THE NIGHTINGALE GIRLS by DONNA DOUGLAS.
In at the deep end
Three very different girls sign up as trainee nurses at a big London teaching hospital in1934.
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?
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, her 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?
The Nightingale Girls
What have they let themselves in for?
...... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): 'Tell me, Miss Doyle. What makes you think you could ever be a nurse here?'
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 31): Mr Cooper hitched up the sleeves of his white coat, flicked the towel aside and plunged his hands into the water.
Please don't let it be too cold, please ....
For a moment nothing happened. Then Mr Cooper said in his deep voice, 'Sister, would you mind explaining why there is a set of false teeth in the bottom of this bowl?'
MY THOUGHTS: The first in a series of books (and the first historical novel for Donna Douglas who you may know for her contemporary romances written under the name of Donna Hay), this is a novel about the lives, the loves, the friendships of three young women who sign up as trainee nurses at the Nightingale hospital in the London of the mid 1930's.
Though much of the novel is set within the Nightingale, the author does a wonderful job of capturing the drudgery, the hardship, the humour of hospital life at this time, The Nightingale Girls is so, so much more.
Touching and very warm, a great coming-of-age story. This is a novel with a beautifully mixed myriad of captivating characters, the 'secondary' ones just as well written as the three main, and though, if at times, I felt that I'd met some of them before, this really didn't matter as I quickly took them to heart, relishing their very different stories.
Beautifully descriptive. Whether it be capturing life on the various wards, the stifling, overcrowded, poverty of Dora's working class East End background or the equally stifling, privileged backgrounds of both Helen and Millie, Donna Douglas paints an amazingly vivid picture.
DISCLAIMER: Read and reviewed on behalf of the author I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.