Wednesday, August 19, 2015
History of a brave young woman in WWI and shortly thereafter
Maisie Dobbs began her first job at age thirteen. Her parents wanted to send her to college but the unexpected death of her Mum changed that and her father found a job for her in a suitable position.
Maisie became a maid in an home of Lord and Lady Rowan Compton. Lady Compton was a suffragette and was for the advancement of woman in general. In Maisie, she noticed her in her library and Maisie told her she wanted to read books and learn. Lady Compton was impressed and kept her eye on Maisie. Later, when Maisie became an investigator she sent Maisie customers.
Later, as WWI began, Maisie took nursing training and went to France to help care for the soldiers who were being injured in many ways with gas, shrapnel, bullet wounds and psychological injuries. While overseas, working with the soldiers she was drawn to one.
After the war, Maisie uses some skills learned from one of Lady Compton's connections. Dr. Blanche was a trained psychologist and detective. He taught Maisie deductive thinking and since she had good common sense, he told her to trust her instincts and to beware of coincidences.
Her first case leads her to a woman who would travel to a cemetery twice a week to mourn a young soldier. Maisie travels to a convalescent home being used for wounded and maimed soldiers.
What I liked about the book was Maisie's compassion, her desire to raise above the situation to which she was born, and her manner in working with patients and the people around her.
The scenes in France are well described and we get a look at the difficulties the young nurses faced during the Great War. They not only had to deal with soldiers wounded grievously but they had strict rules of behavior and little understanding for their plight.