FIRE BY NIGHT Written by Teresa Messineo
2017; 320 Pages (William Morrow)
Genre: historical fiction, nurses, world war II, romanace
(I received an ARC from the EDELWEISS)
RATING: ★★ 1/2
“In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school.
Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can . . . and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more.
When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place—and the hope of love—in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.” (From Publisher)
I was SUPER excited to read this novel as it was the nurses of WWII that were the main characters. As I started reading I was impressed with the writer’s research and writing. Several chapters in…it was started to read like a Nicholas Sparks novel. Now, I read Sparks (though I have not read anything in awhile) and enjoy his books, but I have to be in a certain mood for it. The predictability of sorrow, sappy romance and hope of HEA (happily ever after). I was looking for more of…Saving Private Ryan meets Call the Midwife. I gave this book two and a half stars for the writing and research. I might have liked this novel more if I read it in a different frame of mind. You let me know!