Even obtaining the most basic supplies like beds and bandages is often difficult.
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MacColl does an admirable job of focusing on the humanity that often gets lost in the chaos of war. It would be impossible to tell the story of a war hospital without injured soldiers, but MacColl does not dwell on this fact.
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The soldiers, complete with grave injuries, missing limbs, and irreparable mental anguish, provide grim context for the story—they are the reason the hospital exists, after all—but really, the novel is about the women who run it. Iris becomes particularly close with Violet Heron, another young woman who is swept up in the initial excitement of doing her part for the war effort.
When she and Iris first start at Royaumont she is a giggly, wide-eyed young woman with dreams of romance and daring; midway through the novel she turns cynical and jaded, disgusted with the war and the loss of life it brings. Iris and her brother Tom are reunited, but she is unable to convince him to return to Australia with her.
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By this time, Iris herself is far too deep into the cause to return home, either, so both siblings remain in France. She is married with a family, and her young son Henry is having some physical difficulties that become increasingly worrisome. Who is this woman? Iris had assisted her husband in his medical practice, but Grace is amazed that Iris has an impressive medical background of her own.
In Falling Snow is a great book with a little bit of everything—history, family drama, romance, lighter moments with Iris and Violet, and even a little bit of mystery. Aug 27, Pages. Aug 27, Minutes. Iris, a young Australian nurse, travels to France during World War I to bring home her fifteen-year-old brother, who ran away to enlist.
In Falling Snow
But in Paris she meets the charismatic Dr. Frances Ivens, who convinces Iris to help establish a field hospital in the old abbey at Royaumont, staffed entirely by women—a decision that will change her life.
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Together their narratives paint a portrait of the changing role of women in medicine and the powerful legacy of love. Praise for In Falling Snow: An epic tale of love, heartache, and a sisterhood created by nursing in a time of war, In Falling Snow is one of those novels you will want to read again. Caught between the past and her impending mortality, Iris relives her life as a nurse in WWI, when she was too young to understand what her choices would mean not only for her, but for the family she cobbled together out of the rubble.
In Falling Snow — Mary-Rose MacColl
At once perceptive and sympathetic, In Falling Snow beguiles, a tale of selflessness and youthful indiscretion as singular and seductive as one could hope for. Mary-Rose MacColl brings the courageous women of Royaumont to vivid life as we follow their joys and sorrows, and discover secrets that will affect their families for generations to come. From past to present, Australia to France, MacColl guides readers through unknown lands abroad and territories of the heart.
MacColl brings to light the forgotten histories of the women of Royaumont hospital with engaging prose.
The lives of Iris and Grace are divided by several decades, but their career ambitions and the sacrifices they face are universal. Women as healers, family secrets, medical mysteries, historical setting—call the producers of Call the Midwife. Literary Fiction Military Fiction Category: Literary Fiction Military Fiction Audiobooks.