by Colleen McCollough

Overview: In her first epic romantic novel since The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough weaves a sweeping story of two sets of twins—all trained as nurses, but each with her own ambitions—stepping into womanhood in 1920s and 30s Australia.

Because they are two sets of twins, the four Latimer sisters are as close as can be. Yet these vivacious young women each have their own dreams for themselves: Edda wants to be a doctor, Tufts wants to organize everything, Grace won’t be told what to do, and Kitty wishes to be known for something other than her beauty. They are famous throughout New South Wales for their beauty, wit, and ambition, but as they step into womanhood, they are not enthusiastic about the limited prospects life holds for them.

Together they decide to enroll in a training program for nurses—a new option for women of their time, who have previously been largely limited to the role of wives, and preferably mothers. As the Latimer sisters become immersed in hospital life and the demands of their training, they meet people and encounter challenges that spark new maturity and independence. They meet men from all walks of life—local farmers, their professional colleagues, and even men with national roles and reputations—and each sister must make weighty decisions about what she values most. The results are sometimes happy, sometimes heartbreaking, but always . . . bittersweet.

Rendered with McCullough’s trademark historical accuracy, this dramatic coming of age tale is wise in the ways of the human heart, one that will transport readers to a time in history that feels at once exotic and yet not so very distant from our own.

Faith Bowers (03/21/17): Remember how you loved The Thorn Birds, Tim and a few others. The McCollough went to writing about historical Rome. Now she is back with a story about nursing in the early 2/th century going right through the depression.

In the style of original McCollough, long but of interest about Australia during that time depicting hospitals, politics and family, rich and middle class. The fours sisters, 2 sets of twins from two mothers were able to leave their manipulative mother/step mother by going into nursing training in the hospital in their little city.

We learn ball about the sisters, family and love lives as well as their career trajectories. I just wanted to say that you will all enjoy this book just as you did McCollough 30 years ago.
Rating: ****

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