As WWII begins, Eliza O’Grady is a newly trained nurse living on a Wisconsin farm, wondering how she can ever see the rest of the world and find adventure.
Joining the US Army Nurse Corps, despite the reluctance of her family, seems the perfect answer. After two years of training in Kansas she arrives in the Philippines and is amazed by the beauty of Manila, the modern hospital, swimming in the warm bay, and dances at the Officers’ club. Finding the love of her life, Reese Moretti, makes everything perfect.
But the Japanese are advancing. Routine nursing turns into battlefield nursing of gravely wounded soldiers. The nurses retreat to jungle outposts, to a huge cave, then are captured and interned in desperate and deteriorating conditions until the war ends.
This is a well-researched book about the role of nurses in the Pacific sector during WWII. The descriptions of characters and of the danger and privations they endured—suffering severe malnutrition, and a host of tropical diseases—is dramatic and emotionally powerful. However, the book suffers from a lack of professional editing—both substantive and copy editing—which I found very distracting