This is a story of human frailty, fortitude and love, intermingling to offer a taste of an age long gone. It embodies the problems the nurses and Florence Nightingale encountered in the Crimea and the highs and lows in the Scutari hospitals, also the unselfish sacrifices a woman can make when truly concerned about another’s happiness. Whilst the brave soldiers endure hell in military hospitals, Seventeen year old Isobel Spry leaves her rural upper class life to journey to Scutari and into a Crimean War situation to follow her lover. En route she meets Meriel who is escaping her father’s wrath. Whilst in the Barrack Hospital they work closely together, from sitting making stump pillows and scrubbing floors to crying over the futile deaths of patients. Together they confront the harsh realities of war, encountering disease, mutilation and death in all their most appalling and horrifying forms, and where homesickness and tiredness are occupational hazards. Anguish comes in the form of Lottie Wilkins who is a general troublemaker from the London rookeries and who attempts to separate the friends with lies. There is a contrast of backgrounds and personalities, from the refined, educated ladies to the coarseness of the nurses, and the alleged proselytism by the nuns. Love can blossom amid despair, but lies can destroy.
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