Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Susanne Dunlap, IN THE SHADOW OF THE LAMP
I'm a sucker for all things Victorian YA, so I picked this up. Molly Fraser, age 16, is kicked out of her position as a servant in a wealthy household and, based on her experience of laying her cool hands on a dying girl's neck, decides she wants to be a nurse and applies to be included in Nightingale's nurses headed to the Crimean War. There she befriends Emma, a former prostitute. Molly falls sort of in love with a doctor, but remembers fondly young Will who was a valet in her former household. The cover asks, "Can a young nurse's love survive war?" But a love triangle (sketched lightly) just isn't as compelling, to me, as some interesting plot elements that could have come naturally to a book set in a war zone. I liked the research, though, particularly the parts about Mother Seacole, the Jamaican who set up as a nurse separately from Nightingale.