Pamela Rushby, Ford Street Publishing
Flora’s War is historical fiction set in 1915 in Cairo. The heroine is a 16 year old Australian girl who has come over to allegedly help her archaeologist father but also to have as a good a time as she can get away with and purchase and wear as many pretty clothes as she can. Flora sees herself as a modern young lady and her plans include learning to drive and being kissed, both of which she achieves.
However, the picnics and dances are disrupted by the war and she begins to work, in earnest, transporting soldiers, with terrible injuries gained in Gallipoli, to the hospitals.
Flora faces a number of ethical dilemmas after World War I begins particularly: how she relates to terrified and lonely young soldiers who will probably never return from the battlefield and desperately need companionship, romance and / or regular letters and learning to recognise and accept what she cannot endure when dealing with the ugliness of war.
Flora’s War is aimed for girls 11+ but adults will enjoy it too. The descriptions of the scenery, the running of the hospital and services for the soldiers, the behaviours expected of a young lady or a high born lady such as the very bossy Lady Bellamy and the intricacies of cranking a car make fascinating reading.
I read Flora’s War in one sitting because I could not put it down.
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