The Desert Nurse

Written by Pamela Hart
Review by Cathy Powell

Evelyn Northey desperately wants to become a doctor, but her father forbids it.  Following the death of her mother, Evelyn’s father decides that she should leave school and assist him in his medical practice.  She wishes to go to university and study, but her father does not support her at all.  At the outbreak of World War One, Evelyn decides to enlist as a nurse and is posted to Egypt. In this desert environment, she ends up working beside Dr William Brent, a hard-working polio survivor, who has issues of his own as his path to assist in the war was not easy.  But they make a good team.  However, Evelyn never wants another man to have power over her destiny.  She is resolute that she will never marry.  She is determined to get through the war and then perhaps study medicine later.  Although Dr Brent clearly suffers from the length of hours involved in treating the great number of wounded soldiers who require attention, he battles through.

Hart brings the desert environment alive for her readers.  She includes great detail in terms of describing the working conditions for the medical staff and the extent of the injuries some of the soldiers suffer from.  It is a moving read.