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The daughter of Mars by Thomas Keneally

The daughter of Mars (edition 2012)

by Thomas Keneally

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2761340,737 (3.97)78
Title:The daughter of Mars
Authors:Thomas Keneally
Info:North Sydney, N.S.W. : Vintage Books, 2012.
Collections:Your library

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The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally


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Keneally's style unfortunately ruined the experience of this book for me. While he explained the lack of dialog quotes as a way to represent an epistolary or journal experience, I do not think that is accurate--most people I know include quotes in such formats. As such, this book was difficult to slog my way through. Coupled with slow-moving parts, I was not pleased. ( )
  amandacb | Jan 21, 2014 |
This was a very good book but harrowing, though given the subject I shouldn't have been surprised. Not for the faint hearted or anyone who can't deal with graphic descriptions of the affects of war. The conditions and wounds were horrific. Also Keneally's style took a bit of getting used to and I am not 100% certain about the way it ended, still mulling that over. Provisionally a 4 star read, that might go up or down by half a star. ( )
1 vote calm | Dec 1, 2013 |
I haven't read a war book quite like this one. Set during WWI, two sisters from Australia volunteer to become a part of the war effort by nursing the brave soldiers from their country as they fight in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Naomi and Sally were never close but their shared experiences made them forget the shared secret that they left behind at the farm where they grew up near Sydney. They are trained in Egypt and then assigned to a hospital ship where they discover the trauma of war firsthand. The carnage was inconceivable and their very lives were imperiled when their ship was "borrowed" to transport troops and promptly torpedoed. Sharing a life raft in treacherous waters makes the bond of sisterhood overcome any differences they may have had beforehand.

I liked that Keneally doesn't try to glorify their three years of service. He tells their story in an unsentimental way that may seem unemotional considering what they went through when they were assigned to different camps near the front lines, but it reflected the reserved nature of these two women who were products of their time and upbringing. While there are plenty of gory scenes as maimed soldiers are brought in for treatment, there is also much to admire in the friendships amongst the nurses and the love stories that are inevitable considering the close nature of their work. We are told in the first paragraph of the book that "two Durance girls went off but just the one bothered to come back." I was a little taken aback by the way Keneally accounted for this at the end. This would make an informative and stimulating group read. ( )
1 vote Donna828 | Nov 21, 2013 |
This is the story of two sisters from a dairy farm in NSW who join up at the start of WWI to nurse the wounded, first in Gallipoli and then, later, in France. Very interesting and a different perspective on the war than I am used to reading. I found the book very easy reading and although I didn't always feel connected to the main characters I enjoyed this book for what it taught me and how it made me think about things from a different angle. ( )
  PennyAnne | Nov 20, 2013 |
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To the two nurses,
Judith and Jane
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It was said around the valley that the two Durance girls went off but just the one bothered to come back.
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"From the beloved author of Schindler's List, a magnificent, epic novel of two sisters, both nurses during World War I, that has been hailed as perhaps "the best novel of Keneally's career" (The Spectator)"--

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