Thursday 7 May 2015

Nightingales At War by Donna Douglas *** BLOG TOUR ***

As the war takes its toll, the Nightingale nurses must do their bit for king and country…
Dora is the devoted mother of twin babies but, determined to help the war effort, she goes back to work at the Nightingale Hospital.
More used to nights out in the West End, Jennifer and Cissy volunteer in the hope of tending to handsome soldiers. They soon find out that nursing isn’t quite what they were expecting.
For shy and troubled Eve, the hospital provides an escape from the pressures of home, but the life of a nurse is never easy, especially at wartime.
Can the nurses rally together while war rages all around them? And will the Nightingale Hospital survive the Blitz?

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Nightingales at War by Donna Douglas, published in paperback and ebook by Arrow on 7 May 2015.

Nightingales at War is the fifth in the Nightingales series, I have previously reviewed the first four books here on Random Things; The Nightingale Girls (September 2012); The Nightingale Sisters (April 2013); The Nightingale Nurses (November 2013) and Nightingales on Call (April 2014).

Although the Nightingales are something of a departure from my usual reading, I really enjoy this series and look forward to each new instalment. Donna Douglas continues to write engaging and dramatic stories, this time the Nightingale Nurses are having to deal with the atrocities of war. Not only nursing the wounded, but also worrying and wondering about their own loved ones, fighting overseas.

Dora is the lead character in this story. She's now married but has returned to nursing to help the war effort, and to try to keep herself busy and prevent her from fretting about her husband Nick who is posted overseas.

The reader is also introduced to new characters, this time the volunteer nurses; the VADs, rather than the students of previous books in the series.

As always, Donna Douglas captures the life of these amazing women so well. I was amazed when I learnt that the author was not a trained nurse, she has certainly done some fabulous research, and Nightingales at War is another wonderful addition to this great series.

I'm pleased to welcome the author, Donna Douglas to Random Things today. Donna shares with us her top five favourite books;

My top five all-time favourite books? Hmm, that’s a difficult one. I love all kinds of different genres, from Young Adults to sci-fi, as long as it has a story that reels me in and keeps me guessing right till the end with lots of plot twists and turns, and strong characters who live on in my imagination long after the book is over. My favourite book is generally the one I’m reading at that moment, but there are some that have stood the test of time, and that I’ll happily read over and over again. So here, in no particular order, are my top five…

ToKill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
 I must confess I hadn’t read this book until about ten years ago, but I’ve lost count of the times I read it since! It’s by no means a lengthy book, but it still packs a powerful emotional punch. It looks at racism through the eyes of a child, so it manages to get a very strong message across in a very simple way. It’s also touching, warm and full of memorable characters. And forget Mr Darcy – Atticus Finch is just about my perfect romantic hero!

Room (Emma Donoghue)
Another story told through the eye of a child, and just as disturbing. Five year old Jack has spent his whole life with his mother in a small room. As the story unfolds, you find out why he’d never seen the outside world. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s a wonderful, life-affirming story. I loved Jack, and I guarantee you will too.

Riders(Jilly Cooper)
Not exactly a literary heavyweight, but a heavyweight all the same (seriously, it could double as a doorstop). This eighties blockbuster is my all-time comfort read, the kind of book you just want to snuggle up in bed with when you’re under the weather. It follows the intense rivalry between Jake, a downtrodden gypsy boy with a gift for riding horses, and dastardly but sexy toff showjumper Rupert Campbell-Black.  It’s a classic bonkbuster, but one with real heart.

TheL-Shaped Room (Lynne Reid Banks)
This coming-of-age novel reminds me of my teenage years. Not that I spent my teenage years pregnant in an angsty London bedsit, you understand. But I read it when I was in my late teens, and I really felt for lonely single mum-to-be Jane, isolated from her uncaring father, who finds unexpected support from her new ‘family’ of colourful neighbours. 

JaneEyre (Charlotte Bronte)
I had to include at least one ‘classic’, and this is my absolute favourite. To be fair, it was always a toss-up between Charlotte and her sister Emily’s masterpiece Wuthering Heights, but having read both again recently I realised that Heathcliff wasn’t actually the tragically misunderstood hero I’d always imagined he was, but a bully with a personality disorder. I know Mr Rochester isn’t exactly perfect, but resourceful, stoical Jane has a lot more going for her than WH’s flaky Cathy, which is why Jane Eyre gets my vote. 

Donna Douglas lives in York with her husband and daughter. 

Besides writing novels, she is also a very well-respected freelance journalist and has written many features for the Daily Mail.

For more information about Donna; 
please visit her blog; 

Follow her on Twitter @donnahay1

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