Title: What’s Next
Author: Nancy Vlasto
Publisher: United Writers Publications Ltd
Reviewer: Nigel Jopson, operational support manager, Care UK
What was it like?
This is an interesting and at times infuriating book. It follows the life (and what a life!) of Nancy Vlasto. It is exciting in the amount of different areas covered but can be annoying as it does leave things unexplored and leaves the reader asking “and then what happened?” It does show graphically the difference between nursing then and now but also the different attitudes in society to so many things. I enjoyed it but felt that too much had been packed in. I was also astounded by her memory and how she could recall things from her early childhood, not only what happened but also what was said at the time. Perhaps I should have kept more diaries.
What were the highlights?
It gives really good descriptions of social attitudes to life and how people reacted to things as they happened. Many parts of it reminded me of my childhood and of things that happened in my family. Interesting to read about the way nursing developed during her career and the changes that occurred. I was particularly taken by a telegram with a request to phone the office as early as possible today. I suppose it does show how good communication was then even without mobiles and texts
Strengths & weaknesses:
There is just so much to it. There are lots of illustrations but because of the large number they are small and hard to understand. It does feel as if it should have been two or even three books so that different areas could be explored in more depth and answers given when the reader thinks “and then”. It seems to get rushed at the end trying to fit everything in and I feel that her later life experiences also deserve to be considered
Who should read it?
Anybody who is interested in 20th century social history will find this book interesting. There is something for everybody whether your interests are music, film, nursing, travel, charity or war.