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The Daughters of Mars
     

The Daughters of Mars

3.8 17
by Thomas Keneally
 

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From the acclaimed author of Schindler’s List, the epic, unforgettable story of two sisters from Australia, both trained nurses, whose lives are transformed by the cataclysm of the first World War.

From the acclaimed author of Schindler’s List comes the epic, unforgettable story of two sisters whose lives are transformed by the

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The Daughters of Mars 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All in all I enjoyed the historical details of how it may have been to be a nurse at the front lines during WWI. This novel gave the reader the opportunity to learn about the reality of war and its affects on those who participated. Overall, it was a well written book but the lack of quotation marks made its reading a challenge. And, as with many books, there were times the dialogue seemed pointless or the story focused on an event that did not seem relevant. I would recommend this book to others especially to people interested in history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed the history and medical drama in this book.
BookLover1DN More than 1 year ago
The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally, is a powerful, yet quietly written story, that tells of the experiences of two Australian sisters who enlist as volunteer nurses in The Great War of 1914-1918. Naomi and Sally Durance are estranged as the book begins and each has their own reason for signing up. The first half of the book follows the sisters from Egypt to Greece to a Red Cross hospital ship, the Archimedes. In a powerful series of pages, the Archimedes is torpedoed and is sunk. The immediate aftermath contrasts the bravery, quick-thinking, and fortitude of some of the staff as they await aid while trapped in the cold, deep, and dark waters with others who are not able to endure. These scenes allow the reader into the very heart and soul of the main characters facing almost certain death. The second half of the book details Naomi's experiences at the Australian Voluntary Hospital that is set up in a French chateau by the eccentric, yet very capable, Lady Tarlton and Sally's work on the Western Front clearing station. No one is prepared for the horrors that face them: gas warfare, the smell of septic wounds, the multiple amputations, dysentery, influenza, and consumption are all there to be dealt with. Along with the many physical ordeals, there are many emotional feelings/issues to deal with. Like Captain Constable who had half of his face blown off and wonders how his life is to be after reconstructive surgery. Indeed, will he have a life? Or Ian Kiernan, a Quaker who is imprisoned for his beliefs, what is to become of him? Interspersed are the small romantic interludes that Sally and Naomi try to steal with their beaus. War is shown with all its horrors and futility, all of its damage to body, mind, and spirit. When will we ever learn? Thomas Keneally based this book on journals he found written by Australian nurses during this time period. I found this book to be a terrific read. It was panoramic in scope yet allowed for details in time, place, and character that caused me to care deeply. The use of minimal punctuation in the book made the story itself stand out even more. I also paid closer attention to what I was reading, for that reason. I have 2 small quibbles: a map inserted in the front of the book would have been very helpful. Secondly, I am not sure I buy into the alternate ending idea. For me, the "what if" is part of what I imagine myself as I reflect on the book. Full disclosure: I won this book as an ARC in a giveaway .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book about World War I. It has strong female characters which all readers will admire. Another great book with strong female characters is "The Partisan" by William Jarvis. This book is only 99 cents right now on the Nook. It is based on true facts about World War II. Both books deserve A+++++++
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful story with much history about WWl. Life like characters. Tears and happiness abiut the resilence of humn kind.
Actmom More than 1 year ago
This novel was a compelling story of two sisters brought closer together through their shared experiences as nurses in World War I. Readers who are interested in WWI and the history of military medicine would find this book fascinating. The innocence of those going off to battle, their optimism about a quick end to the war, the horrific reality of combat and the devastating losses are all vividly portrayed in beautiful prose. Our book club rated this novel 4.5 out of 5!
MWgal More than 1 year ago
Fabulous book! Written with real heart and soul.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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norway_girl More than 1 year ago
<b> Great story of human spirit during the trials of World War I as told through Australian Nurse Corps.<b> I am a fan of historical fiction and have been reading quite a bit of them centered on World War II . I guess now I will be delving into World War I, or the Great War then known as the war to end all wars. It was very refreshing and interesting to read a book set in the hospitals and not on the battlefields. It was also great to read about the Australians contributions instead of from a perspective of the Americans, French , English or Germans. Very unique and based on true stories and diaries and historical figures. The character development is excellent and grabs you from the first paragraph. You want to know what happens to these Durance girls.  I think many will be pleased with how far this book travels with the characters, Australia, Africa, Egypt, France England, a world tour. I think also, though we have heard of the horrors of trench warfare and the chemical weapons of that time, to have it described by this author from the caregivers on hospital ships, clearing stations, and volunteer hospitals is so compelling and truly reminds us of the heroism and sacrifices that were made for peace. It underlined the futility and waste of war, but emphasized the power of the human spirit.  I absolutely recommend this to men and women who love a good story of human interaction and personal growth, who enjoy a few surprises now and then, and those who might wish to visit the world when it was turned upside down, from the perspective of some of those from down under.</b></b>
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"The Daughters of Mars" is a wonderful tale, telling a well known WWI story in a different way. Thomas Kennally made the sisters real people and he caught the woman's voice so well. His descriptions of batlles made them sharp and immediate with the horror of senseless and arbitrary death . By the novels end each character was real and important no matter their shortcomings you felt the pain of loss . After I finished reading I asked my book club to select it . It is not another war story, rather but an exploration of morality and humanity.
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buzzboa More than 1 year ago
the characters are difficult to identify with.  the prose lacks flow and is difficult to understand at times. A good book to keep on the bedside night stand to help you fall asleep.