The War Nurse

Tracey Enerson Wood. Sourcebooks Landmark, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4926-9816-6
Wood (The Engineer’s Wife) draws on the life of Julia Stimson, a real-life college-educated nurse from a prominent family who served in France during WWI, for a tepid sophomore effort. In April 1917, Fred Murphy, chief of surgery at Washington University, informs Julia, head of nursing training, that the school been activated by the U.S. military for emergency duty. Their unit ends up in Rouen, where Julia demonstrates her fine administrative skills by refining the methods used for patient triage, streamlining supply purchasing, and establishing shift schedules and ongoing training for her nurses. When a new, virulent strain of the flu pushes her nurses to their limits, they acquit themselves well. Julia also frets over her developing romance with Fred, wondering if she ever wants to get married and worrying that gossip about their relationship might get her sent home. There’s no shortage of events, though the string of happenings fails to coalesce into an actual plot. Stimson’s historical experiences are rife with dramatic possibilities, but Wood too often misses those in favor of dispensing information about nurse training and practices. It’s a disappointing book about a fascinating woman. Agent: Lucy Cleland, Kneerim & Williams. (July)
Reviewed on : 07/13/2021
Release date: 07/01/2021
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-7282-4287-3
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-9368-2
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