7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The horrors of war, from the nurse's viewpoint,
This review is from: Band of Angels: A Novel (Paperback)Catherine Carreg, unhappy with her life in Wales, dreams of running away to London and convinces long time friend Deio Jones to help her do it - dressed as a man and on a cattle drive to boot. Once in London without many options for her, she takes employment at Florence Nightingale's home for sick governesses and she signs up to follow Miss Nightingale to aid the wounded in the Crimean war. Catherine and her fellow nurses are in for quite a shock at the brutal conditions in the Scutari hospital, and that includes what the nurses must endure as well - although Miss Nightingale does seem to live more comfortably.
Meantime Deio gets it into his head to take his horses to the Crimea where healthy horseflesh is in great demand and through one circumstance and another ends up with a commission in the now rag-tag and poorly prepared British army. Now that he realizes he loves Catherine will he find her in time? Or will he just give up and go to sleep in the bitter Russian winter like the other soldiers? Can Catherine escape the clutches of the lecherous, evil Doctor Cavendish?
Definitely sounds like an interesting read and plenty of story potential, but this book just didn't quite gel for this reader. Catherine and Deio didn't have enough chemistry to sizzle off the pages, and it really, really took too long for the story to move to Turkey - I found myself skimming more than I should. That said, the scenes in the hospital and the suffering endured by all due to poor management, extreme graft and stupid government officials will rip your heart out at the injustice of it all - and don't be snacking on much in the latter third of the book either (unless you want to lose it). In the end, it is a good book just not a great one.
Note, this book was previously published under the title The Water Horse, so if you own that one you don't need to own this one as well.
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Initial post: Jun 15, 2010 1:07:22 PM PDT
Thanks Misfit for that review. I had looked at it at the store the other day and was iffy on buying it because I had gotten her other book East of the Sun as Vine choice ARC and couldnt finish it. When you said it took a long time to get to the part of Turkey, that convinced me right there to give it a miss. Thanks for saving me on that one, you and i have communicated before and i trust your judgement. I just read The Queen's Dollmaker, that was very good, check it out. Jeannie Mancini/vernefan
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2010 1:20:33 PM PDT
Jeannie, definitely a library book. I started the Queen's Dollmaker but bailed early it just wasn't working for me.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2010 1:35:26 PM PDT
I think you gave up too soon. I almost bailed too thinking it was too light and fluffy but as you move along, the story and the writing gets better and better and better. I was really glad I stuck with it. I did post a book review on it. Check it out in case you want to give it another go. Thanks for the note.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2010 2:32:36 PM PDT
I probably would but I refuse to read a book wherein an author and/or her friend has attacked a critical reviewer on Amazon. Everyone was either really really bad or really really good and that's something I loathe.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2010 7:06:20 AM PDT
I just read the posts and reviews to see what you were talking about. In this case I guess I would have to agree that that kind of behavior is unacceptable. It's funny, I do find that when I myself post a sort of negative review, I instantly get NOT HELPFUL and get many more helpful votes when I give a book a glowing review. People can be so hurtful and instantly vendictive it's amazing. Stay tuned and in touch..Jeannie
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2010 5:07:32 PM PDT
Oh I hate those negs and you can tell when it's coming from author and/or pals - all the three star and less get the same amount of negative votes. They don't think we're smart enough to know....
Check this out plus the comments at the three star review, http://www.amazon.com/review/R3NGUFUK2M08WL/ref=cm_cd_notf_message?ie=UTF8&cdForum=Fx19IL5BQAXGBXN&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx2WC9NTPCF971I#Mx2ZX883WFS1CLV
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2010 10:48:48 AM PDT
THAT was eye-opening and beyond amazing. Good grief. I wouldnt read a book of hers if someone gave it to me after reading that stuff. To give ONESELF a five star review is beyond abominable, but to then slam reviewers...not cool in my book. Totally totally inappropriate and immature. oh well, thank the stars for good books and good kind hard working authors who really do appreciate all feedback. I get many emails from authors that have seen my reviews on different sites and mainly find them kind and appreciative. take care Misfit
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