The Nightingale Nurses: Nightingale # 2 by Donna Douglas

Book Review:

I have completely enjoyed my travels to London and the Nightingale Teaching Hospital, as I followed three young British women through their nursing studies.  Helen, Millie and Dora have survived the rigorous training so far, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel with one more year to go.  Society is changing, often faster than people can imagine, and the Blackshirts are growing in popularity in the poorer sections of London.

The girls are all familiar friends:  Helen is still quietly defying her mother as she completes her year and prepares for exams.  Neither her mother nor her fiancé seem to be particularly supportive of her choices, and while she is familiar with the lack of support, she is struggling with her own convictions and desires. 

Millie is still torn between two men she is attracted to and her upbringing as a titled lady have constantly been at war with what she ‘thinks’ she should believe.  Her crisis point will come, and only honesty and strength that she isn’t aware she possesses will pull her through.

Lastly there is Dora, still pining for the man who married her best ‘friend’, although with friends like Ruby, Dora is better off with none.  Even more difficulties arise from her troubled life: her brother has joined the Blackshirts, and the violence around their demonstrations is increasing.  Add to that Dora’s constant struggle to keep enough focus for her studies when money is always tight and her mother and siblings are a never-ending source of worry for her, she may not be granted the luxury of further studies to specialize.

These are characters that will worm their way into your heart, full of romance, history, friendship, love, laughter and tears: Douglas weaves a story that is rich in historic details with characters that breathe and come alive. Medical and historical insets provide solid grounding for the story, as we watch these three very different women learn and grow. I thoroughly enjoyed this series, and would recommend it to readers who are fans of historic fiction, even if teenagers: none of the sex is graphic, the language is only moderately adult. These are gripping tales, fast to read, full of adventure and enjoyment.

The Nightingale Nurses: Nightingale # 2 by Donna Douglas

Title: The Nightingale Nurses
Author: Donna Douglas
Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Published by: Random House, UK - North America
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 448
Audio Length: 12 Hours: 17 minutes
Rated: five-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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It's the final year of training for three young nurses at The Nightingale Hospital.

Helen is at a crossroads in her life as she battles with her domineering mother over both her love life and her future career.

Dora can't stop loving Nick, who is married to her best friend, Ruby. But Ruby is hiding a dark secret with the potential to destroy Ruby's marriage.

Millie is anxious about her fiance, sent to Spain to cover the Civil War, and things only get worse when she encounters a fortune teller who gives her a sinister warning.

With war looming in Europe, and the East End of London squaring up to the threat of Oswald Mosley's blackshirts, the women of the Nightingale have to face their own challenges, at work and in love.

From the author of The Nightingale Girls and The Nightingale Sisters, this is the perfect read for fans of Call the Midwife.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Donna Douglas

I’ve always loved telling stories. Even before I could hold a pen, I would sit on top of the coal bunker in our south London back yard, making up tales in my head. My greatest joy was when my grandmother bought me an exercise book, which I could fill with stories (a shiny new notebook still gives me a thrill now – oh, the endless possibilities of those empty pages!).

When I was 40, I published my first novel, Waiting in the Wings, under the name of Donna Hay. The novel won the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Award. Seven contemporary romantic comedies followed. But although I loved writing romance (and still do!), I always wanted to try something a bit grittier. So when my publisher suggested I might like to write some stories set in an East End hospital, I jumped at the chance.

I researched endlessly, talking to former nurses, reading books and journals and raiding archives. And the more I read, the more fascinated I became. I decided to start at the beginning of the story, with three students taking their first steps into nursing. I also decided to give them very different backgrounds, to see how they coped. And so The Nightingale Girls was born.

There are so many more stories to be told, and the more I research, the more I find. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!

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