Sunday, 10 May 2015

Review: Poppy in the Field - Mary Hooper

When Poppy learns that the love of her life, Freddie de Vere, is to marry someone else, she knows her heart will break. Devastated, she volunteers her nursing skills overseas to take her away from the painful reminders at home. But things are about to get much worse for Poppy. The journey to the hospital in Flanders is full of horrors, and when she arrives it is to find a spiteful ward Sister and unfriendly nurses. Despite her loneliness and homesickness, the dangers of frontline warfare soon make her forget her own troubles and Poppy finds that comfort for a broken heart can be found in the most unexpected places.

Brilliantly researched and inspired by real-life events, big and small, Poppy in the Field is a story about the forgotten bravery of women on the front line, told through the eyes of a young woman determined to play her part.

Poppy Series:
Poppy in the Field

Visit Mary Hooper's website for more information

I really loved the first book in this series, Poppy, when I read it last year so I've been desperately waiting to get my hands on this sequel. Once again Mary Hooper has written a fabulous story that gives so much insight into the lives of nurses during WWI, she is able to transport readers back in time and she includes so many little details that it feels like you're actually there.

During the previous book Poppy trained as a VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) nurse and we got to see first hand the long hours and amount of dedication the nurses put in to caring for wounded soldiers. While working in London Poppy was treating soldiers weeks after they'd received their initial injuries and she was more involved in their long term care but after having her heart broken she makes the decision that she can be of more help working closer to the front line. Poppy makes the journey to France where she begins work in one of the many makeshift hospitals that was set up in an old casino. Working incredibly long hours Poppy is exhausted, lonely and missing home but she finds comfort in the friendship she makes with some of her fellow nurses and she knows what a difference she is making to the lives of the solders she is treating.

I absolutely loved this book, not only is it incredibly informative but it's also superbly written and very easy to read. Poppy in the Field is the kind of story that you find yourself thinking about days after you finish reading it and the characters definitely stick with you. There are so many stories out there about the young men who gave their lives fighting for their country during the war but we always seem to hear a lot less about the sacrifices made by women so I really loved getting to see the war through a woman's eyes. The nurses who volunteered to go to the front lines were incredibly strong, courageous and hard working women who risked their own lives to help others. Their role was just as important to the war effort and they made the lives of the injured soldiers just that tiny bit easier. I think it's incredibly important for us to read stories like this one and for girls to have such fantastic role models to look up to.

This series has been fantastic and it's definitely one I'll read again in the future. Poppy's story was completely captivating, it isn't always an easy read and at times it will break your heart but it will also show you the true meaning of human resilience and prove just how much we're capable of if we really push ourselves.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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