Book Review Club: The Lieutenant’s Nurse by Sarah Ackerman #HistoricalFiction #review

The Lieutenant’s Nurse by Sara Ackerman
WWII Historical Fiction

Lieutenants Nurse cover

Eva Cassidy boards the SS Lurline in Nov. 1941 for the voyage to Hononlulu, just days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. An Army nurse, Eva has excellent experience as an anesthetist, but must hide her background and assume a new name due to a wrongful termination at her last job. She was blamed for the death of a patient, even though the doctor was at fault. Eva is promised to Billy, the son of a friend of her father, who is already stationed at Pearl Harbor.

But on board the Lurline, she meets Lt. Clark Spencer. a tall good-looking man, who soon has her saying, “Billy who?”

The ship’s radio operator talks to Clark, who works in naval intelligence, about radio signals he’s picking up that must might indicate that Japanese ships are headed for Hawaii. Clark urges him to make a full report, which Clark will deliver to his superiors when he arrives in Honolulu. He deems it too dangerous to send unencrypted messages from the ship.

When they get to Hawaii, she re-connects with Billy and realizes she doesn’t really know him.

Clark tries to report what he learned on board ship, but his boss isn’t available, and the man he talks to dismisses his concerns. Then the threats start.

And when the attack comes, Eva’s nursing skills are tasked in ways she’s never experienced.

Excellent historical fiction with a strong romantic subplot. There’s a lot of fascinating information about the state of medicine and nursing in the time period, plus Ackerman’s description of the day of the attack was riveting. I really enjoyed the book.


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