This book took me by complete surprise. It’s a love story, but truly the love story is in the background foreshadowed by the brutality and harshness of war. The narrative is quietly powerful in its unique perspective of war.
The momentum builds as the love story forms before it is fractured by war. In the trenches an ongoing reminder of the cruelty and reality of combat. Doon paints a setting clearly depicting the destructiveness of war and its unmistakable impact on many.
As the story progresses, you understand as battle rages on, people’s lives came to a virtual standstill. Promises broken, expectations unmeant, dreams postponed, hopes extinguished, faith questioned, a time leaving all in limbo. The agony, suffering, loss and small samplings of joy were described wonderfully by Doon. She manages to capture the sacrifices and difficult choices faced, truly an affecting moment in history.
Doon cleverly tells the story from two very interesting and unique perspectives, a German family, and a German war nurse in the battlefield. Unique due to the fact you experience what a German family faced by Americans complete with internment camps. This original perspective added depth and dimension to the entire story, creating a high level of interest.
Katarina is a woman of incredible strength, her endurance is beyond comprehension. Her fight to survive is compelling, her anguish over her choices leaves you emotionally raw. Her predicament leaves you cringing and touched. She is quite a heroine among many others surrounding her. Courage and strength seemed necessary for every day survival during this intense violent time.
This is much more than a wartime love story, it’s a story of family, choices, survival, hopelessness and devastation. A novel encompassing so much during a horrific time demanding so much from so many caught in crossfire.
This historical thriller begins on the eve of WWII in the Philippines. Katarina Stahl an American Red Cross nurse, is the happiest she’s ever been in her life. She’s making love and playing music with Jack Gallagher in an idyllic paradise. Their medical mission is over, the boat tickets to home are purchased, and all that remains is to fly a sick child to the hospital at Clark Air Field.
She never expected to witness bombs falling out of planes. In those terrifying first minutes, she frees a German doctor accused of spying and saves his life. She turns to nursing the injured, unaware she’s unleashed an obsession more dangerous to her and those she loves, than the war she’s trapped in.
Doctor von Wettin, the man she freed, finds Katarina pregnant and starving in a POW camp after the surrender. He begs her to nurse his bed-ridden wife. She knows other Americans will despise her, but wants her baby to live after surviving Bataan. Their uneasy alliance is destroyed when she discovers he exploited Red Cross diplomatic channels and contacts at the German embassy to wire money to her parents. His benevolent mask slips when he informs her that her brothers and parents are interned on Ellis Island.
When the Stahl family is swept up in the FBI’s dragnet, Josep Stahl believes it’s all a misunderstanding. He’s interrogated like a criminal at the city jail, a military camp, Ellis Island, and then the civilian internment camps in Texas. His anger and pride blind him. One by one in this painful family drama, his wife and sons join him behind barbed wire in. There they face ostracism, segregation, and, most frightening, repatriation.
Katarina begins an even more terrifying journey into depraved darkness as Manila descends into occupation and chaos. The doctor threatens everyone she loves: infant son, POW husband, and Filipino friends. She’ll do anything to protect them; she lies, steals, and smuggles. As the war turns against the Japanese, they withhold the doctor’s wife’s life-saving medications until he finds a hidden radio inside the civilian internment camp. If Katarina refuses to help him, her son pays the price.
Survival has corrupted Katarina; but she’s not about to become his camp rat. After years of hell, she’s earned her nickname, war nurse. Doctor von Wettin is about to find out what that means.
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R.V. Doon is a bookie! Seriously, she’s an avid reader who also loves to write. She writes across genres, but confesses she’s partial to historical fiction and medical thrillers. She’s addicted to black coffee, milk chocolate, and raspberries. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s learning to sail. Doon reports after a career of implementing doctor’s orders, she’s having trouble being a deck hand and following the captain’s orders. Doon lives in Mobile, Alabama, a haunted and historical city, with her husband and two dogs.
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The War Nurse Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, November 24
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, November 25
Review at Unshelfish
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Wednesday, November 26
Guest Post at What Is That Book About
Thursday, November 27
Spotlight at Book Babe
Friday, November 28
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection
Saturday, November 29
Spotlight at Passages to the Past
Sunday, November 30
Review at Carole’s Ramblings
Monday, December 1
Review at Luxury Reading
Tuesday, December 2
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Wednesday, December 3
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, December 4
Spotlight at Boom Baby Reviews
Review at Svetlana Reads and Views
Friday, December 5
Spotlight at Caroline Wilson Writes