Miss Nightingale's Nurses

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Member Reviews

Interesting historical novel with strong characters and absorbing storyline.   Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher!!
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Liverpool 1855. Ada Houston is alone. Her grandfather has recently passed away and her brother is missing, last seen working on the Liverpool docks. Everyone assumes him to be dead. But she will not give up hope. Ada's determined search takes her to the Crimea where she joins the team of Florence Nightingale's nurses. She may have set off looking for her brother, but along the way Ada finds friends, romance and a new purpose in her own life in the most troubling and difficult of places.

Absolutely loved this book and raced through it in no time. A brilliant set of characters and a plot packed with emotions. HIghly recommended!
*** Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for granting me access to this title.
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Set in the Crimean war, a young girl sets about to find her missing brother. She get on a ship and finds herself over there. This novel follows her life and work until the end of the war. This book has been very well written and I have really enjoyed it. I have never read Kate Eastham before but I will be looking out for books by her. I recommend this book for all to read.
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I loved this book. Poor Ada losing her grandfather and not knowing what happened to Frank her brother. She bravely headed to war, which she discovered being a nurse was her calling. Ada has certainly been through and seen so much.  What a brave young girl.
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Ada Houston’s brother, and only surviving family, goes missing on Liverpool Docks. As she strongly suspects he has ended up on a ship to the Crimea, she follows and ends up becoming a nurse, helping the wounded of the Crimean War. Set in the 1850s, through Ada’s journey we find out about the origins of nursing as a profession, and about the Crimean War. It’s a really enjoyable read and I learnt loads from it too.

In all honesty, I would never have picked this book to read in a million years. It doesn’t have a cover that appeals to me – it slightly makes me judge it and want to run away. I read it because it was chosen for a book club I’m in. And even more interestingly, Kate Eastham IS IN THE BOOK CLUB. No pressure then… I approached it with trepidation, but genuinely enjoyed it. I’m not even just being nice. It’s a really good book. The book club discussion was also really good because Kate was there (BRAVE!) and so we learnt a lot about the process of getting published too. It was a great night at book club!

Ada Houston is a great character. She’s strong and quite feisty, without it being over the top. I loved the ending, which I won’t spoil here, but let’s just say that I was dreading one thing happening, and that thing didn’t happen, and I was very happy. Hahaha. She encounters Florence Nightingale briefly, on her way to the front. There she has a lot more to do with Mary Seacole.

I didn’t really know anything about Mary Seacole before reading Miss Nightingale’s Nurses, or much about the Crimean War at all. Coincidentally, my five year old daughter has been learning about Mary Seacole at school, and she saw the cover of Miss Nightingale’s Nurses and asked if the lady on the cover was Mary Seacole! I mean, no clearly not, but she recognised the type of nurses outfit from the Crimean War times. She then went on the tell me some facts about Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale (like before them, you could just do a job if you decided to, and then afterwards you had to be trained. They made hospitals clean. Florence had a lamp. And they were from 200 THOUSAND years ago. So close). So yeh, this book provided some sort of idyllic, educational moment in my household. Ha!

Ada’s adventure allows us to travel right to the front and get fully involved in some Crimean War action. We get to find out about the horror of war for the soldiers, and also for the supporting people like the doctors and nurses. It’s definitely not a sanitised look at the effects of war – there are some quite detailed medical bits in this book! But above all else, it’s a good story and I enjoyed reading it.

This is the first in a series of books that are all generally themed around the history of nursing. The next book is about nursing after the Crimean War, in Liverpool. Where the Nightingale nurses came home and became established in hospitals.  I think this one will be interesting too!
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Absolutely fantastic, I havnt enjoyed a book as much in a long long time!!
Ada's mother giving birth to her so, along with her brother, Frank is raised by her doting grandfather.
Follow their lives for a whirlwind story that will bring laughs and tears.
I cannot recommend it highly enough. 
Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read this arc.
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A really good captivating novel about a young girl nursing at the front line in the Crimean war. It dealt with all the horror of war casualties and how people supported each other.
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Loved this book! Fab storyline and great characters. Really enjoyed the strong heroine and the Crimea setting.
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A light story but more than made up for by the detailed descriptions of the horrors on the front and in the medical world of the Crimean War. The heroine is a strong willed, hard working young woman from Liverpool, now bereft of family although thinks that her missing brother might be in the Crimea. So off she goes. Awful journey by sea with a group of army wives helping her, arrival in Scutari but finds that Florence Nightingale is not interested in using her services (no surprise there as she has no nursing experience whatsoever!) but does send her nearer to the front where she does get to work in the hospital. She spends the next ?year at the hospital with occasional forays to the front trenches during rare and short cease-fires. She learns to deal with the injuries of the men, their maiming and deaths and the ever present vermin, lice, filth and ghastly medical practises. Interspersed with her story are bits and pieces from people who were there in reality, Nightingale herself and the amazing Mrs Seacole and the book benefits greatly from these. The author has done her homework and included aspects of problems of supply and equipment clearly demonstrated in Ms Nightingale's biographies. The end is rather abrupt I felt; the war ended  when the Russians sued for peace in March 1854 and it seemed to take very little time before Ada, our heroine, had been greeted by Ms Nightingale as a good nurse, given a recommendation to serve as one of the Nightingale Nurses back home and returned to Liverpool to do just that. Well researched story overall. Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin UK for an advance copy in return for my honest review.
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Ada Houston grew up in Liverpool. When her brother disappears after an accident at the docks and her grandfather dies shortly afterwards she finds herself completely alone. When someone suggests that is is possible her brother might have ended up on a ship bound for the Crimea and she hears about Florence Nightingale's nurses her mind is made up- she will go to the Crimea.

Ada is a really engaging character. I loved her determination. In a time when unmarried women had very little choice as to their futures, she carves out a role for herself. I didn't know very much about the Crimean war-apart from the names of places & the Charge of the Light Brigade so this was a good chance to see it from another side.

This book is very readable. It is fast paced and sweeps the reader along with Ada. All in all a very enjoyable read. Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this book.
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I so adored this book!  It has brilliant main characters, an excellent  plot and it kept me engrossed all the way through. I would highly recommend this book.
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Every now and again you just need a darn good heartwarming and dramatic romantic saga to lose yourself in and this ticks ALL the boxes. It is a lovely and very engaging read for women of all ages.

A Liverpool lass Ada, finds herself suddenly bereaved and alone in the world and believing her sole remaining relative, her missing brother Frank, may have ended up on a ship heading to the Crimea in World War One she inveigles her way on board a ship heading out there too and manages to find herself a place as a general nurse at Scutari, assisting on the wards of injured soldiers, helping in the laundry and she soon finds she has a natural aptitude for caring for others and digs deep into her own reserves to uncover strengths she never realised she had.

With real characters drawn from history, like Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole it has been very well researched and every chapter is prefaced by a real-life quote from Miss Nightingale

The sights she sees are harrowing and the book pulls no punches in the descriptions of horrific battle injuries sustained in the World war one trenches. It was brilliant watching Ada's character develop and grow. I fairly rattled through this saga which is gritty with great characters and a touch of romance and I enjoyed every word.

Reminiscent of the TV series the Crimson fields and Call the Midwife Boxed Set: Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse, Farewell to the East End it will appeal to anyone who likes books about nursing, history and strong feisty women.
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The story is set in 1855 and 1856, in both Liverpool and in Turkey during the Crimean war that lasted from 1853-1856. The horrors of that time, and not only those during the war, are seen through the eyes of young Ada Houston. Her father never played a role in her life, for he was already married to another woman, and her mother died while giving birth to Ada. She and her brother Frank are raised by their grandfather Padraic, one of the thousands of Irish immigrants in Liverpool. Padraic has a good job in the harbour and raises his grandchildren well. Then Padraic dies and Frank disappears during an accident in the harbour. Ada goes living with a friend but is adamant she wants to try and find Frank, who is supposed to have sailed to Crimea to fight in the war.
All alone, and with no training whatsoever, Ada boards a ship and ends up with the then already very famous Florence Nightingale.
Now Ada has to learn to be a nurse, and fast! And so she does. She hardly has a choice because she cannot just follow the army and look for her brother. She is bright, hardworking and intelligent and she learns how to be a good nurse very soon. The hardes part is learning to cope with all the horrors of the war, and not so much with sick people. Sick people die. What is left is heavily wounded people that need to be helped - often just for them to die or go back to the battlefield.
But, there is more. There is friendship too, because Ada is not the only young nurse. There are more and more women coming over to try and help the wounded soldiers. There is even romance, because on of the doctors and Ada are attracted to each other.
Will Ada find Frank and return to Liverpool? Read the book and find out! This book is a wonderful mix of fact and fiction, very well written with engaging characters. I'm happy this is the start of a series and hope to read the other books soon because I really liked this one.

Thanks to NetGalley for this book.
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A beautifully written story with very strong charactors and the way that Ada had lost so much in such a short time and her determination to find her brother.When she sailed to the crimea she had only one thought and that was to find her brother above all else.I won't spoil the book for others well worth 5*
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What a wonderful book!  Thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone.    Goes back to the 1800's and to the Crimean War and made me very sad but at the same time shows the courage of the nurses and doctors working amidst the carnage of battle!    Couldn't put this book down and is certainly one of the best books I have read in a long while!
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