Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Review: Call Nurse Millie by Jean Fullerton

  • Publisher: Orion (23 May 2013)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409137405
  • Also on Kindle ASIN: B00BMUVRT0
The blurb

It's 1945 and, as the troops begin to return home, the inhabitants of London attempt to put their lives back together. For 25-year-old Millie, a qualified nurse and midwife, the jubilation at the end of the war is short-lived as she tends to the needs of the East End community around her. But while Millie witnesses tragedy and brutality in her job, she also finds strength and kindness. And when misfortune befalls her own family, it is the enduring spirit of the community that shows Millie that even the toughest of circumstances can be overcome.
Through Millie's eyes, we see the harsh realities and unexpected joys in the lives of the patients she treats, as well as the camaraderie that is forged with the fellow nurses that she lives with. Filled with unforgettable characters and moving personal stories, this vividly brings to life the colourful world of a post-war East London.

This story begins in the East End of London, 1945 as peace is declared and just as Millie's father passes away.

Young district nurse Millie has to juggle the challenges of a  district nurse in the East End of London and caring for her mother, whose mental health has deteriorated since the death of her father.

Millie meets the handsome Alex and romance blossoms.  She then begins to wonder about who Alex really is.  When all is revealed and Millie can relax, Alex proposes to her, but their romance does not run smoothly. As a fiancee, daughter and nurse, Millie has some difficult choices to make. 

The author's wonderfully written descriptions of life for Millie had me feeling like I was walking in step with Millie as she went about her rounds and visited the sick and needy of the parish. There are some very vivid characters in this gripping story.

The author was once an East End district nurse and so I had every faith in her attention to detail. A well researched and well written novel  gives a moving and sometimes heartbreaking look at social history of pre-NHS nursing in England.  

5 out of 5 for me! 

You can find out more about the background to this novel here

Thank you to Orion Books for a review copy. This did not influence my review in any way.


  1. I'm so pleaded you enjoyed Call Nurse Millie and thank you for your kind words.

    1. Most welcome, Jean. It was a fabulous slice of social history. :)


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