When We Had Wings



In this sweeping story based on the true experiences of nurses dubbed “the Angels of Bataan,” three women shift in and out of each other’s lives through the darkest days of WWII, buoyed by their unwavering friendship and distant dreams of liberation.

Available now in paperback!

From three bestselling authors comes an interwoven tale of a trio of World War II nurses in the Pacific who wage their own battle for freedom and survival.

The Philippines, 1941. When US Navy nurse Eleanor Lindstrom, US Army nurse Penny Franklin, and Filipina nurse Lita Capel forge a friendship at the Army Navy Club in Manila, they believe they’re living a paradise assignment. All three are seeking a way to escape their pasts, but soon the beauty and promise of their surroundings give way to the heavy mantle of war.

Caught in the crosshairs of a fight between the US military and the Japanese Imperial Army for control of the Philippine islands, the nurses are forced to serve under combat conditions and, ultimately, endure captivity as the first female prisoners of the Second World War. As their resiliency is tested in the face of squalid living arrangements, food shortages, and the enemy’s blatant disregard for the articles of the Geneva Convention, they strive to keep their hope—and their fellow inmates—alive, though not without great cost.



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*Amazon Editors' Pick 2022*

“Three of the biggest powerhouses in historical fiction come together to pen the breathtaking novel When We Had Wings, the story of three nurses serving in the Philippines during the Second World War. Combining the lush setting of the South Pacific with the unfathomable hardships of the combat theater, this book shines a light on a little-known aspect of history with a tale of unlikely friendship and the unshakable strength of the human spirit.”

—Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman with the Blue Star

“. . . a story of strength and sisterhood inspired by the little-known experiences of the ‘Angels of Bataan.’ With gorgeous language and stunning historic detail, Lawhon, McMorris, and Meissner plunge readers into the Philippines and the epic struggles of the Pacific. Filled with heart and pathos, this is a story of hope, faith, and the power of friendship in the face of indescribable hardship.”

—Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post

“A riveting novel by a trio of powerhouse authors that offers a fresh take on World War II fiction, one that is uncannily resonant today. Set in the lush tropics, When We Had Wings is an utterly original tale about courage, duty, and endurance.”

—Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace


Ariel Lawhon - Harper Muse Author


Ariel Lawhon is a critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction. Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, Indie Next, Costco, Amazon Spotlight, and Book of the Month Club selections. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and four sons. Ariel splits her time between the grocery store and the baseball field.

Visit her online at ariellawhon.com

Instagram: @ariel.lawhon
Twitter: @ariellawhon
Facebook: @ariellawhonauthor

Kristina McMorris - Harper Muse Author


Kristina McMorris is a New York TimesUSA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of two novellas and seven historical novels, including Sold on a Monday with over a million copies sold. The recipient of more than twenty national literary awards, she previously hosted weekly TV shows for Warner Bros. and an ABC affiliate, beginning at age nine with an Emmy Award-winning program, and owned a wedding-and-event-planning company until she far surpassed her limit of "Y.M.C.A." and chicken dances. She lives with her family in Oregon.

Visit her online at kristinamcmorris.com

Instagram: @kristina.mcmorris
Twitter: @krismcmorris
Facebook: @kristinamcmorrisauthor

Susan Meissner - Harper Muse Author


Susan Meissner is a USA TODAY bestselling novelist with more than three-quarters of a million books in print in fifteen languages. Her novels include The Nature of Fragile Things (starred review, Publishers Weekly), The Last Year of the War (a Library Reads and Real Simple top pick), and As Bright as Heaven (starred review, Library Journal). A wife and mother of four adult children, she lives in Southern California with her husband and yellow Lab, Winston.

Visit her online at susanlmeissnerauthor.com

Instagram: @susanmeissnerauthor
Twitter: @susanmeissner
Facebook: @susan.meissner
Pinterest: @susanmeissner