Women's Roles in WWII by Emily Yellin in the Book, Our Mother's War

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In Our Mother’s War, Emily Yellin provides a compelling and eye-opening account of the many roles of women during World War II. Our Mother’s War was inspired by Yellin’s mother, Carol Lynn, who had lived through World War II and had been a Red Cross volunteer in the Pacific. After Yellin’s mother had died, Yellin had came upon an old manila envelope which contained many of her mother’s letters and dairy. Through these writings, Yellin realized for the first time the sacrifices women made for the war, and after being inspired to know more about the roles of women during World War II, she set out on a mission to unearth stories which have never been displayed before. Being a journalist and daughter of a World War II woman uniquely qualified Yellin to paint a vivid picture of the accounts of women during the war. through the use of letters and writings.
Yellin begins by examining war brides and wives of those who had been sent off to war. As a result of the war, many women had been pressured to marry, after which these young brides had to endure a new loneliness and longing for their loved one. Yellin recounted emotional stories such as that of Genevieve Eppens who “had no idea how painful fulfilling [a] simple wish” of just being together with her husband would be. (p. 7) Similarly, war wives also experienced a new challenge of providing for their children while also trying to help the war effort—many had to move in with other family members or double up with other women.(14)

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