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Looking For Recommendations > Can you recommend literary fiction with nurse character?

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message 1: by Jane (new)

Jane Johnson | 3 comments Hello, my book club (not online) which is made up mostly of nurses would like to read some books that feature nurses as characters. But for the life of us, we can't seem to find any! Can anyone recommend recent quality fiction about nurses and nursing?


message 2: by Eva (new)

Eva Jane wrote: "Hello, my book club (not online) which is made up mostly of nurses would like to read some books that feature nurses as characters. But for the life of us, we can't seem to find any! Can anyone r..."

Yes! I recently read a wonderful novel-in-stories The Nightingales of Troy by Alice Fulton that features a funny, eccentric, willful, and dedicated nurse called Annie (named after Anne of Green Gables). The book begins with her birth and traverses the 20th century, showing her (and other characters) at different life stages. Only one chapter focuses entirely on Annie's nursing, though. It's the title story, and Nightingales refers to Florence Nightingales (and to the bird in other parts of the book.) Annie's mother, her sisters, and her daughter are strong women, too. One of them, Charlotte, is very unselfish and giving, but still has a wry sense of humor. The book is full of heart but not sentimental. It's beautifully written, poetic, in the best way. I mean, it's unpretentious, but the language is very moving. Some of the stories are sad, but some are a riot. In The Real Eleanor Rigby, Annie (the nurse) meets The Beatles with her teenaged daughter! The portrait of The Beatles is wonderful, believeable and funny. Annie is also at the center of the final story. By then, she's lived through most of the century and is 90-some years old. She is a memorable character and a great antidote to Nurse Ratchet and Cherry Ames, though as mentioned, only one story (set in the 1930s) focuses on her nursing. Details of that time seem right, and the old medical techniques would probably be interesting to a group of nurses. They were to me.

You're right that it's hard to think of books with nurses at the center. I've been thinking, and this is the only one I can come up with. Eva


message 3: by Petra X (new)

Petra X (PetraX) These are all novels, I've read some of them.

1 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (a Jack Nicholson film)
2 The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon (historical fiction
3 The Pain Nurse by Jon Talton (mystery)
4 Promise Not to Tell A Novel by Jennifer McMahon (mystery, nurse as investigator)
5 Billionaire Doctor, Ordinary Nurse by Carol Marinelli (Harlequin romance)
6 Love Takes Wing by Janette Oke (Christian historical romance)
7 Critical Care by Candace Calvert (Christian contemporary romance)
8 Cereus Blooms at Night A Novel by Shani Mootoo (male nurse)
9 Never Change by Elizabeth Berg (older spinster nurse, good author)
10 Hummingbird House by Patricia Henley (midwife, political)
11 With a Vengeance by Eileen Dreyer (hospital crime)

I don't know if I would call them all quality fiction, but Elizabeth Berg, Ken Kesey, Patricia Henley and Shani Mootoo's books would definitely fall into that category.


message 4: by Eva (new)

Eva Jane wrote: "Hello, my book club (not online) which is made up mostly of nurses would like to read some books that feature nurses as characters. But for the life of us, we can't seem to find any! Can anyone r..."

I just thought of another one... The Memory Keeper's Daughter. But I can't recommend that book. It reminded me of a made-for-TV movie. As for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, yes, there's Nurse Rachet. She is an unforgettable but a real villain, as you probably know.



JG (The Introverted Reader) I know someone else asked this question some time ago, let me see if I can find it...

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/7...

Maybe that will give you some ideas too. I'm drawing a big blank.


message 6: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 163 comments I would recommend Maisie Dobbs by Jaqueline Winspear. The main character was a battlefield nurse during WWI. The 2nd in the series deals with the emotional toll that took on her.


message 7: by Jane (new)

Jane Johnson | 3 comments Petra X wrote: "These are all novels, I've read some of them.

1 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (a Jack Nicholson film)
2 The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon (..."


Brenda wrote: "I would recommend Maisie Dobbs by Jaqueline Winspear. The main character was a battlefield nurse during WWI. The 2nd in the series deals with the emotional toll that took on her."

Thanks for the great tips! I read Nightingales of Troy after seeing a review somewhere, probably NY Times, and I loved Nurse Garrahan! What a raver, but also as she might say, a good soul. I'd like the whole group to discuss that book, but we need more. We're gonna do nurses the way other groups do vampires. All nurses all the time. Only kidding, but at least till we get sick of ourselves. Petra, the books by Berg, Henley, and Mootoo are new to me, and they sound perfect. Same for Winspear. Thanks so much!



message 8: by Grace (new)

Grace (LovecraftLass) | 855 comments This isn't fiction but I would recommend it to anybody. It's A Piece of My Heart The Stories of 26 American Women Who Served in Vietnam and it is a great, thought=provoking book. I picked it up on a whim on a lunch break and I hated to go back to work. I just wanted to sit in my car and read the whole thing.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 1733 comments Seconding the Maisie Dobbs books.


message 10: by Ingrid (new)

Ingrid (shawtygurl15) ummm...I don't know if this counts but one of the protagonist is a nurse...The World According to Garp...


message 11: by Jane (new)

Jane Johnson | 3 comments JG wrote: "I know someone else asked this question some time ago, let me see if I can find it...

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/7...

Maybe that will give you so..."


Thank JG, what a helpful thread! Jane




message 12: by Diane D. (new)

Diane D. Atonement - Briony grows up and becomes a nurse. Her sister, Cecilia is also a nurse. Not necessarily the primary focus of the story, but they are both nurses.


message 13: by Emily (new)

Emily I was about to suggest The World According to Garp too, but wasn't sure if that's what she meant. I would definitely second that recommendation!


message 14: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Olson (sandra100) It's a little late to get in on this comment section, but: I'm an RN and I can recommend three great books with nurses as main characters.
1- Rebirth- medical thriller centering around OB.
2- Murder by Proxy - medical thriller centering around NICU babies.
3- The Turquoise Cross - romantic thriller with a nurse as a heroine.
Find them available at http://amazon.com/author/sandraolson


message 15: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Akers | 5 comments Nurse character as the protagonist...

Son Of Adam by Matthew Akers
by
Matthew Akers

http://www.sonofadam.org


message 16: by Kent (new)

Kent Winward (kentwinward) | 3 comments A Farewell to Arms - Hemmingway


message 17: by Aoibhínn (new)


message 18: by Ingrid (new)

Ingrid (shawtygurl15) the world according to garp


message 19: by Linda (new)

Linda (goodreadscomlindaboyer) The Bungalow by Sarah Jio


message 20: by Jan (new)

Jan (Citereh) | 5 comments Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. You will either love it or hate it!


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Nightingales of Troy: Stories of One Family's Century (other topics)
The Rose of Sebastopol (other topics)
Cereus Blooms at Night (other topics)
Critical Care (other topics)
With a Vengeance (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Matthew Akers (other topics)