Cover Image: The Sea Nurses

The Sea Nurses

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Member Reviews

Iris worked on the ocean liners running between England & the US. A trained nurse as well as being a stewardess gave her the chance to see something of the world, even if sometimes the passengers were a bit demanding. It is 1914 & there is talk of war although it seems a long way from the luxury liner, however when the ship is torpedoed & Iris nearly loses her life she decides to work on the hospital ships.

Evie was  one of the girls who followed the herring down the East coast. Gutting the herring was quick but dangerous work & Evie was renowned for being the best at treating the injuries of those that followed the 'Silver Darlings'. When war came she decided to try & use her medical talents.

The pair met & became friends on HMHS Britannic, the account of their wartime work is both fascinating & frightening. This was a really informative read with good characters- even if the romance bits were predictable! Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this book.
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A beautifully written story based during WW11. Young women devoted there lives with danger, romance  and hard work. Very well written and enjoyable read. If you like wartime stories then you will love this one.. 5 stars.

Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for this ARC
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Iris Purefoy is a worker in a fish processing plant turned nurse. The tale begins on large ocean-liners, The RMS Olympic and HMHS Brittanic! 

Hospital ships are prime targets for German submarines. The nurses serve twelve-hour shifts six days a week. The pressure is immense and the pace grueling. Extreme mental duress is always a factor. Looking at a patient with a limb missing and then assuring them that all will be well is not an easy task!

Nurses by their personalities are empaths and feel the need to assuage the pain of those in their care, but they must effectively remove themselves from the obvious pain of their charges and work as quickly and effectively as possible. Triage is one of the most critical and heartbreaking tasks of their job. Assuring the patient he will be taken care of quickly and knowing that he is dying is heartbreaking but necessary.

The dialogue and descriptions of the nurses in this book are heartwarming and endearing. I found myself drawn to their humanity and abilities fulfilling. Whether they were on cruise ships or hospital ships, they treated their patients with professionalism and care. I applaud the author in her treatment of this heartbreaking anthology of nurses in a time of war. 4.5 stars – CE Williams
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A well-written and touching book, filled with courage and heartbreak. It features lovely characters in a medical setting in #WWI. Prepare for a journey of emotions.
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The Sea Nurses is an amazing, compelling, heartbreaking and original story of courage and loss. A wonderful start to what I think is going to be a hard-hitting and addictive series, I can’t wait!

I am in absolute love with this book, for a saga it is incredibly well-paced, I have become rather picky when sagas are concerned as I have started to find them a little too long-winded and slow for my liking but this is entirely different, to me, it didn’t read like a saga it’s punchy and gritty as well as dramatic and heart-breaking raw and emotional.

I have read a lot of WW1 fiction, I mean stacks upon stacks of them and yet this is the first I have read with the story set right in the midst of the Navy, even more so being told via the perspective of the women.

This tells the stories of Evie and her fellow ‘Sea Nurses’ as they leave behind all that they know and do what is needed of them, I was fascinated with her harsh life as a fisher girl, that alone isn’t an easy job she is a strong, hard-working and faithful young woman and when tragedy strikes and the more and more of the local village young men keep leaving to join the war she knows deep down she needs to do more than gut fish. She is heartbroken and she impulsively joins the war effort as a nurse. But her struggles, abilities and her emotions will be tested to the limit.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the war life of the HMS Britannic, I never knew that during the war the grand sister ship to the Titanic was converted into a hospital ship. The historical research and descriptive details are second to none, I love it when an author really delves into the past and brings all of what they have gleaned to the forefront of the story, it gives the story compassion and tragic realism.

Overall, an inspiring book which will have you sobbing and feeling in complete awe over what these brave women did, I can’t wait for more!
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Iris is a nurse stewardess on a passenger ship. It's 1914 and there is talk of war although many are dismissing the idea as ludicrous. Evie works with the herring and travels from Scotland each year to the Norfolk coast to work the season. This year one of the fishermen has caught her eye and possibly her heart. When war arrives both women work on a military hospital ship collecting and bringing the wounded back from war. The ships Iris worked on have beerequistitioned and altered to become wards rather than grand state rooms. There is much to contend with and far from either the luxury passengers Iris attended to or the fishing wounds Evie tended on shore. This is war and the ship should be safe displaying signage giving them clear passage but nothing can be taken for granted especially as there are potential u boats and mines around.
I really enjoyed this and learnt a little-the horrors of war and social history combined. Life at that time was very different for the differing classes and each knew their place- until it came to war when they stood shoulder to shoulder against the enemy and cared for each other. A wonderful story of life and friendships, love and loss in the most difficult of times. A thoroughly enjoyable, memorable read.

(amazon done- misfits farm)
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Could not get into this book, so I did not want to post a review. When I cannot post a good review or DNF a book I don't post a review. Thanks for the opportunity.
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THE SEA NURSES by Kate Easrtham, takes its reader on an utterly heartbreaking journey of war, friendship, courage, and suspense as Germany and Britain declare their place during the early part of the 20th century ~ World War I.
Aboard the ships, The RMS Olympic and The HMS Brittanic, friendships will form, lives will change, emotions run high, the wounded become ever-increasing, and medical staff will be pushed to their limits. 
Iris and Evie, two women from very different backgrounds, are portrayed not only as Sea Nurses within this story, but we learn of their lives and personalities in a way that lends great detail and brilliance to these characters and their surroundings during the whispers of war and beyond. 
The author has crafted a story that for me, goes beyond the historical fiction read I expected it to be. It's written with great detail, vivid scenes, heart-pounding situations, and brought forth with great care as it plays in the mind like a moving picture.
From its emotionally-charged drama, to its fascinating and most intriguing elements of research, THE SEA NURSES is a stand-out novel which delivers a profoundly unique storyline, and one which kept me up to all hours, and on the edge of my seat. 
I thank the author, Bookouture, and NetGalley for this wonderful opportunity, and very much look forward to what will be revealed next as this new series continues...
  
5 Stars!

#TheSeaNurses
#KateEastham 
#Bookouture
Wild Sage Book Blog
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“Through the dark days of the war, they must stay strong”


I have to admit that I can’t remember the last time I read a WWI book, so it took a while to adjust to the narrative and dialogue surrounding the alternative style of combat, to that waged in subsequent warfare stories, which are my more usual reading genres. However, regardless of the time or place war has always been a great leveller and class has no place within its ranks. Differences need to be put aside and people have to be ready to stand shoulder to shoulder for the common good and with the singular aim of defeating the enemy and watching the back of your fellow men and women. And so are born tales such as this, of strong and enduring friendships, forged against all the odds, out of necessity and in the face of tremendous adversity.

…

Whilst not upper class by any stretch of the imagination, a well educated Iris, is an assistant medic and senior stewardess, in the first class section of a trans Atlantic cruise liner. Evie, who is destined to cross paths with Iris, comes from more humble beginnings and with a group of other women, travels down from Scotland to Great Yarmouth each year, for the herring season, where she guts and packs the catch, fresh on the quayside. The one thing the girls have in common, is that they are orphans of a similar age and they have also both recently discovered a first time romantic interest, although the hardships of life will end one relationship and the trials of war the other. Iris is as quiet and reserved, as Evie is garrulous and enthusiastic. Iris has had the good fortune to be taken under the wing of one of her wealthy first class clients, whilst Evie has the company of good friends and relatives to turn to in her hour of need.

With the outbreak of war, all ships are requisitioned by the government, with many being converted to hospital ships and it is an inherent fascination with the sea, which finds Iris and Evie and some of Evie’s fellow herring packers, enlisting as nurses. Iris undoubtedly has the most relevant qualifications, so she finds herself trying to manage a team of four enthusiastic girls, although she discovers all too soon, that Evie’s renowned expertise with the gutting knife, is easily re-purposed to make her equally adept with a surgical scalpel and her help becomes invaluable, as does that of all their fellow nursing recruits.

Battle fatigue from numerous Mediterranean rescue missions, is made even more unutterably and unbearably sad by the sinking of The Britannic, with Iris and a few of her fellow survivors witness to the terrible deaths of many of the unfortunate crew members not lucky enough to make it to the safety of the lifeboats. After a protracted rescue mission, Iris is delighted to discover that Evie also made it to safety and is busy working alongside ships surgeon, Dr Mayhew, patching up both wounded soldiers and medics alike. Several of the nurses, including Evie and Iris, decide that they deserve some time ashore, working in a military hospital on dry land. It is whilst here that Evie makes two discoveries which will make her heart sing and change her life forever, although she must first release the pent up emotion and guilt she has carried inside her for so long. For Iris, a face from the past offers her a few more weeks of pure joy, before happiness is once again plucked from her grasp, leaving her grieving and alone.

When war is finally over, Iris and Evie know that they will always remain firm friends, albeit from a distance. A trip to New York leaves Iris the beneficiary of some unexpected generosity from her pre-war cruising client and she is destined to spend much of her time living in Paris, with an annual trip to the USA to visit both her benefactor and Evie, who has now also made that country her temporary home. For Iris, love has always been that illusive rainbow she has been searching for, but she has never given up hope…

This story began and ended with Iris!

…

This multi-layered, intense and atmospheric story, is completely immersive and memorable. It highlights both the fragility and resilience of the human mind, and uncovers the trauma of grief and loss and the long term effects it can have on mental health, in what we would now recognise as PTSD. There are several unexpectedly intense and emotional twists in this highly textured storyline, which is perceptive, intuitive, often raw and passionate, yet profoundly touching. Well structured and sign-posted, the timeline was easy to follow, keeping everything seamless and well-paced. The fluent writing was poignant and beautifully descriptive, evoking a really strong sense of time and place, no matter whereabouts the theatre of action was, as this storyline enjoyed a very large and diverse footprint – perfect for all us ‘armchair travellers’. Personally, and this is simply because I know the area and its history so well, the scenes which took place in and around Netley Hospital in Southampton, resonated the most.

The two principal characters of Iris and Evie, were wonderfully developed and drawn, detailed to the point where I could visualise them leaning on the ship’s rail at the end of a long day enjoying a final smoke and a nip of something stronger than water, to dull the memories of the suffering they have seen that day; eavesdropping on their conversations, and almost knowing what they were thinking and how they were going to react in any given situation, both professionally and personally. Along with the wider cast of characters,  the overall dynamics and synergy between them all, makes them completely investable, genuine and authentic in their individual roles, as they are given a generous and strong voice with which to tell their courageous story of resilience over adversity. They represent a complex jigsaw of vulnerable human emotions, which are laid bare when the fragility of the lines between life and death, defeat and survival, love and hate, trust and duplicity, the frailty of the human mind and indeed their very existence, are drawn. However a raw addictive passion and the will to survive, overcomes all the odds stacked against them, making them stronger, determined to be true to themselves, and more united as time goes on.

What always makes reading such a wonderful experience for me, is that with each and every new book, I am taken on a unique and individual journey, by authors who fire my imagination, stir my emotions and stimulate my senses. This story definitely managed to evoke all those feelings, so I can only recommend that you read The Sea Nurses for yourself and see where your journey leads you!
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#netgalley #theseanurses This is a beautiful historical fiction story, I love reading about hospitals and medical stories and this one is also set out on the sea. I was very impressed with how well written this novel is and how much I loved the characters. I will definitely be recommending this book. At times I even felt like I was there in the story. 5/5 stars
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As a nurse in the 21st century, I found it really interesting to read about what nursing was like so long ago. 

Evie and Iris are nurses, although the path to becoming a nurse was different for both of them. Evie guts herrings for a living but on the side, she does the first aid when it is needed for the fisher women as well. Iris is a stewardess/nurse, looking after spoilt, rich passengers on large ships. How they come to be working together, is very interesting.

I enjoyed reading both their backstories and how they came to be nurses during WWI. The descriptions of what they had to contend with, nursing men who had just come off the battlefield, made me shudder and feel grateful that we are not currently at war in this country. 

Well written book.

4.5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture.
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Atypical Tale That Pulls No Punches. While the WWI period isn’t *quite* as common in historical fiction tales as WWII, it is hardly the rarity another reviewer claims it to be – though this *is*, in fact, the first tale I’ve come across to detail life on the ships of the White Star Line in the years after the Titanic catastrophe. As such, Eastham does a great job here of showing life aboard the Olympic during its last cruise before Germany declared war on Great Britain – and the moment those on the ship first learned of that fact. We also see a vivid description of life along the coasts of Scotland and its great fisherman… and the women who toiled so hard to process all the fish that were caught. Eastham then dives into The Great War itself… as seen through the eyes of these nurses (mostly) as they serve on the HMHS Britannic. Eastham actually uses the moment of its sinking as a prologue, before eventually getting back to that moment deep in the book (around the 70% mark, IIRC). Eastham then continues to follow these two nurses through the end of the war, and it is here in particular that she shows the bravery to do things few authors do. Overall a solid tale of its type, one fans of the genre will love and which even those new to the genre will get a good example of this type of tale. Very much recommended.
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Working on the HMHS Brittanic during World War I is challenging for the young nurses in this well written historical fiction novel. Iris and Evie care for wounded soldiers, with the ever present threat of German submarines below them. Recommended.
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BLOG TOUR REVIEW 

Review for 'The Sea Nurses' by Kate Eastham. 

Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Kate Eastham, Bookouture publishers and Bookouture anonymous 

Publication date 6th June 2022. 

This is the second book that I have read by this author. I have also read 'An Angel's Work' which I would highly recommend. 

I was originally drawn to this book by  its beautiful and colourful cover and intriguing sounding blurb. The synopsis stated that this book is 'Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Diney Costeloe and Nancy Revell'. I am a huge fan of Nancy Revell so am hoping this lives up to the statement. I am also a huge fan of Kate and if this is half as good as 'An Angel's Work' it is guaranteed to be a page turner!! I also wanted to read something other than my usual genre of crime fiction and this book fitted the bill perfectly. I must admit I was also biased due to the publisher being Bookouture. I have yet to read a book published by Bookouture  that I haven't enjoyed. Hopefully this won't be the first... Watch this space! (Written before I started reading the book).

This novel consists of a prologue, 22 chapters and an epilogue set over 3 parts. The chapters are medium in length so possible to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case! 

This book is set on the RMS Olympic, in Great Yarmouth and Hampshire, England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 and on the HMHS Britannic and HMHS Valdivia. 

This book is written in third person perspective and the main protagonists are Iris Purefoy, Evie Munro and Jack Rosetti. The benefits of third person perspective with multiple protagonists are that it let's you see the bigger picture of what's going on and you get to know more characters more, what they are thinking and what they are doing. It feels like you get to see the whole picture and not miss out in anything. 

An emotional rollercoaster coaster ride that does justice to war hero's and victims. 

This book is beautifully written from start to finish with descriptions and events that really impact the reader. The settings were perfect for the storyline and I felt as if I was going through everything with the characters. I loved that it was set in so many different places and it felt like I was exploring the world with Iris and Evie. I was devastated to come to the end and have to unpack my cases. It also shows that the author has obviously done her research so a big congratulations on that as it is really irritating when I read historical novels to find the author has done no research and there's so many obvious errors throughout. I was intrigued to find out that Kate had based this novel after reading about Violet Jessop who was a real life sea nurse and I'm looking forward to reading more about her. I always enjoy discovering hero's I had not previously heard of so thank you Kate. 

The storyline itself is very powerful and will stay with me for a long time. I also believe it will make a beautiful film. I love the fact that although it is set in darker time that's there's some moments of light hearted humour and romance which lifts the atmosphere on occasions while keeping in mind the seriousness of the situation. I love that this book highlights the importance of women's roles during the war as these can be easily forgotten. This book was a true eye opener to some of the horrific things that would have happened during the war. I held my breathe on several occasions with the many close encounters of several kinds and red herrings which u kept falling for time and again all the way up to the end so well done on that trickery Kate Eastham!!  The book is rammed with emotions and is a true rollercoaster ride of them from love to heartbreak, sadness to joy. The book ended absolutely perfectly and I'm over the moon to discover that there will be another book following on their story which I'm looking forward to reading!! 

All the characters were portrayed perfectly. I love that there are many strong female role models, mainly that of Iris and Evie who have a fantastic relationship although they were worlds apart with such different personalities and I loved watching their relationship grow and bond deeper. Evie character made me laugh on several occasions with her great and huge personality along with her no nonsense attitude. Along with Iris I really enjoyed that they both were very strong, independent and dedicated role models. 

Get the tissues out and clear your schedules for this unputdownable tear jerker. 

Overall a powerful, emotional and heart wrenching beautiful novel about friendship, dedication and love during the war. 

Genres covered in this novel include Historical Fiction, Women's Sagas, Historical, Women's Historical Fiction, Wartime Saga, Historical Nursing Fiction and Women's Romance Fiction among others. 

I would recommend this book to the fans of the above as well as fans of Nadine Dorries, Diney Costeloe, Nancy Revell, World War II historical Fiction lovers or anyone looking for an aspiring book to read. 

284 pages.

This book is £1.99 to purchase on kindle via Amazon which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!! 

Rated 5/5 (I LOVED it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook. 

Feel free to add me on Goodreads or follow me on my website or Facebook for more reviews 

#TheSeaNurses # #Bookouture  #KateEastham #NetGalley #BookReview #BlogTour #BooksOnTour
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The Sea Nurses by Kate Eastham certainly starts off with an explosive opening in 1916 as the HMS Britannic, a hospital ship, is breaking apart. A nurse struggles to reach safety and is then sent flying overboard and left drifting in the sea with death and destruction all around her. Well, these few brief pages certainly had me keen to read more. Who was the nurse? How did she come to be on the ship and what exactly happened to the ship for it to be breaking apart? But long before we reach that point we go back in time to August 1914 and we are introduced to one of the main female characters, Iris Purefoy. The other character being Evie Munro who we learn more about later. 

Given the title you would expect the author to launch straight into the war years and how nurses away at sea dealt with the trauma and bloodshed inflicted on so many. But no, instead we are given the background stories to the two women, which was welcome and vital in helping the reader form a picture of them as they both came from very differing backgrounds and then in turn we see how they come to work alongside one another as sea nurses during the war years. I have read heaps of books set during World War Two and by this stage I feel like I know the subject matter inside out. As for World War One, I find there aren’t that many books set during that period so I was glad when The Sea Nurses featured these years.

Kate Eastham brings to life a time so vastly different from the one we live in now. Well, sadly not in the fact that we still have wars raging in the present but the life of Iris working as a first class stewardess for the White Star Line and all the glamour and surprises that brought, we’ll never see an era like that again. Iris works on the luxury liner, HMS Olympic, and she loves every minute of it. Life at sea provides a sense of freedom and several opportunities come her way. She is also a qualified nurse so she has that extra special touch when it comes to dealing with first class passengers. Especially, the tricky customer that is Miss. Duchamp who at times has her run ragged with her fussy ways. But Miss. Duchamp will have an important role to play later in the story. We get an insight as to how Iris came to work on the liner. She grew up in India, but her parents died when she was young and she was sent to live with a maiden aunt in England. When she was older she worked as a nurse but suffered sepsis from an injury and needed time out to recuperate. When well again, she felt the job as a nurse stewardess would provide the change she needed in life and adventures at sea seemed like she just what she craved. 

Iris was a fabulously written character and to view the ship through her eyes was brilliant. All the glitz and the glamour of first class and the camaraderie of those below deck and in steerage. It was a special era and Kate Eastham brought it to life so well. Iris was a brilliantly written character. She showed many sides to her personality, the strict, disciplined and professional side but also when not working you could see her relax slightly, yet the iron will and passion she had was always there simmering under the surface. I appreciated the friendship she developed with Evie. I would say it wasn’t a sisterly relationship more so like mother and daughter with Iris being the more sensible and wiser of the two. She had a clear and strong head on her shoulders whereas I felt Evie was more flighty. Iris always displayed resilience and independence at least on the outside but deep below her self-contained core she was just like any other woman she just wanted to be loved and cared for. Will Jack Rosetti, a rogue of a stowaway, catch her eye or has fate different plans in store for her? With the outbreak of war Iris’ carefully ordered world away at sea is turned on its head and there are many challenges ahead as the majority of liners are turned into hospital ships.

Evie was the complete antithesis of Iris and it really helped the plot to have two contrasting characters but at the same they could come together for each other when fate throws them together in a situation they had never dreamed possible. Evie is from a small Scottish village but spends the herring season working in Great Yarmouth. The sea always calls to her and she works with many women dealing with the catch brought in by the fleet. She has no specific qualifications but when someone is injured she can be relied upon to do a good job of patching them up. Evie had a wild spirit. She loved being out in the open but she has suffered loss in her life with her father being lost to the sea when she was younger and now all she has left is her brother who is married to a woman she doesn’t particularly get on with. She doesn’t understand loss nor she is especially equipped to deal with the savagery of it and even more so when the man of her dreams, Jamie, is lost at sea. Yet more, tragedy befalls her, the specifics of which I won’t go into. Suffice, to say the author certainly put Evie through the mill definitely more so than Iris. In the later half of the book, I found she put on a brave face but deep down she was haunted by her experiences. When war breaks out she views it as a fresh start for her but she wouldn’t have wished for war to occur in order for her to see more of the world. She becomes a Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nurse and although she is but a probationer she is unrelenting in her work, fierce and full of ideas. 

It’s at this point that the two characters of Iris and Evie finally meet and life onboard the hospital ship tests all the courage and strength that they both have. I found the scenes on board the ship to be detailed and well researched. The men and women who were doctors and nurses respectively did incredible things under immense pressure in order to save as many lives as possible and what struck me was the limited amount of resources they had and the fact they operated at sea and tended to so many injured was just incredible. The author certainly brought to life a time which I feel has been forgotten. The book overall was very good and a quite a quick read and being truthfully honest I felt that at times things happened too quickly and events were glossed over instead of more detailing being provided. 

Given the first half had such detail which made the book come alive for me, I expected the same from the second half. Yes the major climax of the book and a huge turning point for all the characters was horrifying and so vividly written but I felt after that, the war years were skipped through quickly and things happened rather conveniently for some of the characters. Not that what occurred you wouldn’t have wanted not to happen but I felt a little bit more fleshing out was needed and at times the later half of the book felt rushed and suffered for it. Despite this, I am glad I read The Sea Nurses as it is an emotional and inspiring read which reminds us to never forget those who have gone before us and who did so much in a time of great peril. I was delighted to read that there will be more from Evie and Iris in the future as World War Two looms on the horizon for them.
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Set during World War One this tells the story of Iris and Evie as they work first on a hospital ship and then after choosing to work in the hospital in Southampton. We meet the characters before the War and Iris is already working on the ship as Nurse/Stewardess and Evie is a fisher girl gutting and preparing the herrings in Yarmouth. After meeting on board the girls become firm friends. There are lots of ups and downs for both girls during this difficult time. Once you pick it up you will be drawn into both of their lives and you will find it hard to put down. I really enjoyed this book and I was pleased to see there will be more from the girls in the future.
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Evie Munro works in the fishing industry in Scotland.  She finds life to be mundane, doing the same thing day in and day out.  Evie knows there has got to be more to life than fish.  But then Germany declares war on Britain and Evie’s life will never be the same.  Men are drafted into the war while others volunteer for the war effort.  Evie feels like she must do her part for the war so she becomes an army nurse, taking care of the wounded army soldiers on  the Britannic hospital ship.  One day the Britannic comes under direct fire and Evie and the nurses wonder how they will ever be able to care for all the wounded patients.  This story was so heartbreaking and had me engrossed from the very first page.  This is definitely a ‘read in one sitting’ because you won’t be able to put it down once you start it.  But, make sure you have those tissue boxes nearby because you will surely need them.  I laughed and cried and was inspired by the wonderful characters.  The writing style of this author impressed me.  I felt as if some of her real life experiences came through in this book which made it seem like it was based on a true story.  I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it.

Thank you Kate Eastham for such a wonderful story.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I highly recommend this book.
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★★★★ 3.5 stars (rounded up)

I am excited to be taking part in the #BooksOnTour #BlogTour for Kate Eastham's wartime saga tale THE SEA NURSES.

This is the third book by Kate Eastham I've read and it was relatively enjoyable with the unique aspect of beginning on a cruise ship liner to becoming military hospital during the war. In the early 1910's, there were three sister ships built for the White Star Line for passage from London to New York primarily. They were Olympic, Britannic and the ill-fated Titanic. But even after Titanic's demise, the Olympic and Britannic continued to make the TransAtlantic voyage. THE SEA NURSES begins on one and continues on another.

It's 1914 and Iris Purefoy is a stewardess and nurse for the White Star Line on board the RMS Olympic to New York. There have been whispers of war amongst the passengers though many believe if it were to come it would be over in weeks anyway. Others are dismissing the idea of war as ludicrous. Beginning in second class, Iris soon made her way up to First Class and found herself as the occasional personal maid for Miss Amelia Duchamp, on passage from Paris to New York. The elderly woman has a feisty little Pekingnese called Marco whom she dotes on and who has nipped Iris more than once. Miss Duchamp is incredibly demanding with high expectations but Iris sees to her needs as her charge requires.

One night on deck, Iris sees a flash in the shadows and meets Jack Rosetti, a young American who lost his ticket in a car game but managed to stowaway on the liner. Iris took pity on him when he disclosed that his mother was dying and he wanted to reach her before it was too late. Against her better judgement, Iris chose to ignore his illegal passage and tried to ignore the young man each time she saw him. But there was something captivating about him. His smile, his eyes, his laughter. He asked to see her on shore before the ship made its way back to Britain, but news of the war changed any plans made and the RMS Olympic hastily made its return to become a troop ship.

Arriving back in England, Iris had decided to put her nurses training to good use and join a military hospital, following matron to Netley in Southampton.

Meanwhile, in Great Yarmouth Evie Munro was a fisher girl who travelled from her native Scotland each year to the Norfolk coast to work the herring season. This year she meets Jamie who captures her heart. But life as a fisherman is a hard one out on the roughs of the North Sea, and it is often fraught with tragedy. Life as a fisher girl is also a tough one, and Evie jumps into action to assist when one of them is injured, using her skills to suture and bandage and even nurse her charges back from the onset of sepsis. She is not a nurse but she has the skills of one. When the season is over, Evie travels home to Scotland with her friends with a heaviness she'd never felt before. And with the war approaching, she makes a decision. Leaving her past behind her, she travels to Southampton as a probationary nurse where she falls under the charge of Nurse Purefoy.

After almost a year at Netley, Iris and Evie along with some of the VADs, begin work on the former cruise liner Britannic, now a military hopsital ship that had been requisitioned for the war, collecting soldiers from the Front and bringing them back to England. Their job is to nurse the injured men and help keep them alive until they are then transferred to a hospital on shore. Life is far different for both women - from the luxurious state rooms Iris had worked as a stewardess or the fishing wounds Evie had once tended. Despite their's being a military hospital ship displaying a prominent red cross and signage to give them clear passage and prevent them from being fired upon but this is war and no one is safe. There was nothing stopping them hitting an underwater mine or a U-boat firing upon them, mistaking them for the enemy.

Life changes for both Iris and Evie in profound ways throughout the course of the war. Particularly when a new orderly is taken on Britannic and Iris is shocked to be looking into the smiling eyes of Jack Rosetti once again. Ever the professional, Iris keeps her distance particularly as fraternisation between male and female staff is not permitted and Sister frowns upon such a blatant disregard for the rules.

And then life changes in an instant off the Mediterranean coast and each must make a snap decision to save themselves before it's too late.

A heartrendering and emotional tale, THE SEA NURSES takes on a unique aspect of a wartime saga in that it is on board former cruise liner ships now decked out as floating military hospitals. I like how it began with Iris as a stewardess so we get a glimpse of life aboard those ships before the war and therefore becoming military hospitals or troop ships. There was a hint of glamour befor being thrust into the horrors of war and the promise of something to come when it was all over.

With Evie it was a little different. I felt that she was more of a secondary character to Iris' main one. I also felt that the friendship between the two women wasn't at the forefront of the story as much as the premise alluded to. I felt the women didn't really connect as friends throughout the story...not until almost the end after Evie's shocking find beneath the pier. I found Evie connected more with her fisher friends - Rita and Minnie - and even her brother and sister in law, more than Iris. To me, Iris felt more of her superior than a friend and any connection between the two women was lost. Their meetings up on deck in the evenings wasn't enough to make a close friendship as the narrative spoke or Iris in one context or Evie in another. The women were hardly ever together, forming a bond of friendship, not on page at least.

I liked both women but I didn't feel there was enough there to make them such close friends. They were too separate and never seemed to really connect. I found Iris closer to Miss Duchamp and she hadn't seen her since that final voyage at the beginning of the war, though the women remained in constant contact via letter.

I enjoyed THE SEA NURSES but not near so much as "When the World Stood Still" which I absolutely loved. I would have liked the ending to have gone a little further than another sea voyage, with a final glimpse of New York.

An entertaining read, THE SEA NURSES is an interesting and engaging historical wartime saga complete with drama and suspense of life, love, friendships and loss. Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries and Diney Costeloe.

I would like to thank #KateEastham, #NetGalley and #Bookouture for an ARC of #TheSeaNurses in exchange for an honest review.

This review appears on my blog at https://stinathebookaholic.blogspot.com/.
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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and Kate Eastham for the chance to read this ARC in return for my honest opinion.

I really enjoyed this book - sadly I have had chance to read more than usual whilst sat at my Father's hospital bed - but this book kept my attention even when I had to keep putting it down.

It was a fascinating read - I had no idea that luxury liners had been acquisitioned as early as WW1 and used as hospital ships though I did know they were used like this in later conflicts.

The book was well researched and well written - of course as with many books of this genre there was love interest and loss but this proves part of the storyline.
The descriptive parts of the sheet horror of WW1 and the injuries inflicted was well written as well as the demise of HMS Britannic 

I have to admit having read the 'blurb' from the back of the book I did find the initial storyline hard to follow and thought at one point I had confused this book with another - but Evie does appear eventually and does play a vital role within the story - as does Iris 

Thank you again to all for the chance to read this excellent novel
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This title doesn't do justice to the book! I was hooked from the 1st page and this carried on right up until the last one!
A really good, well written book with loads of history woven into the story line. The 2 main characters were totally believable and I enjoyed the way their lives were interwoven very well. I could almost smell the operating rooms and the descriptions of the wounded soldiers were very, very realistic. Kate Eastham also caught the anger, fear and dismay of the characters so well that one could almost feel like reaching out to them!!
A very good, easy read, well thought out characters and historical moments brought the book together.
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