Hardened by her life with her embittered, greedy aunt, newly-qualified nurse Gwen Spencer is determined to devote her skills to the wounded soldiers of World War I. Convinced she has the “guts, nerves of steel, and tremendous heart” necessary, she is still unprepared for the horrors of the military hospitals and front-line aid stations. Her only relief from those horrors is a best friend from home, and the romantic attentions of Richard, a British nobleman whose family has been deeply damaged by the results of the conflict.
Jo-Ann Power has succeeded in depicting her chosen characters, setting, and plot vividly, and I was completely enthralled. I was particularly moved by the way she conveys the various ways this “war to end all wars” ravages all it touches. Gwen and Richard earn their happy ending, but a number of ongoing plot threads set the stage for the second book in the trilogy.