16 February 2012

Book Review Thursday

Time for another book review that continues on my theme from the previous two weeks.  However, this time I’m going to write about a genre of books, not just one.

Almost a year ago my mother in law handed me a boot about a nurse in the 1940’s for my plane ride back to New York.  It was called a Nurse in Time and was by Evelyn Prentis.  I took it not having very high hopes so when I finished it only a little while after the plane took off (I read in the waiting area) I was shocked and I wanted more.  A Nurse in Time is about a girl from a farm whose mother decides that she is to be a nurse.  Prentis goes into great detail about her training, the matrons and the close friendships she formed with the other girls in her year.  It was mesmerizing.  And, of course, hard to find in the US.

When I finally moved here in October my MIL lent me a few more books in the same genre.  I read about a midwife named Jenny in Call the Midwife (currently on TV right now), and about growing up in an east end slum in Four Meals for Four Pence.  

For Christmas we each bought each other a few more books, luckily, we didn’t get the same ones so we both have loads more to read.  

I love that these are true stories about a time in history that isn’t a million miles away, but still far enough away that those who lived thru much of it are gone.  I guess I should mention that my degree is in WWII, so I’m sure that helps to fuel my obsession a bit.  They each paint a vivid picture of London and of the people who lived in conditions that we can’t even really imagine any more.  I highly recommend these books to anyone, but especially if you enjoy history but struggle with dry facts.  The narratives and larger than life personalities bring you into the book and you don’t even realize that its history until it’s over.  

I decided to write about these as a group to prevent myself from writing about each individual one!  I’m beginning to feel like I would like to read a straight up history book, but then again, my husband just read the hunger games trilogy so that is calling my name as well!  Any recommendations?


  1. You should read London 1945 by Maureen Waller, it covers every aspect of wartime life in London and is fascinating.

  2. Great recommendation! I've added it to my Amazon wish list!!

  3. I'm glad, I really cannot recommend this book highly enough.