Review via Fairfax calls the book ‘unforgettable’ –
“I reckon that if the papers told the truth about the war no-one would come and they would have to call the whole thing off” – one nurse’s opinion after seeing Gallipoli.
Harriet and Mel are farm girls who are given minimal training except how to dress a wound and sent to war. Mel attends to boat load after boat load of casualties off Anzac Cove onto the hospital ship Maheno and Harriet is in Egypt.
The nurses brought a degree of humanity to the horrors of war but they were as unprepared for war as the soldiers. Their job was to hide any revulsion and present a calm confidence to the mangled bodies of soldiers they attended, without the use of antibiotics.
This is an unforgettable novel based on the diaries of two nurses who went through what Mel and Harriet did. BOB DOCHERTY