The desert nurse by Pamela Hart

cover image

Hachette, 2018. ISBN 9780733637568
(Age: 16+) Highly recommended. Themes: Historical fiction. WW1. Medical. Female rights. The story is about an Australian nurse and doctor during the years of World War 1. It is more than a love story but based on the struggles of women at the time. Evelyn's plan has always been to be a doctor but her father has stood in her way and also tried to stand in her way when she enlists as an army hurse. When she enrolled in the army to became a nurse, she never let go of her dream to be a doctor. She learns many skills and works well in surgery with Dr William Brent, a polio survivor. During this time they both became close but neither plans to marry, Dr Brent because of his disability and Evelyn because of her career plans to become a doctor.
The reader gains an insight into the disastrous Gallipoli campaign as the Egypt hospital coped with the many Australian casualities. It also acknowledged the important role women played in the hospitals and near the battle fields. I loved this book, and couldn't put it down. Rating 9/10
Debra Pepper