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Book Review: "The Nightingale Girls" by Donna Douglas

"The Nightingale Girls" by Donna Douglas
"The Nightingale Girls" by Donna Douglas

Being a nurse is one of the most hard-working and difficult positions in the world. It is difficult to be a nurse today and was difficult to be a nurse back in the 1930's. You need to be strong, have character, and be willing to take on anything to be a nurse. Three very different young women during the 1930's in London had that strength, character, and bravery to become a nurse. Dora Doyle, Helen Tremayne, and Lady Amelia Benedict were very different young women, but both shared strength, character, and bravery as they embarked on the path of becoming a nurse at the Nightingale Hospital. "The Nightingale Girls" by Donna Douglas is the first novel in a series of novels on their journey of becoming a nurse.

"The Nightingale Girls" follows three different young women as they embark on the path of becoming a nurse. Dora is a strong-willed and hard-working young woman from poverty in the East End. She arrives at Nightingale Hospital determined to prove those richer and more privileged than her wrong while hiding an abusive past. Helen Tremayne is a second year student full of promise. She is serious about nursing and is a perfectionist, but dealing with an overbearing and controlling mother and a lack of friends and confidence sometimes breaks her spirit. Lady Amelia Benedict known as Millie is an earl's daughter who wants to be independent and live life her own way, but her free-spirit and carefree personality may put her in trouble with the sister nurses and her future as a nurse at risk. The novel shows the three different lives and journeys of the young women, but also shows the friendship they build. Also included in the novel are reflections and interactions with the sister nurses, family members, and love interests. "The Nightingale Girls" is the first novel in a series of novels on these young women and their journey into becoming nurses.

"The Nightingale Girls" is such a delight to read. Those who love PBS's "Call the Midwife" will fall in love this novel. Each young student nurse is so full of personality and life. You'll root for Dora to overcome her tragic past and become the best student nurse. You'll cheer on Helen as she finds her own life and breaks free of her mother's control. You'll adore Millie's plucky personality and warmheartedness. It is also enjoyable reading about the sister nurses and their reactions to the student nurses.

The novel does a fantastic job of portraying life in a hospital and what is was like to be a student nurse. The novel wonderfully portrays how a hospital in the 1930's would be, as well as portraying the roles, duties, and lives of these student nurses. Whether it be working in a men's ward or preparing the body after death, the reader will get the full scope of what these student nurses went through and experienced.

"The Nightingale Girls" is such an enjoyable and sweet read. It will be exciting to continue the journeys of Dora, Helen, and Millie as they become nurses!

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