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The War Nurse

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  30 reviews
The War Nurse is a historical family saga and epic military romance set during WWII.

This historical thriller begins on the eve of WWII in the Philippines. Katarina Stahl an American Red Cross nurse, is the happiest she’s ever been in her life. She’s making love and playing music with Jack Gallagher in an idyllic paradise. Their medical mission is over, the boat tickets to
Kindle Edition, 1, 356 pages
Published January 14th 2014 by BRY Publishing (first published January 9th 2014)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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My nose for WWII literature has led me to a number of interesting titles. The Bone Church, Fires of London and The Wherewithal jump immediately to mind, but R.V. Doon's The War Nurse was different. Since reading Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides in 2009, I've been fascinated with the experiences of those caught behind enemy lines when Japan invaded the Philippines and hoped Doon's fiction would do justice to the history on whi
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book took me by complete surprise. It’s a love story, but truly the love story is in the background foreshadowed by the brutality and harshness of war. The narrative is quietly powerful in its unique perspective of war.

The momentum builds as the love story forms before it is fractured by war. In the trenches an ongoing reminder of the cruelty and reality of combat. Doon paints a setting clearly depicting the destructiveness of war and its unmistakable impact on many.

As the story progresses,
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. An eye opening lesson on WWII history that I was pretty much unaware of, or at least very naïve about. I'm glad I read it and I would recommend it to my friends who like WWII stories.
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am an avid reader of WW11 books, this was a great one. We know little of the nurses of that time and what they endured at the hands of the Japanese. Also we know more about the treatment of the people of Japanese origin than we of the Germans who either came from Germany legally or illegally before the war. This was an excellent insight into that. Thanks for the insight into both areas. Sad but good book.
Kelly Pugh
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hidden truths

Initially took a while to get into the book, but once got going couldn't put it down. The flip between the character's take on events and their situations during the war keeps you engaged and eager to read more. The character's truth behind the hard times of what they were faced with is both saddening and inspiring.
Ingrid Rose
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Ejoyable, but

I got sick of Jack calling Katarina "baby" all of the time. Maybe it's just me, but it began to sound shallow or condescending. I just wanted him to call her by a different endearment or maybe her name?!? The story was good, although stretching reality that a couple in war would meet up so often in different places. Nice story though.
Susan E Nordstrom
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
War Nurse

I liked this story very much. Some of the characters were well developed and the storyline was well thought out. The twin was a loose end that didn't belong in the story. I also felt the character Dr van Wettin wasn't right although he did have a place in the plot. Katarina was very well done and was a true heroine. I look forward to reading more by Doon.
Karen Kepner
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
War in the Philippines

This book was not was to read. It is graphic with the horrors of war and how humans become inhuman and inhuman. But t is also a story of love and hope, and strength of the human spirit against all odds. Disturbing and intense.
sabrina briggs
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing

A heartholding book because you never knew which way your heart was going to be taken. Whether you were in the Pacific or in the US. The cruelties of war and people in general. Would read more of this author books.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing

A must read for anyone that enjoys historical drama. The story is from a perspective we seldom see from this era.
Jenna Battaile
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perfect read!

A wonderfully written read! Loved every minute of it. Curl up with a blanket, your critters and a glass of wine. Treat yourself to this read!
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barbara Turkdal
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have started my personal journey of learning more about the Japanese part of WWII, which is the topic of this book. This novel puts you right in the action and describes very well the situations occurring, yet in terms that do not chase away the reader. Many aspects of WWII in America are brought to light. It was a fearful time for all. Who was on What side and How could you be sure? The levels of desperation were reflected in honest, truthful ways. I gave this historical novel 5 Stars. I am g ...more
Carole Rae
This took me a while to finish, because it was dark. Very, very dark. Yes, there is romance between Katarina and Jack, but that is a small light in the mist of darkness surrounding not only her but her family back in the US. While she is being a nurse on the front lines against the Japanese, her family is dealing with the government thinking they are German spies and arresting them thanks to one letter from good ol' Doctor von Wettin and because Josep and his wife never became citizens.

Poor Kata
Jess Bickerton
Feb 10, 2014 rated it liked it
I was really looking forward to reading this novel as I love history intertwined with a beautiful love story. But this book definitely surprised me as it's not the usual fairytale approach to a love story; it comes from a much darker, grittier place.

Although there are many occasions where R.V. Doon focuses on the love between Katarina and Jack, it is always interrupted by the horror of the war which is surrounding them. It is a stark reminder that it was a really difficult time, filled with dest
Kathleen Kelly
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The War Nurse tells the story of the Stahl Family during WWII. It takes place on two fronts, the Philippines and the US. Katerina Stahl is a nurse for the American Red Cross, while her parents, brothers and sister are in the US. Katerina and her fiance Jack Gallagher are scheduled to go home as their duties are done, but this is the eve of WWII and Pearl Harbor has been bombed and they end up staying and taking care of the injured. Meanwhile Katerina's family is taken into custody because they a ...more
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was anxious to read “The War Nurse” by R.V. Doon because I am a huge fan of all stories about World War II. This book is a fictional account of the lives of Red Cross nurses who were caught in the Philippines during the Japanese invasion. They were taken into the Army and served until the end of the war. Some were evacuated from Bataan, but some were not able to leave and were subsequently taken prisoner by the Japanese and sent to Santo Tomas camp in Manila. This story is about Katarina Stahl ...more
Marty Moore
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The War Nurse

This is a riveting tale of the horrors and struggles during WWII. The characters are vivid and you feel the pain and suffering as well as the eventual joy they endured. This book is gritty and in many places raw with emotion and descriptions of the ordeal that they endured throughout the war.
This is the first novel I've read of R.V. Doon, but it won't be the last. The writing was so real and mesmerizing that I didn't want to stop reading when life interrupted. That is a sign of a gr
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hfvbt
Copy received from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review

I absolutely loved this book. I loved the time period, the characters, the plot and the dialogue. Katarina was a fantastic heroine. She really added to the story and I admired her courage. I really love all the different perspectives that the author provided about this time period. One of my favorite reads this year!
Kathy DeShong
Apr 19, 2016 rated it liked it
"The War Nurse: A WWII Family Saga" by R.V. Doon was a challenging book to read. It started very slow, almost to the point that I thought about not completing it, but I very seldom quit on a book, if I start it, I finish it. The author deserves that. Once I really got into the mete of the book, it was disappointing for it to end...which it did all too abruptly. The abuse and atrocities of wartime still amazes me.
Mar 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Good read!

I really couldn't put this book down from the very first chapter.... I just wish it wouldn't have ended. I hated the ending. There was so much of the story left to be told. It was so good, then BAM it was over with no real ending , I hope she is planning on another book to conclude the rest of this story!
Robyn Echols
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great War Story

Great characters and insight into the fear and abuses on all sides of the war. Full of bravery, the worst of cowardice, love and hate. It is great to know the U.S. was victorious in WWII, but this reminds us of the degree left discarded many citizens along the way. Well worth reading.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I read the first three chapters and just couldn’t get any further. Like others, I found it very choppy and difficult to follow. I find myself choosing WWII novels lately and have enjoyed them. Sorry I couldn’t move forward on this one.
Terrie Stamey
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great War Story

This book kept me in suspense the whole time. I just loved it and so will you! Reminds me of my husband's aunt that was Japan.
Lori Patterson
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Santo Tomas,Prison

This book was very special to me,because my late father who passed away last year helped to liberate the prison.I am very proud to let you know this.
Julia Pearson
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Frighteningly realistic.

A gripping story of the horrors of war and how it affected one family and their friends and loved ones .
Pat Christie
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it

At times it was hard to read this story, the horror of war was painful to read. The story is well told and has a happy ending.
Cheryl Sitmer
Very sad things happened.
Jacqui Currie
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Very good a little unpleasent at times but a slight twist but tinged with sadness but all was alright in end
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R.V. Doon used to have a really nice C.V. detailing her advanced nursing education and numerous certifications. She's had varied experiences from bedside nurse, teacher, administrator, and ended her career as a clinical research nurse. R.V. writes across genres from cozy mysteries to historical fiction. The connecting thread between every Doon book is the colorful characters that won't let readers ...more

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