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October 3, 2017

Review: The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo #TLC

by Susan Roberts

I read a lot of books about World War II and am especially interested in the nurses who were often in harm's way. The Fire by Night is one of the best that I have read on nurse's roles, the danger that they were often faced with and the grit and determination they had to have to survive.
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The Fire by Night
January 2017; William Morrow; 978-0062459107
ebook, audio, print (320 pages); historical fiction
Jo and Kay met in nursing school and became friends. They both wanted adventure in their lives and they signed for the Army, hoping to go the same location. Jo was sent to Europe, she wasn't exactly sure where because the enemy lines kept changing and the hospital had to move when the enemy got too close. As the book begins, she has been left behind with six patients while waiting for transport to another area. Kay is sent to the Philippines which is a real paradise for the nurses until Pearl Harbor is attacked and the Japanese troops take over the Philippines. The nurses are sent to an internment camp and are kept in cruel captivity for the remainder of the war.

The Fire by Night is told by Jo and Kay in alternating chapters. Many times in a book with two characters telling their story, I like one more than the other and skip ahead to read her story. In this book, I loved both Jo and Kay and was extremely interested in both of their struggles to survive the war. They were both faced with different but equally difficult circumstances and their survival was often in doubt. Messineo did a tremendous amount of research and it's very apparent in the details of the story.

This is a story about the bravery and determination needed to be a nurse on the battlefield during a war that changed the world as they knew it and their struggle to learn to live and accept their lives after the war was over.

Note:  My Mom was a nurse cadet in the 40s and graduated from nursing school in 1945.  Had WWII lasted longer, she would have been sent to either Europe or the Philippines to help with the war casualties.  Books like this one really resonate with me because of my mom being so close to becoming a war nurse.

Buy The Fire by Night at Amazon

About the Author

Teresa Messineo is an outspoken woman whose passionate social interest and positions have been featured in a special documentary, a World War II photo shoot and photographic notice in The New York Times, page 14.

Teresa is highly motivated about social justice and sticking up for the underdog. She volunteers at a food bank and is a 'volunteer actor' at her local hospital during disaster drills. She is the mother of four children, whom she has exclusively homeschooled (her eldest son earned a scholarship to her own alma mater). Teresa's other interests include swing dancing, travel, studying Italian, performing in a Philippine dance troupe, playing Irish Tenor Banjo in a Celtic band.  A voracious reader (she has read 2,397 books since completing college) and lifetime learner, Teresa's motto is, 'We learn from our mistakes.'

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends.  She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter.

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  1. I really enjoyed The Fire by Night as well and loved Jo and Kay equally. I had never heard of this history before and now can't get enough!

  2. I love reading WWII-era stories, and recently I've gotten more interested in the experiences of nurses. I'm adding this book to the top of my list!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.