From the author of The Nightingale Girls, The Nightingale Sisters and The Nightingale Nurses - perfect for fans of Call the Midwife
1937 sees new challenges for the trainee nurses
Dora and her old enemy Lucy are paired up on the children's ward for the final three months of their training. The two nurses couldn't seem more different, but they may have more in common than they think, as each hides a secret heartache.
. and new faces at the Nightingale
Jess is the feisty eldest daughter of a notorious East End family and determined to prove herself as a ward maid.
And new trainee nurse Effie can't wait to escape her small Irish village, and make her way as a nurse in London. But Effie's sister Katie soon begins to worry that Effie's behaviour is out of control.
Nightingales on call and in crisis: have they got what it takes?
Nightingales On Call is the fourth book in the Nightingale series by Donna Douglas and was published by Arrow (Random House) on 24 April 2014. I reviewed the earlier books in the series here on Random Things; The Nightingale Girls (August 2012), The Nightingale Sisters (April 2013) and The Nightingale Nurses (October 2013).
As with the other books in this series, Nightingales On Call can be read as a stand-alone novel, but having been a fan of these stories from the very first one, I'd urge readers to get hold of the other books too. Donna Douglas gives enough background information within Nightingales On Call to enable new readers to enjoy it just as much as old fans, but doesn't get too bogged down by things that happened earlier in the series.
This story concentrates mainly on Dora and Lucy who are almost at the end of their three year training,and will soon become Staff Nurses. These two girls have always had a tense relationship; Dora comes from the East End whilst Lucy's family are rich and she's been very spoilt by her parents. Their relationship changes dramatically throughout the course of the story as each of them deals with their own hidden secrets and shame. They find that they do have more in common than anyone could have guessed.
New characters are introduced, including ward maid Jess and trainee nurse Effie. Both of these bring a breath of fresh air to the nursing school in their own special way.
Once again, Donna Douglas effortlessly takes the reader into the world of student nursing before the NHS. The attention to detail is excellent and life on the wards for these young women is portrayed so well, from the back-aching scrubbing of the floors to the constant reminders that they should not grow close to their patients. Most of the nursing is playing out on the children's wards and I found this particularly fascinating. Imagine your beloved child is sick and in hospital and you can only visit him once per month? Imagine being able to pay for your child to have a private room on the ward, and being able to visit whenever you want to, but not bothering, and sending your housekeeper instead? These things happened and are played out in the story.
I'll admit that the Nightingale series is not my usual genre but I really do have a soft spot for these stories. Donna Douglas has created a cast of characters who have grown and matured throughout the series. Her research and historical detail is so well done. I enjoyed Nightingales On Call just as much as the others in the series, and really hope that there is more to come from the Nightingale Girls.
My thanks to the author and the publisher who sent my copy for review.
Donna Douglas lives in York with her husband and daughter. Besides writing novels, she is also a very well-respected freelance journalist under her real name, Donna Hay.
For more information about Donna;
please visit her blog; donnadouglasauthor.wordpress.com/ or follow her on Twitter @donnahay1