Gwen defies her aunt and studies to be a nurse. The battle front of WWI needs nurses and doctors and Gwen volunteers to go along with her classmates. They were not prepared for what they found there but push up their sleeves and get to work helping the doctors and healing the wounded.
The WWI era is an underwritten period of history. I am glad to see that some stories are coming out about a significant period of history where society is changed and the expectations of the past can no longer determine the life of a woman. I loved Gwen's courage to stand in the face of her aunt's anger and live her own life as she tries to better it so she can take her sister out of the aunt's household as well as out of the mines. The period feel of the story is spot-on. The horrible conditions in the battlefield comes through strongly. I like how history is given, but not dryly, as we learn of the implementation of mobile surgical hospitals along the front. I also like that the aftermath of the war is looked at as someone needed to begin the clean-up after the Armistice is announced.
The secondary characters are well written. I felt I knew them and how they impacted Gwen's life. Romance is in the story but it is not the main focus of it. The history of army nurses and WWI was well researched. I look forward to the next book in the trilogy.