Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Review: The Nightingale Girls by Donna Douglas

Description (from cover):

'Three very different girls sign up as student nurses in 1936, while England is still mourning the death of George V. Dora is a tough East Ender, driven by ambition, but also desperate to escape her squalid, overcrowded home and her abusive stepfather. Helen is the quiet one, a mystery to her fellow nurses, avoiding fun, gossip and the limelight. In fact she is in the formidable shadow of her overbearing mother, who dominates every aspect of her life. Can a nursing career free Helen at last? The third of our heroines is naughty, rebellious Millie, an aristocrat on the run from her conventional upper class life. She is doomed to clash over and over again with terrifying sister Hyde and to get into scrape after scrape after scrape especially where men are concerned.

This utterly delightful novel brings a London pre-war hospital vividly to life.'

My thoughts:

About two months ago I discovered the wonder that is Call the Midwife and fell in love with the way medicine was back in the past. I stumbled across this series when it was offered to me on Netgalley and I knew I had to read it. The similarities between the PBS show and this book are there, but they are also different in their own ways. I really enjoyed the drama and the character growth in this novel and think that the author did a fantastic job of portraying history as well. These three characters are impossible not to love and you root for them the whole way through the novel. I loved Millie's sass and her outlook on life. Dora's ambition and drive to better herself was admirable and Helen's shyness and frustration at living under her mother's thumb was trying and discouraging at times as I really wanted Helen to stand up for herself.

I really enjoyed reading this book and I couldn't wait to stop what I was doing to be able to return to it. That says a lot of a book to me. If I can't wait to get back to reading it, that means it has captivated my attention and that it is something worth reading. I utterly enjoyed this book and I think that the plot line was fantastic and I cannot wait to see where the author takes these characters next. She leaves a lot open and a lot can happen to the characters as they continue on in the series. I love books like that. I also love books that show strong character growth and this book had it in droves. These heroines are likeable and have flaws, but they overcome them and try to make something of themselves and try to help people along the way.

If you love Call the Midwife or shows that are similar, then this book will more than likely be for you. It is currently on sale at Amazon and is a real treat that you should not miss out on. I most definitely will be continuing along with this series as I really enjoyed the ups and downs of the plot and learning about medicine and how it was back in the 1930's. I did initially pick this book up for the similarities, but it does hold its own and is different. I like that about this series, that it sets itself apart from fan fiction and creates a name for itself.

Overall Rating: 4.5

Title:  The Nightingale Girls
Author:  Donna Douglas
Series:  Nightingale Girls #1
Publisher:  Preface Digital
Publication Date:  August 16, 2012
Pages:  514
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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