As the effects of the war raging in Europe begin to be felt at home in London, Monica Dickens decides to do her bit and to pursue a new career, and so enrols as a student nurse at a hospital in rural Hertfordshire.
By nature clever and spirited, she struggles to submit to the iron rule of the Matron and Sisters, and is alternately infuriated and charmed by her patients. That’s not to mention the mountains of menial work that are a trainee’s lot. But there are friends among the staff and patients, night-time escapades to dances with dashing army men, and her secret writing project to keep her going.
©1942 Monica Dickens (P)2014 Soundings
I wasn't as interested in the subject matter as with the previous books of hers I'd read about being a cook and a newspaper writer. This one's fine for what it is, but I felt that the excellent audio narration was carrying the okay-but-not-great story, with some of the highlights leaving me with an "I guess you had to be there" feeling. Some readers may be put off by what would be considered casual racism by today's standards.
I've listened to a number of stories about Nursing during the time period, the grueling hours, the difficult co-workers the training, and this is pretty much all that you can expect and more. The writing as well-done, the heroine was engaging and the plot moved along at a brisk pace. I admit I liked it didn't get bogged down with a boring romance, this is all about nursing which was great. Other novels can get sappy with boring and unrealistic romantic plots.
The ending is a cliff-hanger, so it made me wonder where the sequel is. Overall, engaging.
"excellent story, beautifully read."
nothing could beat the book, but when you're tired and it's late it's wonderful to listen to.
too many to select one.
all of them.
it made me smile and feel very nostalgic.
one of my favourite books. a wonderful description of nursing during the second world war.
if you like hearing about life during that period you'll love this.
"Who'd be a nurse?"
Monica Dickens, after she had tried being a reporter and a cook and written about those too .
True, funny, poignant by turns, good picture of life in hospital during World War II.
If you liked Call the Midwife you might like this too.
Read well, no distraction from the story.
One Pair of Hands which preceded this is also worth listening to.
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