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Publisher's Summary

Three very different girls sign up as trainee nurses at a big London teaching hospital in 1934. Dora leaves her overcrowded, squalid working-class home for a better life. But has she got what it takes to keep up with other, better-educated girls? And will her hated stepfather ever let her go? Helen is born for the job; her brother is a doctor, her all-powerful mother a hospital trustee. But will Helen’s secret misery be her downfall? An aristocratic rebel, Millie’s carefree attitude will find her up in front of Matron again and again. Will she ever care enough to make a nurse? Or will she go back to the glamorous life she was born to? What have they let themselves in for?

©2012 Donna Douglas (P)2013 Soundings

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Buffy
  • Denver, CO
  • 12-22-16

Very enjoyable read...

I really enjoyed this book. I would've given it five stars except for the voices of some of the nurses. But don't let that deter you. All the characters seem very real and down to earth.
I didn't want the book to end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating book

Would you consider the audio edition of The Nightingale Girls to be better than the print version?

I am listening to this in the audible version. Often while listening to an audio book it is hard to keep the characters straight but in The Nightengale Girls I didn't have any problem at all. The characters were brought to life and I had a hard time stopping while I was listening to it. I always have a book going while in the car, with this book I would park my car at my destination and not get out because I felt like I was actually one of the nurses in training.

What did you like best about this story?

I would have a hard time trying to pick just one area that I liked best, they were all good.

Which character – as performed by Penelope Freeman – was your favorite?

I could totally relate to Dora, I loved her ambition and her kindness. She was sexually abused by her step father but the author didn't go into graphic detail, just how it made her feel repulsed by him. I could picture her from the discription and I enjoyed her voice the best.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Even when the young ladies were working hard at their studies and long hours on the wards, I found myself rooting for most of them and the patients were often funny or so sad and I could relate to both sides of the "bed".

Any additional comments?

I would highly recommend this book and the whole series, I am on book 4 now and none of them disappoint. There is just one character that I find the "voice" irritating to listen to. Thankfully she is more of a minor role so it isn't too much of a bother. I won't say her name, I'm sure that you will be able to figure out who she is when you come to her.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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For young girls

This book may appeal to you, if you are 12 and under I'm a grown woman of 54 and there's no way I could even get through the first hour

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I guess I'm buying three more books...

Enjoyable book, nice narration. I like this narrator; she really makes annoying characters grate on my nerves. Listened to it in three days (one long car trip)

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Enquiring Mind
  • 04-03-15

What a surprise!

This is not my usual kind of book - I am more a horror, crime and sci-fi fan. I bought this because of the length (I had a long train journey coming up) and wanting something easy on the ear. And what a surprise! I got hooked and drawn into the story very quickly, and absorbed in the lives of the characters. I've bought the next two in the series and can't wait to hear them. Only one tiny weeny little thing, the narrator is excellent, but her delivery gets a little high-pitched and nasal when speaking the parts of the "posh folk", but it's not enough to spoil anything or put me off buying the rest of the series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Highlight
  • 08-03-15

Excellent First In Saga of Nightingale Nurses

Excellent book giving an a near true account of what life was like for our
nurses since the days of Florence Nightingale. These books can become quite addictive. Daily gossip of life in the stringent run hospitals is intriguing and will appeal to anyone with a humane spirit and for those who enjoy living or learning about nursing; especially in the Florence Nightingale Club.

The narrator Penelope Freeman brings alive all of her characters adding to the enjoyment of these books. Her imitation of the males is fun. She has a way of sounding like a couple of the male actors on screen. When she is 'male' it is quite astonishing to think a female is doing the voice. Freeman is endearing and truly relaxes into her job.

I have already purchased the 2nd in the saga with a view to go on to purchasing the whole set. I will take one book at a time as I do not normally buy sagas that go on into 7 or 8 books due to repetitiveness sneaking into the 3rd round. But who knows, these are so enjoyable.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jane White
  • 02-23-15

Training and life of the original nightingale nurs

What did you like most about The Nightingale Girls?

The story had me gripped from posh to poor then all had their places to fill.
Each nurse had their own background story to tell which made interesting listening.
All that glitters is not gold springs to mind.

What other book might you compare The Nightingale Girls to, and why?

a long time ago I read a book about young mothers being sent away to convents to have with babies because they were unmarried, this made me think of the hard times they had.

Which character – as performed by Penelope Freeman – was your favourite?

Dora Doyle isn't so lucky as she wasn't from a wealthy background but she was so good with other people and always ready to help others even when they wasn't nice to her.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Helen stood up to her mother.

Any additional comments?

A good listen it leaves you wanting most the follow on book is called Nightingale Sisters,

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • 02-17-15

Lovely light read

I picked this book up on a whim as part of a 2 for 1 sale, but I'm really glad I did. I found the story thoroughly engaging (even if it was quite predictable). I highly recommend for anyone looking for a bit of light, chick lit, historical fiction.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MaisiMai
  • 05-09-18

The Nightingale Girls

Delightful introduction to the Nightingale nurses. Lives, loves, sorrows and training are all part of the everyday saga of these young nurses prior to WW2. Beautifully narrated by Penelope Freeman, each character is brought to life enabling the reader to fully immerse into the story and picture each girl as she goes about her life. Well worth reading. Highly recommended!

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  • Goodbuyall
  • 04-17-18

Review

Book good but it was cut short at the end , I thought that I had pressed stop button by mistake .however good narration and brought back memories of my nurse training

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Reikimaster 123
  • 02-03-18

Great book spoiled

Loved the story but unfortunately the narrator put me off a bit. She sounded very nasal when portraying the characters and they ended up sounding the same.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A.C.
  • 01-19-18

Pleasantly surprised

I thought I would give this book a try as couldn’t find anything else to take my fancy at the time. I am so so glad I tried it as it is a fantastic book. The story keeps you hooked and is great from beginning to end. The narrator is brilliant and her range of characters voices and enthusiasm is just as much a pull to carry on listening as the story itself. So all in all I can highly recommend this book. I am now onto the second book in the series and it is just as good and is keeping me gripped too. Am very glad there is a few books in the series to look forward to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • simplyswing
  • 11-06-17

Wonderful

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was my first read from this author and I certainly look forward to the rest of this series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carmen Gorgie
  • 04-17-17

Fabulous

I loved this story I laid in bed listening to it night after night. Brilliant

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer2
  • 09-18-17

Enjoyable

I thought it was a pleasant story. A bit of nursing along with the lives of 3 girls in particular.
Entertaining enough to keep the interest up throughout.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kylie
  • 01-04-17

Excellent saga that takes you back in time....

I absolutely adored this. I really loved how Donna created such varied and rich backstories to each of the three main characters in Dora, Millie and Helen. I also really enjoyed the ensemble characters too.

Penelope Freeman does a marvellous job switching between each character.

I found this series purely by chance and I'm so glad I did! I was so hooked I immediately went to listen to Nightingale Sisters upon conclusion of this opening tale!

Thank you Donna for providing such a magnificent series set in London in the 1930's; I love reading stories from this period! And thanks Audible for having it in your vast collection!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alana
  • 04-21-16

interesting characters

Enjoyable story, it had all the right things needed, I gound myself laughing at times but overall very enjoyable