Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Review: Call Nurse Millie

Author: Jean Fullerton
Title: Call Nurse Millie
Publisher: Orion
Publish Date: May 23, 2013
Buy: Book Depository
Review Copy Provided By: The Author & Writer Marketing Services
Book Blurb:It’s 1945 and, as the troops begin to return home, the inhabitants of London attempt to put their lives back together. For 25-year-old Millie, a qualified nurse and midwife, the jubilation at the end of the war is short-lived as she tends to the needs of the East End community around her. But while Millie witnesses tragedy and brutality in her job, she also finds strength and kindness. And when misfortune befalls her own family, it is the enduring spirit of the community that shows Millie that even the toughest of circumstances can be overcome.

Through Millie’s eyes, we see the harsh realities and unexpected joys in the lives of the patients she treats, as well as the camaraderie that is forged with the fellow nurses that she lives with. Filled with unforgettable characters and moving personal stories, this vividly brings to life the colourful world of a post-war East London.

An absorbing and richly detailed novel following the life and work of a young nurse in post-war East London – perfect for anyone who loved CALL THE MIDWIFE.

Review: This novel begins just as WWII ends. It definitely is a book for fans of Call The Midwife. The novel really paints a picture of what health care was like in the 40s and it is pretty scary.

These nurses really did everything and they got little respect, and the rules and regulations they followed to have a job will make modern women shake their head.

Millie is an exceptionally good nurse who seems to have the weight of the world on her shoulders. From the very start of the book, bad things seem to happen to her family and to her. But Millie is a tough girl and she soldiers on.

She's a character that you can really admire. She's smart, she's loyal and she genuinely cares about the patients. She goes above and beyond the call of duty in many cases.

I found myself on the edge with worry for her many times, and I cheered her on as well. Millie was a character I could identify with on many levels. She was a caring daughter, taking care of her mother and putting her life on hold until she recovered, even to the extent that it almost cost her her job.

It is hard being a caregiver while working in this day and age, in the 1940s it was even harder.

She did all of this and struggled with her own love life. She had to make sacrifices too. I felt so bad for her when it came to her love life. I was glad when she did find love, but I think she settled, though most would disagree.

Jean Fullerton has a wonderfully easy writing style. The book read almost like a memoir. So the flow was continuous, but it was enough that you never felt lost with what was going on in the story. She also created a wonderful cast of characters. I'd be hard pressed to say which among the other nurses and patients I liked best.

I often shook my head when I read the old Harlequin Romances from the late 60s and early 70s where many of the heroines were nurses, this book showed me that though those books may have been cheesy, the portrayals of nursing were accurate.

They certainly did much more work than the visiting nurses that we see today.

The book ended in such a way, it is open for a sequel, which I hope Ms. Fullerton writers

I highly recommend this book to those who like more contemporary historical fiction or people that love Call The Midwife.

Rating: 5 flowers


Diana Leigh said...

I love that time period. I'll have to get this book a look.

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