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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-01-2018

Loving this wonderful series!

My review on Goodreads: It's hard to believe that around eighteen months ago I hadn't even heard of this wonderful series, and now I've just completed book number five with thanks to Audible... and already eagerly anticipating Book Six! Whilst it has Christmas in its title, it didn't revolve as much around the festive season as I thought it might. Nonetheless, this book picks up a few months where Nightingales on Call left off in November 1938 - Millie and Dora, two of the original Nightingale nurses-in-training have both since married and left the hospital; however we still get glimpses of Dora in this one, who we learn is pregnant. We only hear about Millie through Dora and Helen. Helen, who lost her dear Charlie in Nightingale Nurses, is the primary storyteller of this one. She has returned to theatre nursing... however her overbearing and domineering mother (who is Head of Trustees), all but forced Matron to promote Helen to Ward Sister in the Casualty Ward. She ruffles Dr McKay's feathers from the outset, and it was fairly clear to the reader where that was going.... although there was a nice little decoy with Charlie's cousin Christopher entering the mix. It was nice to have Matron feature a little more prominently in this chapter also, albeit with a fairly major health scare that runs almost throughout the entire story. I really enjoyed Effie's character, a first year nursing student/trainee. Her character is a nice mix of compassion, vivaciousness, silliness, determination and guts all rolled into one. Her main story featured her nursing Adam, a young man with more than a few issues of his own... It was a personal highlight for me to see Effie come full circle by the end of this chapter in the saga in regards to both her growing character, and her relationship with Adam. I also like how the title reflected what so many of the central characters were reflecting on and wishing for the new year; particularly Frannie, who is vehemently against the upcoming announcement of War after having lost her fiancé in World War 1. I have to admit to not seeing part of her story coming! All in all another fantastic episode in this ongoing saga. It is a very easy read, full of drama, and yet lots of laugh-out-loud and more light-hearted moments. Just like its predecessors. That said, there was arguably a bit more of a dark, harder edge to this one... possibly fore-shadowing future events??? Donna Douglas has become, from an unknown author to me, to one of my most favourite in a period of just under 12 months - she does not disappoint! I would most definitely recommend it highly to fans of historical fiction; particularly those who enjoy serial fiction and fans of the BBC's Call the Midwife.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-01-2018

Clever cosy mystery!

This review taken from my page on Goodreads. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this when browsing the rather large Audible collection several months ago. It's a light, and highly entertaining cosy mystery and the narrator is one of the best I've heard (and I've been fortunate to have listened to some extremely good narrators!). The stories, while short, have enough in them to keep you interested. I already have the second in the compilation in my Audible library and I look forward to listening to the next instalment. :) I have no hesitation in recommending this series to fans of the cosy mystery genre and for those people looking for a quick and easy read while travelling. :)

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-01-2018

Simply Beautiful!

This review from my page on Goodreads. My first venture into a novel of Pamela's. (With the exception of several of her children's books) This was just a pure magical read. Loved it from start to finish. I think what I liked most about it was how the story seemed to just flow so smoothly, and how it grew to a natural climax in its journey. It turned from hearing how Ruby coped being separated from her new husband Jimmy, who had gone off to War, and her reading his frequent love letters from the war-front, to becoming action packed in seemingly a heartbeat. It was rather simplistic in its writing, however done so magnificently well. I adored seeing how Ruby changed and evolved simply due to the circumstances in which she found herself, and how her colleagues went from disbelieving and arguably suspicious of her, all because she was female, to an almost indispensable cog at her place of work as time went on. Each character played a crucial role in this story, and most, if not all, were very likeable. Pamela obviously spent quite some time researching, as it felt like I was there with Ruby, every step of the way. A rather nice little sidenote for me is that this is based from her family's history, and I think this came across in the writing of it... that said, she is one talented writer and story-teller and I'm sure all her work is as good as this! One of my top reads of 2017, if not the very top of my list and I would have no hesitation in recommending this highly to lovers of historical fiction, and those who are fans of Australian fiction.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-04-2017

Definitely unusual; but in the best possible way.

I've been wanting to read/listen to a Jojo Moyes story for such a long time and finally got around to this one.

What drew me to this one was the rather unique plot, can't say I was sold on the Jess and Ed falling in love storyline in such a short space of time.... but in the end I didn't mind it too much. The fact that there was a rather clichéd misunderstanding causing angst and short period of separation made it more believable.

What I really did love about this was how the narration switched from Jess to Ed to the kids. I really enjoyed the developing story of Tanzie and Nicky. How much rotten luck can a family have??? Still, absolutely gripping, and I particularly loved the development of Nicky's character throughout the story. Ed's story was rather fascinating as well, but god damn did he have a sucky taste in women! Think Jess was the pick of the bunch by a mile!

It was the perfect combination of the story and narration hooking you in with each page, I absolutely loved it! It would've been interesting to see it played out had they not got together.... or had, but regretted it. Then again, it wouldn't necessarily be called The One Plus One then would it?

Well done Jojo Moyes, I can see why you're so popular!

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-02-2017

Slow start, but a hard book to put down by the end

I found this book a little hard to get into at first, but I am so glad I persisted with it. This story is very well written and bit by bit unravels the mystery behind Maddie, the Songbird. Her story is both gripping and heartbreaking and I'm glad it works out for her in the end - even though it took the best part of twenty years for it to do so!

I really enjoyed how all the pieces weaved and interconnected throughout, as the story progressed the puzzle pieces clicked into place.

A most enjoyable read, and I'll be looking for more of Josephine's books to listen to soon. :)

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-01-2017

Excellent saga that takes you back in time....

I absolutely adored this. I really loved how Donna created such varied and rich backstories to each of the three main characters in Dora, Millie and Helen. I also really enjoyed the ensemble characters too.

Penelope Freeman does a marvellous job switching between each character.

I found this series purely by chance and I'm so glad I did! I was so hooked I immediately went to listen to Nightingale Sisters upon conclusion of this opening tale!

Thank you Donna for providing such a magnificent series set in London in the 1930's; I love reading stories from this period! And thanks Audible for having it in your vast collection!

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