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Band of Angels

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  642 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
A story of courage, passion, and heroism set against one of the most traumatic wars in history.

Growing up in Wales, Catherine Carreg has been allowed to run wild, spending her childhood racing ponies along the beach with her friend Deio, the cattle-driver’s son. But Catherine is consumed by a longing to escape the monotony of village life and runs away to London with Deio’
Paperback, 444 pages
Published May 18th 2010 by Touchstone (first published January 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30)
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Catherine Carreg, unhappy with her life in Wales, dreams of running away to London and convinces long time friend Deio Jones to help her do it - dressed as a man and on a cattle drive to boot. Once in London without many options for her, she takes employment at Florence Nightingale's home for sick governesses and she signs up to follow Miss Nightingale to aid the wounded in the Crimean war. Catherine and her fellow nurses are in for quite a shock at the brutal conditions in the Scutari hospital, ...more
Shonna Froebel
Jul 23, 2016 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it
This novel begins in Wales in the mid-1850s where Catherine Carreg was allowed to grow up freely, running around with the young son of the local drover Deio, riding horses and spending lots of time outdoors. But now she is growing up and her parents are restricting her to more ladylike activities, something she finds hard to adjust to. When a medical tragedy hits her family and Catherine is the only one on hand, she realizes how helpless she is and determines to overcome this lack of knowledge.
Pamela Pickering
Oct 08, 2010 Pamela Pickering rated it liked it
What to say on this one? I really liked Gregson's East of the Sun but just couldn't find the same level of appreciation for this one. Although I tore through it rather quickly it seemed like it just lacked depth and character development. Despite depicting the hardships of the Crimean War, it eventually did not seem more than a run of the mill romance novel. For that I would normally rate a 2 but I still found myself coming frequently back to the book to finish it.
Πάνος Τουρλής
Μπορεί να κινούμαστε στα ίδια μοτίβα με το επόμενο βιβλίο της συγγραφέως, το Γιασεμί της ανατολής (ένας άντρας αγαπάει μία γυναίκα και οι περιστάσεις τους χωρίζουν αλλά ο έρωτάς τους θεριεύει με την απόσταση και όταν επιτέλους οι συνθήκες τους φγέρνουν κοντά ζουν την απόλυτη ευτυχία), όμως αυτό το βιβλίο το θεωρώ κάπως καλύτερο. Πιο μεστό, πιο βαθύ σε χαρακτήρες, πιο λυρικό σε περιγραφές και ρομαντισμό. Φυσικά όλα τα βιβλία της συγγραφέως είναι εξαιρετικά καλογραμμένα, με φοβερές εικόνες και ...more
Sehar  Moughal
Sep 24, 2016 Sehar Moughal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: collectables
A great historical fiction about war of men, unsolicited role of women and...horses.
Aug 24, 2010 Carey rated it really liked it
Catherine Carreg grew up in Wales, racing horses down the beach with her neighbor, Deio Jones. Though her father, a gentleman farmer, considered their family far above the Jones family in social status, her mother's frail health created the opportunity for Catherine to spend quite a lot of time with them. The Jones family was a haven for Catherine and she developed a deep love for Deio.

As they grew older, the talk began. A young woman should not be spending time alone with a young man, especiall
Feb 25, 2014 Littlebookworm rated it it was ok
Set during the Crimean War, this is the story of Catherine Carreg, a young Welsh farmer's daughter, who runs away from her restricted home life hoping to find her place in the world. Catherine's adventures takes her from working in a home for invalid governesses in London to joining Florence Nightingale's brigade of nurses to the Crimea. Her journey and experiences wake Catherine up to the harsh realities of the wider world, though through her hardships she also makes some good friends as she ...more
Kate Winiarska
Sep 01, 2011 Kate Winiarska rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Water Horse was a fantastic read and definitely deserves all the praise it can get.

I'm a huge fan of anything to do with medical history, so this book was a real treat for me.

Florence Nightingale for me, was a name I recognised yet did not know a huge amount about, but after reading The Water Horse I know a little more and I'm very interested to find out more about the Crimean War and Florence Nightingale, as well as doctors and nurses in that era.

Considering that Julia Gregson based the sto
Marina Maidou
Mar 26, 2014 Marina Maidou rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sue Myers
Jan 24, 2016 Sue Myers rated it really liked it
This historical fiction caught my eye because it was about the Crimean War which I knew little about. A Welsh girl, Catherine, grows up as a spirited headstrong, decisive girl, bothered by the restraints of polite society. When her father bans her from seeing Deio Jones, a childhood friend and riding partner, Cath conspires with Deio to run away to London and become a nurse. With the help of a friend she lands a job at the prestigious nursing home whose head is Florence Nightingale. Experiences ...more
Jul 23, 2011 Highland-dreamer rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 23, 2013 Lin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure if I wanted to allocate 2 or 3 stars. 3 Stars beause I kept reading the book to the end, 2 stars for the ending. I was reading, turned the page and there were the "Reading Notes". The book needed another 2 to 3 chapers to wrap up some issues. The book had so much potential, girl's mother dies, she feels helpless, wants to learn more to help, goes to London, works for Florence Nightingales, ends up at Scutari - but the book just fell flat. The descriptions of the conditions in the ...more
Jayne Charles
This promised much but ultimately I was disappointed. It wasn’t the quality of the writing – that was excellent throughout. As in her other novels, Julia Gregson proves up to the task of describing any setting with skill and confidence, and with the depth of detail that makes it believable. She also does a great job of bringing Florence Nightingale to life – quite different from the image I always had of her. We are reminded again and again of the squalid conditions in which wars are fought. I ...more
May 15, 2012 Janet rated it it was ok
This isn't a book you read while you eat, that's for sure-I skipped over most of the scenes at the hospital once the nurses were allowed to work with the patients, the author sure does a good job of making sure you know what gruesome horrors there were. It's amazing that anyone at all survived being wounded in that war, given the lack of disinfectants. I thought that if the book had been more about a young woman seeking independence in the mid-19th century, it would have been better, but it ...more
Jul 15, 2011 Khuck rated it really liked it
Nurses are such heroes,and Julia Gregson's Band of Angels relays the story of some of England's first nurses as they join men for the first time along the battlefronts in the Crimean War. Catherine Carreg is too young and medically uneducated to keep her mother from dying in childbirth, and this propels her to seek out Florence Nightingale and a career in nursing. Gregson's novel deftly depicts the gory, raw details about war and the cold, brutal choices many women are forced to make or live ...more
Aug 22, 2010 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I enjoyed receiving and reading this firstreads giveaway. I learned about the conditions in the hospitals where nurses, for the first time, worked to give the basics of care to wounded and dying soldiers during the Crimean War. During this era, nursing was not a profession that was high status or well respected. The main character, Catherine, had noble ambitions but she was young and unaware of the stuggles that she would face as a nurse in a war. The story was well-developed and interesting. I ...more
Jun 21, 2012 Debbie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Debbie by:
A fine historical fiction set in the 1850s, primarily in the region of the Crimean War. The book shows a sickenly brutal war in which it is amazing that anyone survived typhus, cholera, septic wounds, hunger and freezing. The book shows a casual disregard and abuse of common soldiers and horses, not to mention the women, who have no position and can be used and abused at the whim of men and society. This all makes the book sound darker than it is, but it does show a particularly serious attitude ...more
May 04, 2011 alysa rated it did not like it
I was very disappointed in this book. I thought it would be a historically significant book about the birth of nursing. It was a cheap, very unrealistic romance novel. It was set at the time of Florence Nightengale, the mother of nursing. I really wonder if any part of the book was historically accurate. The author became so lazy in the writing, that I wonder if she ever did any research into the history of the facts. She reaches a point in the book that rather than spelling out her secondary ...more
Apr 02, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
Another book that was not at all what I expected it to be... A young women runs away from heartbreak and home to become a nurse with Florance Nightingale, but nothing turns out as to be expected, no school girl romance in these pages. Death, politics, female nurses with no training, no supplies at foreign hospitals where they aren't wanted, fed or are able to help much or make a real difference in the piles of soldiers dying in mass around them. Rape and heartbreak, but perhaps a small shimmer ...more
May 13, 2015 Anne rated it did not like it
I liked Jasmine Nights and East of Eden; however, this one was depressing and lacked a strong conclusion of events. There was a lot left at the end that should have been resolved, rather than just left. The story is about a woman from Wales who is a nurse during the Crimean War; which I had heard about, but never knew the conditions were so terrible. This is an eye-opener that could've also used (perhaps) an explanation or a little note at the end about the historicity of it all. It still kept ...more
Erica Anderson
Not really sure how to categorize this. It's historical fiction with a bit of romance set in London and the Crimea. I feel as though I should have enjoyed it more than I did, since it dealt with medical history and has an unusual setting--Constantinople and the Black Sea. Gregson does a great job with conveying the disgusting conditions of army 'hospitals' in the mid-1800s; you can almost smell the stench and feel the cold. But I don't feel as though I ever really connected with the main ...more
Dec 10, 2010 Stuart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was ok (teen romance I suppose) but the insight into the Crimean War was quite horrific. I realise these were hard times even in mid 19th century Britain compared to now, but life for both the soldiers and the nurses who looked after them at Scutari was unbelievably bad. I dont know if there is a follow-up book but the tale of the young couple reunited at Balaclava seems to peter out at the end. The role of Florence Nightingale is also by-passed apart from allowing young Catherine to ...more
Jun 24, 2010 Adriane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Excellent - a rather grimly graphic but fascinating tale set during the Crimean War. One thing happily surprised me - although there is a "love" story, it is secondary to the main characters search for self. Made for a deeper, less formulaic story.

As a side note - the "character" of Florence Nightengale is NOT what I expected. She's really quite unsympathetically written - as if, although she gets some kudos as her due, she is really a rather unlikeable human being. Not sure where the truth lie
Dec 20, 2012 Georgia rated it really liked it
Πάρα πολύ ωραίο βιβλίο. Γραμμένο στο πνεύμα της εποχής στην οποία διαδραματίζεται.
Η Κάθριν, που ουσιαστικά δεν έχει ακόμα γνωρίσει τον εαυτό της και τι μπορεί να αισθανθεί, μετά από ένα συγκλονιστικό γεγονός, αποφασίζει να γίνει γιατρός και να σώζει ζωές. Στην Αγγλία όμως εκείνης της αποχής αυτό απαγορεύεται κι έτσι αποφασίζει να γίνει νοσοκόμα και καταλήγει στην Κριμαία. Τότε πια τα συναισθήματα της είναι ξεκάθαρα και εύχεται να το είχε συνειδητοποιήσει νωρίτερα και να μην είχε αφήσει όλο αυτό
Mirah W
Jul 28, 2011 Mirah W rated it really liked it
Catherine was a gutsy woman for her time Gregson did a great job creating the character of Catherine and allowing her opportunties to grow as a character. Her relationship with Deio was a little hard to understand somtimes, but that's pretty common with young love, and they didn't use the best communication with one another. The battle scenes and descriptions of the hospitals were disturbing, but appropriate. Overall, a great tale of endurance and courage.
Kristen Schrader (Wenke)
A novel of the Crimean War and Florence Nightingale's Band of Angel nurses.

A high school literature teacher once told me that after so much tragedy in Hamlet, we the audience need the gravedigger so we don't slit our wrists.

This novel needs its own gravedigger to give us a break from the constant tragedy. And sexual assault. And death.

Also, too many characters see introduced and then suddenly dropped, never to be heard from again.
Jan 11, 2014 Els rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book seemed promising at the start, but I was disappointed reading this, although still hopeful and continued to the end. I feel it was basically a romance, which is not my favourite genre, and in the middle of the book, the war scenes were described quite without eliciting any emotions - but perhaps that suits the bleakness of the setting. Not a satisfying read but it was recommended to me. Some interesting characters and now I do wonder what Florence Nightingale was really like...
Aug 09, 2010 Connie rated it really liked it
Geez, talk about nothing ever going right. Poor Catherine, not a damn thing turned out the way she hoped.

I did enjoy her love story with Deio and all that she went through to finally stop running away, and I thought the way they came together in the end was perfect. They were full of grief and weariness and end was very fitting.

Some of the hospital parts were just too sickening, and I did do some skimming, because of the grose factor. Seriously, I got nauseous.

Good story.
Jun 22, 2010 Nathalie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This could have been an awesome historical fiction story... I kept reading hoping that the storyline would improve - then I realized that what bothered me wasn't the storyline, it was the writing itself. Very choppy and I never felt like the author followed through with some great storyline opportunities to dig a little deeper. Overall I was disappointed in this book that maybe I had too high of expectations for.
Peter Jowers
Jun 22, 2014 Peter Jowers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My interest in reading this book was because an ancestor of mine was wounded at the siege of the Redan (which doesn't feature in the book). His mother then took herself out there to nurse him having no faith in the nursing of the day! She must have had a bit of aggro with Florence Nightingale who features in this well researched fiction!
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My father was in the Air Force, so after thirteen schools I left early longing to travel and have adventures. I worked as a jillaroo in the Australian outback, a girl groom, a shearer’s cook, a secretary, a hospital cleaner, and later, back in England, as a house model for Hardy Amies in London.

In the seventies, and back in Australia again, love of horses led to riding out with Mick Jagger on the
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