Movie/Book Reviews

Anzac Day – The Daughters of Mars

April 9, 2015


The Daughters of MarsWith Anzac Day approaching we celebrate and remember those who have fought in all wars to protect our country Australia.

As it is the 100th Anniversary of Gallipoli there is much more focus on 25th April this year.  I would like to review a great book by Thomas Keneally.  It is called ‘The Daughters of Mars’.

Set in 1915 this book follows the lives of two sisters, Sally & Naomi Durance.  Originally from the Australian country town of Kempsey, both girls find their way into World War I as nurses and join the war effort.  The story captures the history of WWI vividly and written from the nurses perspective rather than the soldiers’ point of view.

They face the challenges of nursing in war zones and the difficulties faced by the injured men not only in The Dardenelles in northwestern Turkey, but the Greek Island of  Lemnos and on to the Western Front in France.

Thomas Keneally is a great author.  His well known book Schindler’s Ark won the 1982 Booker Prize and was adapted into the movie Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg.  He weaves fact with fiction to provide a story that at times can be brutal and graphic as he describes the use of gas in warfare and shell-shock but it is certainly spell binding.

I would definitely encourage you to read this book, especially if you have limited knowledge of WWI, especially from the Australian involvement.  It is quite long but I never wanted to put it down and if I did it kept drawing me back.

I liked it because it was from a different perspective and I certainly respect and admire not just the soldiers but also the nurses, doctors and orderlies who had to work in appalling and dangerous conditions.

I close with the Ode of Remembrance:

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”

Have you read this book?  I’d like to hear your comments.


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1 Comment

  • Reply Remembrance Day - Lest We Forget - Sizzling Towards Sixty November 11, 2016 at 03:05

    […] In 1914 our Australian soldiers, as part of the Commonwealth joined the British to fight in World War One.  They volunteered and many were never to return.  I read a book by Thomas Keneally – The Daughters of Mars which is about nurses in WWI and I highly recommend it – Daughters of Mars […]

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