From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Sally and Naomi Dorrance, grown sisters, aren't particularly close. Personality differences nudge them apart. Sally has stayed home on the family's farm in New South Wales and practices nursing close to home, while Naomi has fled to Sydney to nurse in wider, deeper waters. When their mother is verging on death, Naomi returns home, and the sisters perform an act that binds them in a peculiar way, as they now have to carry a guilty secret between them. Their world is opened drastically as they volunteer as nurses during WWI and are loaded onto a hospital ship treating Australian soldiers who have been wounded in the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli in Turkey. Their ship is torpedoed off the Greek islands, and the sisters' survival of a sinking ship is perhaps the most compelling and longest scene in this lengthy novel, the latest from the author of many distinguished historical novels, including Schindler's List (1982). The sisters end up nursing on the western front, and, in the end, it is their nursing experiences, their having to face countless horrors of loss of life and limb, that become the true meaning of their sisterly bond. Greatly detailed, alternately fast moving and slow, this story boasts authentic characters set in equally authentic locations. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Active advertising and scheduling of the author for interviews make up a portion of the publisher's large publicity campaign for this book.--Hooper, Brad Copyright 2010 Booklist