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The War Nurse


A sweeping novel by an international bestselling author based on a true World ...
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Overall, what do you think of The War Nurse? (no spoilers in this thread, please)

Created: 07/08/21

Replies: 24

Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2951

Overall, what do you think of The War Nurse? (no spoilers in this thread, please)

Overall, what do you think of The War Nurse? (no spoilers in this thread, please)


Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 295

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I was disappointed to be honest. I was hoping for more depth as to what the nurses were experiencing in the field. I felt the book was very shallow. Also, I don’t understand why authors need to insert a romance in a story, especially when the book is based on a real person and the romance is pure speculation. So, for me, the book was both too much and not enough.


Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 405

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

It was probably a three out of five stars for me. Like rebajane, I would have liked more depth — perhaps more historical facts. I'm not sure I actually liked Julia as a character. I found her a bit cold.


Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 176

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

The War Nurse presents a fascinating story about Julia Stimson, a very accomplished woman. I knew nothing about Stimson. I enjoyed reading the historical fiction, and I felt compelled to look up more info about Stimson. Wood has presented a good story.


Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vivianh

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 115

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

The concept was fascinating. The execution was less so. WWI really intrigues me. The selfless volunteerism showed the beauty of the human spirit. I felt empathy for Julia, that she could not follow her dream to be a physician. If she could only see the strides women have made since that time. I loved the story. I admire Julia. But, the writing did not cause me to feel immersed in the environment. It read more like a dry history than engaging histofiction.


Posted Jul. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carriem

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 99

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

An engaging informative fictionalized historical account of Julia, one of the nurses who played such an underreported role during World War I. I think the novel was well-executed and well-researched with many characters interrelating naturally with one another, which made it even more enjoyable - a 5 star reading.


Posted Jul. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
loisb

Join Date: 01/22/19

Posts: 7

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I enjoyed learning about this piece of history and the main character. It did remind me somewhat of the Harlequin romances I read when a teenager where the main character has a career but there is also a love interest. I would have liked more depth to the story.


Posted Jul. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jayne25

Join Date: 04/16/21

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I was expecting this novel to be about the challenges and horrors of nursing during WW l. Honestly, before beginning the book, I wasn’t looking forward to many descriptive scenes of war injuries and what the war nurse, Julia, would have to face while treating many injured and maimed soldiers. To my pleasant surprise, the story of the war nurse, Julia Stimson, is a novel about relationships, family, friends, and the choices one makes. The War Nurse is one of the best novels I’ve read this year.


Posted Jul. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
catherynez

Join Date: 01/27/18

Posts: 82

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

Overall, I really liked the book. I gave it five stars. The author did a great job researching the subject. I liked reading about the medical aspect of the war. I thought the characters were interesting and I enjoyed the relationship aspect. I liked that it was loosely based on a real person.


Posted Jul. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 148

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

The premise was excellent, the execution less so. While the author was a great researcher, she apparently was too concerned that she actually get Julia's real voice that she lost the "roundness" of the character.
I have to agree about the romance - it was forced. And, since we're talking about real people, we know there's no real basis for it, which makes it truly superfluous.


Posted Jul. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gwenc

Join Date: 07/14/12

Posts: 73

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I would give it 3 out of 5 stars. As it was told in first person I think Julia’s thoughts could have been more eloquent. I found some details (men wearing wristwatches, current medical procedures ) very interesting. It did make me think of the sacrifices so many made in World War 1, and the graveyards I have seen with Spanish Flu victims.


Posted Jul. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Pisanelli

Join Date: 03/06/19

Posts: 9

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I guess I'm easier to please. I would give it 5 stars. I loved the history of the practice of medicine during the time period. I can see that Julia brought more to the nursing profession. I liked some war but I don't need to be in the trenches. I think the book meant to concentrate on the medical end and how it was so male dominated at the time. I didn't mind the romance thrown in. What was wrong with Julia? She was very forward thinking for a woman of her time.


Posted Jul. 13, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 174

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I enjoyed the book, but felt it was a bit stilted and standoffish for my taste. I liked the story and characters, but kept feeling like the author was trying to cram all of her research in to the detriment of the story and character development. I think she could have had a lighter touch and offered up a more immersive story. Overall, I did enjoy it. I gave it four stars.


Posted Jul. 13, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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charlaw

Join Date: 09/06/16

Posts: 30

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

Overall, I thought it was a good book. I was glad that Julia has a strong personality and was willing to stand up for what she believed was right, even when it put her in conflict with the doctors.


Posted Jul. 15, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 186

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I would give it 4 stars. I was not aware of Julia Stimson, so I will look into her life a bit more. It would be good for book club


Posted Jul. 16, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 148

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

Although I would be tempted to label this Young Adult fiction, I enjoyed the book. The lack of in depth detail created this opinion. Even so, I learned some interesting things about World War I, that I was not aware of. The difficulties of female professionals dealing with their male superiors was not news to me, but might be enlightening to a younger crowd.


Posted Jul. 17, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 86

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

As a reader of historical fiction, I was disappointed in this book. I felt it was very superficial and simple in the storytelling. I was disappointed in the history component. I wanted more information about the war, their location, the front along with more details about the medical treatment and nursing management. I liked Julia and Fred and felt I got to know them well. They were very well developed. Charlotte a close second. I would have liked to get to know more about some of her other main characters. Even her brother Phil was not very well developed.
I did like to introduction of Marie Curie and early radiographs. Julia's recognition of inadvertent x-ray exposure and the creative way to construct a shield. I found it strange, the advice she was giving to Julia about Fred and her relationship with him. I also like the recognition of what was a new respiratory disease, influenza, and what was done in terms of isolation and plan to send information back home.
To the author's credit it was a book about Julia Stimson and it was. She was very well developed in terms of background, her desires, her disappointments, her drive and ultimately her success as head of the army nurse corps and association of nurses.
I rated this book a 3.


Posted Jul. 17, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 316

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I did enjoy the story, however, I sometimes felt like I was reading a non-fiction book for school. I know this is based on a true story, but I feel it should have been more personal with getting to know the characters better and having an overall theme about the team members. We really know nothing about anyone's personal life except for Julia.


Posted Jul. 20, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christinec

Join Date: 03/09/20

Posts: 25

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

Really enjoyed this book very very much. Portrayed a capable woman - and romance - without the usual cliches and sugary sweet perfect ending and/or the woman capitulating to the man’s career.


Posted Jul. 22, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 324

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I enjoyed this story. It was called The War Nurse - one nurse - Julia Stimson - and I enjoyed her journey. I don't think this story was about what nurses in WWI did or had or didn't have. This was Julia's story. Even in the Authors notes Wood said "With a person and era in mind, I delved into a fascinating history of medical care in France during WWI." So Julia was the subject of the book.

I was happy to read the Author's note about who was true to life and who was fictionalized and how she came to write this story.


Posted Jul. 22, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
azabbie

Join Date: 07/22/21

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

May I suggest the biography of a nurse who began her service during WWII. The hospital ship is on the cover. Title is “Registered Nurse to Rear Admiral…A First for Navy Women”.


Posted Jul. 25, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Brittany P.

Join Date: 07/14/20

Posts: 15

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. I don’t normally reach for historical fiction like this, but I was quickly pulled into the story and really enjoyed the writing and level of detail that the author provided.


Posted Jul. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jhoov

Join Date: 10/16/18

Posts: 10

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I was intrigued by the themes of this book...my grandfather was in WWI and suffered an injury that led to a leg amputation in a "battlefield hospital" and I was hoping to gain some understanding as to what he went through. I did...sort of. I found parts of this book interesting and engaging, but overall was disappointed. The author could have written an interesting non-fiction account of medical care during this war, but since she chose to write historical fiction, I would have liked to see richer characterizations. I never felt like I really got to know or understand any of the characters. I'm not sorry I read this book, but I give it 2 maybe 3 stars.


Posted Aug. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Judy C.

Join Date: 07/22/21

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I enjoyed the book very much. Mainly because I have not read too many books on nurses during The Great War. Much more familiar with WWII. I was especially taken with the introduction of the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1920 since there were many similarities to our Covid-19 pandemic. The book was not a page turner but it held my interest enough to want to finish it. I love historical fiction with characters based on real people.


Posted Aug. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
millicentg

Join Date: 03/10/15

Posts: 38

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I just finished reading both the book and the responses to this question. It was interesting to me that so many others had similar reactions to mine. The author had a fascinating true life main character with a wonderful backstory who was thrown into an amazing experience during an incredible historical moment in time. It is obvious that she did an enormous amount of research into a topic that she was able to communicate to her readers with deep clarity and understanding. However, I feel that her editors did her a disservice by not helping the author focus her novel. It felt scattershot with a little bit of every fact she found out about Julia but none of these facts developed . The romance felt added on...totally undeveloped. I wish she had left it out and focused on the difficulties Julia had with the unbearable doctors. I learned a lot from her extensive research but when I closed it at the end, it felt more like finishing a documentary or a newspaper article. I thought...how interesting. I was not emotionally touched by the novel...just intellectually stimulated.


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