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by Thomas Keneally | Read by Jane Nolan

Booker Prize-winning author Thomas Keneally’s latest novel, based on the journals of Australian nurses during WWI, focuses not on the battles but on the wounded “diggers” (Australian troops) and the medics who tended them. Sisters Sally and Naomi Durance, volunteer nurses, are first stationed on a hospital ship anchored off Gallipoli. Narrator Jane Nolan keeps a tight grip on the emotional material as the nurses deal with young men, some with limbs blown apart, others riddled with shrapnel, infections, and gangrene. Nolan handles the horrific details with controlled passion, investing the many characters and subplots with truthfulness. She’s especially strong delivering the chaos that results when the ship is torpedoed and later when the nurses are sent to the bloodbath that was the Western Front. Top-notch listening. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine