Title: All Change for Nurse Millie
Author: Jean Fullerton
Publisher: Orion Books
Reviewer: Rachel Stanback, Nursing Times intern
What was it like?
Set in 1948 London, just after the end of the war and the formation of the NHS, “All Change for Nurse Millie” is a charming follow-up to Fullerton’s “Call Nurse Millie.” The book focuses on Millie Smith and her attempts to balance changes in her personal life with changes in her position as an East End district nurse with the newly-formed NHS. Pressure to start a family and support her husband’s political life along with the appearance of a familiar character from her past complicate things and add to the “changes” in Nurse Millie’s life.
What were the highlights?
Nurse Millie is well-researched. A past district nurse herself, Fullerton has included details about Millie’s career, which make for a believable tale. She used research from text books of the time as well as biographies and photographic books to piece together an accurate representation of the book’s setting. Her thorough research shows in details such as Millie’s husband Jim’s campaign for MP and the changes in nursing during this time period.
Strengths and weaknesses:
Clever, catchy dialogue was a strong point of the book. Millie’s coworkers, family and friends make for memorable characters. The enjoyable storyline Fullerton crafts makes for an overall fun, easy read and Millie’s story is a charming one. Though the book is a sequel, it can be read as a stand-alone.
Who should read it?
If you enjoy pleasant historical fiction along the lines of the BBC’s “Call the Midwife”, you’ll love “All Change for Nurse Millie.” An enjoyable read for nurses and non-nurses alike and an enlightening insight on what life was like for nurses in the 1940s and women who tried to balance work and home life, which was often unprecedented.