The Rose of Sebastopol
In The Rose of Sebastopol the horrors of the Crimean War are described by a most unlikely narrator—Mariella Lingwood, a young English girl forced out of her Victorian parlor and into a grand, terrible adventure.
The catalyst for this uncharacteristic boldness is Mariella’s beloved cousin, Rose, a free-thinking young woman determined to become a doctor, if possible—a nurse, otherwise. To this end she pesters two people: Mariella’s fiancé, a promising doctor tasked with preparing the Crimean hospitals for English wounded; and Florence Nightingale, who refuses to allow such a lovely and inexperienced woman to join her in the war. Rose finds a way to go, anyway—and it is not long before she is declared missing. This spurs the ever-sewing Mariella into traveling far beyond the confines of her comfortable world where she swiftly discovers heartbreaking secrets about those she loves. These secrets compel her to follow Rose’s path, right through the Crimean hospitals and into the trenches of Sebastopol in an effort to learn the truth of her cousin’s fate.
The Rose of Sebastopol is a touching portrait of a woman much more capable than she believes herself to be and who gives an unusual perspective on the war. In her novel written with great attention to detail and obvious affection for her characters and the time period, Katharine McMahon has penned a deeply affecting piece of historical fiction.
384 (US), 394 (UK)