No Better Time

Thank you to my partners, BiblioLifestyle and Amistad Books for my gifted copy!

Book: No Better Time
Author: Sheila Williams
Publication Date: February 27, 2024

SYNOPSIS:

The acclaimed author of The Secret Women and Things Past Telling returns with an engrossing historical novel about a little known aspect of World War II—the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the only Black WACs to serve overseas during the conflict.

In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Dorothy Thom, Spelman graduate, librarian and Francophile, joins the Women’s Army Corps wanting to do her part for the war effort. Longing for adventure, she has one question for the recruiter: “Do you think I’ll get to go abroad?”

As Dorothy and her sister WACs discover, life in the Army is an adventure filled with unexpected deprivations and culture shock. Women from all levels of society, secretaries, teachers, and sharecroppers, work together to navigate a military segregated by race and gender. At boot camp, the “colored girls” are separated for processing. At Ft. Riley, the women’s barracks are rustic and heated by coal-burning pot-bellied stoves while German POWs spend their incarceration in buildings with central heat and hot water.

In early 1945, Dorothy and eight hundred African American WACs cross the turbulent North Atlantic to their post in England. Their orders are to process the mail sent to GIs from their loved ones back home, an estimated 17 million pieces. The women arrive to find mail stockpiled for over two years in warehouses and airplane hangars, many pieces in poor condition, the names illegible.

In England and France, the WACs traverse a landscape of unimagined possibilities. With their outlooks changed forever, they return to the United States as the catalysts for change in America and build lives that transcend anything their ancestors ever dreamed of.

No Better Time illuminates a love of country and duty that has been overlooked until now.

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