Book Review: Pure Grit: How WWII Nurses in the Pacific Survived Combat and Prison Camp by Mary Cronk Farrell

Pure Grit: How WWII Nurses in the Pacific Survived Combat and Prison Camp

by Mary Cronk Farrell

I fell in love with the women featured in this book.
I fell in love with their strength, determination, and willpower.
I fell in love with their grit.
I fell in love with this book.

Following the experiences of military nurses stationed, during peacetime, in the Philippines, the book kicks off just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Nurses find themselves thrown into a combat situation as Japanese troops begin bombing American facilities, quickly followed by soldiers on foot.

The strength showed by these women is exemplary and it’s sad that it took this long for their story to be told in the way they deserve.  Facing air raids, malaria, dysentery, and everything the jungle has to offer, these army and navy nurses continued to treat combat wounds of the causalities that poured in by the hundreds.

With little to no help coming from the American military (a fact that will still leave you speechless), eventually the nurses are part of an American surrender and moved to a POW camp.  Conditions and health continue to deteriorate into severe disease and starvation. Despite all of it – little to no food, barely having the strength to stand, disease ravishing their own bodies and those around them – these amazing women continued to treat the sick and dying around them. No matter the cost.

This book should be required reading , particularly for young girls today who believe the biggest problems they’ll face in life are bad haircuts and not being married on the timetable they’ve crafted in their heads.  I can’t say enough good about this astounding group of women and their actions. Author Mary Cronk Farrell has done the world and the women featured a service that was long overdue. She crafts a beautiful yet devastating story that needs to be told and honored.

The temporary nature of safety and the permanence of pain are underlined in this compelling book. A fast read at 133 pages (151 including a complete list of nurses, timeline, index, etc.), I urge everyone to pre-order this book now.  Set to be released in March 2014, Pure Grit takes you from dances to POW camps, from dresses to dysentery, from peace to starvation.  You’ll be better for reading it.

Pure Grit proves once again…

The required disclosure: I received an advanced copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads Giveaways.

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5 thoughts on “Book Review: Pure Grit: How WWII Nurses in the Pacific Survived Combat and Prison Camp by Mary Cronk Farrell

  1. Mary says:

    Thanks so much for featuring PURE GRIT on your blog. I’m so glad you were inspired by these women as I was.
    So profound what you said…”The temporary nature of safety and the permanence of pain…”

  2. […] “The temporary nature of safety and the permanence of pain are underlined in this compelling book.“ […]

  3. […] “The temporary nature of safety and the permanence of pain are underlined in this compelling book.“ […]

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