The Daughters of Mars
by Thomas Keneally
Thomas Keneally is best known for writing Schindler’s Ark, which was later adapted to the movie Schindler’s List. I have started and stopped reading that book multiple times over the years. I really have not seen the movie from beginning to end either due to the tough topic.
That being said . . .
A Great Read
The Daughters of Mars was a great read and one that I had a hard time putting down! “Inspired by the journals of Australian nurses who gave their all to the Great War effort and the men they nursed.”
The Elements That Spoke to Me:
- The Sisters Element
- The Friendships and Relationships Element (Women and Men)
- The Journey to War Element (from Australia in the 1900’s)
- The War Element (WWI)
The Sisters Element
The book starts in 1915 with two sisters from Australia. The one sister is working as a nurse in the city while the other sister is working as a nurse in the country or bush. These two sisters join the war effort as nurses. The sisters witness firsthand the destruction of war on human life and the loss of human life on a hospital ship near Gallipoli and then on the Western Front in France.
The Friendships and Relationships Element
The greatest part of the book is the friendships, the bonds, the relationships, and the love! These women form friendships and lifetime bonds with one another as war nurses. These women fall in love with men who will and will not survive war. These women and men transition and transform and those friendships and relationships are tested!
These women and men leave the place they know and that they call home and go on a journey to confront war and danger. These women and men find strength and courage as well as compassion and humor. The danger these women and men faced day in and day out just AMAZED me!
The Journey to War Element
I loved that the book provided a map on the inside cover; front and back. Otherwise I would have been looking for a map because these women and men went on a journey upon leaving Australia to join the war effort. From Australia to Colombo to Egypt (Cairo, Alexandria, Port Suez) to Lemnos to The Dardanelles/Gallipoli to France (Marseille, Paris, Amiens). I was reading and arm chair traveling at the same time.
The War Element (WWI)
WWI started on July 28, 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918. The book spanned 1915 to 1922.
I found myself rooting for survival, for triumph and for the end to the war with these women and men! These women and men brought decency to destruction!
A Great Story
I enjoyed the perspective the book was written from because it told a great story! There was the big picture to the intimate and everything else in between when it came to the events and the details throughout the book.