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The Nightingale Girls: (Nightingales 1) [Kindle Edition]

Donna Douglas
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Three very different girls sign up as student nurses in 1936, while England is still mourning the death of George V. Dora is a tough East Ender, driven by ambition, but also desperate to escape her squalid, overcrowded home and her abusive stepfather. Helen is the quiet one, a mystery to her fellow nurses, avoiding fun, gossip and the limelight. In fact she is in the formidable shadow of her overbearing mother, who dominates every aspect of her life. Can a nursing career free Helen at last? The third of our heroines is naughty, rebellious Millie an aristocrat on the run from her conventional upper class life. She is doomed to clash over and over again with terrifying Sister Hyde and to get into scrape after scrape especially where men are concerned.

This utterly delightful novel brings a London pre-war hospital vividly to life.

Books In This Series (5 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews


    "A gripping coming-of-age drama about life and love on the wards of a pre-war London hospital." Weightwatchers Magazine "A touching novel...reminiscent of Call The Midwife" Star Magazine "Excellent characters...absorbing story...I look forward to the next instalment in the lives of these interesting women." Bookersatz "Fans of Call the Midwife will enjoy this" Woman's Own "With some nice romantic elements and sub-plots that are ripe for development in future, this is a great start to a new series of books and I'm already looking forward to The Nightingale Sisters 4/5" One More Page Blog

    About the Author

    DONNA DOUGLAS is a freelance journalist and -- as Donna Hay -- had a number of successful romantic novels published by Orion.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 1092 KB
    • Print Length: 514 pages
    • Publisher: Preface Digital (August 16, 2012)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0099569353
    • ISBN-13: 978-0099569350
    • ASIN: B008I33YMM
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,750 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Nursing -- 1930s style... May 8, 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Predictable romantic fiction set in London in the 1930s as three young women arrive at the Nightingale Hospital in London to train as nurses. Coming from completely different backgrounds, Dora, Helen, and Millie have various reasons for wanting to study at the famed hospital. Can they endure the grueling schedule and unending work in order to further their personal goals and dreams?

    I found the details about the actual nurses training the most interesting aspect of all. Reminded me that, in those days, there was more emphasis on bathing and cleaning than there was on science. The nurses did few actual procedures and took care of basic needs such as preparing and serving meals. I also wasn't surprised at the level of subservience expected from them by head sisters and the medical staff! Since I'm a nurse myself, I always find these novels to be pertinent reminders of how far the profession has come in skills and knowledge while still retaining the personal care expertise to provide hygiene and comfort to the hospitalized sick and injured.

    I plan to read the other two in the trilogy:
    #2 The Nightingale Sisters (Nightingales)
    #3 The Nightingale Nurses (Nightingales)

    Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK - North America for the e-book ARC to review.
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    24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars This is a romance novel, in triplicate May 10, 2013
    By no name
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    This is a competently written book, but it is a romance. If you are reading it for information about the history of nursing in the 1930s, you will be disappointed. There are, of course, references to working conditions and such, but it is, in the end, about three girls falling in love.
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful April 5, 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    A must read for anyone who loves Call the Midwife series. Love the character development and can't wait to read the next one.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A great story July 6, 2013
    They came from different backgrounds. Millie an aristocratic rebel. Helen, young woman who has spent all of her life being told what to do by her mother and Dora, a young woman from Bethnal Green looking for a chance to escape her old life. They have all come to Nightingale Teaching Hospital to be nurses. But along the way they will learn about themselves and life.
    "The Nightingale Girls" by Donna Douglas was a really good book. It gives the reader a chance to see what life in the 1930's was really like and ways of nursing back then. This was a great book and I can't wait for read the follow-up books "The Nightingale Sisters" and "The Nightingale Nurses"
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Blending pre-war history, personal history and the early 20th century East End of London, Donna Douglas brings us the story of three unconventional friends as they make a commitment to a career. It is difficult NOT to make comparisons to the BBC drama Call The Midwife, where we follow a group of young women some 20 years later as they learn and practice in the impoverished area, and those who enjoy that series will most certainly find the Nightingale Nurses Series to their liking.

    George V has just died – and the country is mourning, while the politicos are worried for their new king’s commitment, or lack thereof. Dora, Helen and Millie are taking advantage of the reasonably new freedoms afforded women of all stations and have signed on as student nurses at a teaching hospital in the East End.

    Douglas manages to weave the personal stories and histories of these young women – all chose their new profession to break out of their routines and change their lives in ways that are acceptable in society’s eyes.

    Dora is, at this point, my favorite – overcoming an impoverished upbringing with an abusive stepfather: her choice to enroll is clearly to improve her own lot in life. But she has to struggle for every gain: textbooks, time with new friends, the lot.

    Helen comes from a solidly upper middle class background with a mother and brother involved in the hospital. Helen’s mother is controlling and not particularly likable, and this has resulted in Helen’s retreat from life and friends. She’s a loner, quietly pursuing her own interests out of her mother’s sphere of interference. But, the choice to nurse is one where she feels her mother can’t bother her, or make a mess of things.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    By gpangel
    Format:Kindle Edition
    The Nightingale Girls by Donna Douglas is a 2012 Arrow- Random House publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publishers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
    Set in 1934 at the Nightingale Hosital in the East End, story follows a group of young ladies in training to be nurses. Each comes from a very different background and each has their own set of problems at home. By far, Dora has the worst home life due to the very poor living conditions. But, more than that, she has a step father that is hounding her and her ding bat mother doesn't appear to have a clue. So, for Dora the chance to be an nurse feels like a do or die situation. She has to make it or return home to the conditions she doesn't think she could bear any longer.
    The other girls- Amelia- "MIllie" is a girl that is expected to marry well and and since she comes from gentry, a career as a nurse in not what is expected of her. However, Millie is determined to fight against tradition and go her own way in life, with her father's blessing but to the chagrin of her grandmother. But, Millie struggles with her studies and has to fight an uphill battle just to stay in the program.
    Helen's mother is on the hospital board and therefore she is often suspected of being a spy and is treated with disdain. She is quiet and just as much of a victim of her mother's rules as the other nurses.
    The secondary characters provide conflict and romances, as well as the Sisters that run the hospital with rigid standards and are always keeping a very close eye on the girls. Behind the scenes politics provide a glimpse into the administration and how things were done back in this time period.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good character development as well as story
    Reminded me on many ways of Call The Midwife only set in earlier times. Good character development as well as story. Bought Nightingales 2 also.
    Published 12 days ago by Vernon Sauter
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good read!
    I have enjoyed the multiple storylines and the nursing setting of this book. It is well written and a good read.
    Published 26 days ago by Teabags
    3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story...cut short.
    Easy to get into this story. Characters were well developed. I would have given this novel a better rating but....the ending...really??!! BOOM was over! Read more
    Published 1 month ago by mary1daful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Very interesting, but leaves you hanging. This I don't like. My wife was a nurse. This brings back good memories.
    Published 1 month ago by Marvin L. Suthers
    5.0 out of 5 stars the Nightingale Girls
    A wonderful read !!!!!! Stories of Nursing Students back in the day entwined with wonderful characters and their very human stories!
    Published 1 month ago by Brenda Lowry
    3.0 out of 5 stars A nice little read
    Nothing deep about the story. But pleasant characters versus nasty characters, set in a teaching hospital in the 1930s -- nice, easy read when I was down with a bad cold. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Haven Healer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good story
    An enjoyable read, a somewhat simplified version of Call the Midwife, very interesting. - and the seller was excellent.
    Published 1 month ago by geekgirl
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good opening to a new series
    This book takes me back in time when I first began taking my reading for pleasure from the age of 16 apart from school books! Read more
    Published 1 month ago by read-along-with-sue
    4.0 out of 5 stars cute
    Cute, quick read. I will definitely look at the next book in the series. This would make a great Telly series
    Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
    2.0 out of 5 stars Good, but multiple POV perspecitve got on my nerves.
    I found I enjoyed the writing, even if some tropes seemed a bit typical. (More later). What killed it for me is the author just head hops around the ward making the writing very... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Serene Night
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