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Evie’s War by Anna Mackenzie

November 11th, 2015 By janice
Vintage photographic postcard of nurses and paitents at Hôpital de Royaumont - Salle Blanche de Castille, circa 1915.
Hôpital de Royaumont. - Salle Blanche de Castille.Some rights reserved

Evie, a young girl from New Zealand is on a voyage to England. It is 1914 and the eighteen year old is filled with the excitement of adventure.

Then the First World War begins and Evie finds herself fighting to make sense of the sacrifice and destruction around her. Told in diary format the creditable first person narrative lends the book a personal confessional tone. The story moves quickly from the voyage, to her new found friends, the suffrage movement, the beginning of the war, her life as a nurse, a romance and her losses.

A myriad of characters enter Evie’s war journey. Some stay for just a mention to highlight the tragedy of war and others last the course of the book. Evie herself develops from an inexperienced young girl from the colonies to being honoured for her bravery. She learns about practicality and about being resilient and also heroism.

The language of the book, (though characteristic of the time) is easy to read. I enjoyed Evie’s turn of phrase and choice of words. They perfectly communicate Evie’s feelings, the action of war and her introspections.

In her acknowledgements author Anna Mackenzie writes briefly about her sources for her book but also encourages readers to visit her website to read more about her background to writing this novel.

Image: Healing at the Abbey (c.1915)by The Casaas-Rodriguez Post, on Flickr

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