gonna do with a dumb gun?”
- Elizabeth Peet McIntosh, Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Fake News. “I speak Japanese.”
- Virginia Hall Goillot – a reporter writing stories with imbedded messages. The CIA named a building for her.
- Mary Taylor Previte – Japanese internment camp (in China) as a child. “Making a mistake, even when you’re so young as fourteen, can leave you marked for the rest of your life.”
- Ruth Gruber — war refugees and wounded U.S. servicemen heading to safety in the United States. “From this moment, on my life would be forever bound with rescue and survival.”
- Dame Mary Sigillo Barraco — the real world of a dark prison cell. She told her story, the meaning of patriotism, and the strength to be found in faith and resistance.
- Berendina Diet Eman — The Hague, the Netherlands, coordinating shelter for Jews. “I thought that, whatever would happen to me, God was in control.”
- Ida and Louise Cook — the gray areas of smuggling “We weren’t the James Bond type— we were just respectable Civil Service typists.”
- Marion Armstrong Frieswyk – Power Maps a career field that didn’t even exist, “We’re doing war work for the government. It’s Oh. So. Secret.” (The OSS)
- Elizabeth Bemis Robarts – a work so secret it she did not know what it was until 1995, but it shortened the war by two years. “It was mind-boggling to find out the truth.”
- Ola Mildred Rexroat McDonald – Millie could not drive a car but she could fly. “After all, nothing could be better than flying.”
- Katherine Flynn Nolan – nurses went the whole way, from the beaches of Normandy through France right into the heart of the Third Reich. “We were dirty, weary, and chilled to the point of numbness.”
- Charity Adams Earley – a two-year backlog of mail for troops .“We have a job to do and we’re going to get it done.”
“The Girls Who Stepped Out Of Line” by Mari K. Eder is a MUST READ book for all generations.