The Fire by Night

The Fire by Night

Book - 2017
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A powerful and evocative debut novel about two American military nurses during World War II that illuminates the unsung heroism of women who risked their lives in the fight--a riveting saga of friendship, valor, sacrifice, and survival combining the grit and selflessness of Band of Brothers with the emotional resonance of The Nightingale.

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.

Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062459107
Branch Call Number: MESSINEO
Characteristics: 306 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

"This untold story of the women of the Army Nursing Corps, who did everything in their power to keep soldiers alive while maintaining their own sanity and health, will inspire readers of dramatic historical novels to celebrate the resiliency of humanity through hope, grit, and first loves.&q... Read More »

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Mar 07, 2017

Fantastic So much like my aunt a nurse described in her ordeal with being in a prison camp in the Korea War. A lot of history, and a great telling of its story

Feb 22, 2017

This is an extensively researched novel about the tribulations of two American war time nurses - and the war itself. Almost from page 1 the stories are grim and the misery seems unending. The evil, depravation, and human suffering are a constant that is difficult, at times, to read. The author makes a good point of validating the contribution of women (in this case nurses), and depicting how sexism still interfered with their ability to do this noble job. Interesting but difficult to read.


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