NetGalley is for book bloggers what Christmas toys catalogs used to be for kids. You browse through categories, always find something to your liking and lust after some stuff that your parents won’t ever agree to offer you. If you’re not familiar with the system, the thing is that you need to get approval from the publishing house to receive some books (not all though) and I haven’t yet been into it long enough to understand why I’m validated for some and denied others (that bit stings, I tell you!).
Anyway, I requested this title one afternoon when I was clearly in need for comfort. That’s retail-therapy for book lovers on a budget. The book choice is a bit out of character for me, but I have been known to enjoy Amish romances and read Call the midwife, so I’m going to own up to that one too.
This book is part of a series but easily reads as a standalone. I can understand why readers keep asking for more, because the stuff is pretty addictive, like a pink meringue! In this “episode” set in 1941-42, the Nightingale nurses are sent from Blitzed London to a small countryside hospital and they have to adjust to rough conditions, severe matrons and new friendships. The war and nursing environment provides a multitude of diverse profiles and opportunities for romance so that the plot never slows down. There are many different girls from various backgrounds, from the wealthy landlady who wants to be useful after losing her husband at war to the lowly orderly with low self-esteem, from the Irish hot-blooded flirt to the big city girl and each their own melodramatic story. No worry, all ends well, and no PG needed, all stays very chaste!
It reminded me of the movie and TV series Land girls, especially the part where a wealthy country estate is taken over by the army. I had fun while it lasted, and although the book won’t win big literary prizes, it was quite good as an escapist comfort read for colder evenings!