16 April 2013

Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green Reviewed by Marian Baay

Wedded to War



Reviewed by Marian Baay

5 stars~*****

During the Civil War.

In this story, Charlotte Waverly is going to find out how hard it is for a woman to become a nurse in 1861. Charlotte is determined and works her way into nursing. She will prove her worth—working from the lowest position of emptying chamber pots to real nursing.

Coming from a rich family, Charlotte is not accustomed to hard work, but she will show that she is not afraid of hard and dirty work and prove that a woman is also capable of nursing. Together with her sister Alice, Charlotte travels from New York to the battlefield to be close to her sister’s husband and to do her work in a hospital. Some time later an Irish woman, named Ruby, will walk into their lives, who has several secrets to hide. Somehow Ruby’s secret has to do with Charlotte’s suitor. Will Ruby ever find the courage to share her secret?

Jocelyn Green is a talented storyteller who has done a lot of research for this book. The historical details are nicely woven into this story. It was fascinating to see how difficult it was for women in those days to become a nurse. And like with almost every war story I have read—I am so grateful to live in peace and have no personal knowledge of the horrors of war. After finishing this book I am also thankful for the medical help and supplies we have these days.

Readers who like to read Civil War fiction will enjoy reading this book!

Jocelyn's books can be found at Amazon, CBD, and other bookstores.
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GIVEAWAY: A copy of Wedded to War or Widow of Gettysburg. 

QUESTION: The Civil War is when nursing really began as a profession. Do you have a friend or family member who is a nurse and have they ever commented upon Civil War nursing? 
Please leave your email address if we don't know you well.

56 comments:

  1. MARIAN, a lovely review of Wedded to War, and it certainly sounds intriguing! These books are definitely going on my Wish List of books, especially as I've begun reading up on the Civil War lately. I think it'd be very interesting to read from a Nurse's point of view during this time.

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    1. Thanks Noela. Hope you enjoy the books!

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    2. NOELA, thanks for entering the drawing! The nurse's perspective of the Civil War will be very different from most other people's! ;)

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  2. Good morning Marian, I so love reading your reviews !! I would love to read this book, the hardships that were suffered during the Civil War are amazing and the women that chose to be nurses at that time were amazing ~ so they were a perfect fit. I am so sure that it was so hard to become a nurse at that time, so I have the deepest respect and admiration for all the nurses, esp at the time of the Civil War.. thanks for the chance to win this book, it would be wonderful to read both of these books... I am putting them on my wish list !! :-) Rosemary Foley rfoley@salemstate.edu

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. :)I think you would enjoy this book. Good luck in the drawing.

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    2. ROSEMARY, you're right, it was very difficult for women to become nurses. There were many stipulations, and unfortunately, well-respected women were looked down upon if they wanted to "get their hands dirty" with wounded men. Wedded to War is a tribute to those pioneering nurses.

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  3. A really wonderful review, MARIAN! I want to know what that secret is! :) Nurses have a really tough job, even with all the modern technology nowadays. My niece is a nurse and I have many friends who are as well, but they have never talked about historical things with me.

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    1. DIANA, it's possible that your niece and/or friends have heard of Georgeanna Woolsey in their nursing training. I know some nursing schools mention her in the curriculum. (Georgeanna Woolsey is the nurse I've based my heroine, Charlotte Waverly, upon.) But if they haven't heard of Georgeanna, they might be interested in meeting Charlotte! :)

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  4. I have many friends who are nurses, or nurse practitioners. They are amazing, but never heard them speak of the Civil War nursing.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Maureen! Do we have your email address?

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    2. MAUREEN, the Civil War was really the first time women were allowed to be nurses in hospital settings. I bet your friends would be interested in Wedded to War at the very least as a chronicle of women breaking through that barrier! It was so difficult.

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  5. I look forward to reading this book as I loved reading about Florence Nightingale and her experiences during the Crimean War. I have a couple of friends who are nurses but they have never talked about Civil War nursing. My husband was a medic in Vietnam, and he has told me a lot of stories about his experiences there.

    Loraine
    Lpertelt@aol.com

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    1. Hope you get a chance to read this book soon, Loraine!

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    2. LORAINE, oh my, I bet you will really enjoy Wedded to War in that case! Florence Nightingale's "Notes on Nursing" formed the basis for what the Sanitary Commission wanted to do with hospitals and nursing during the Civil War. The Sanitary Commission did many things, including training female nurses to work in army hospitals. My heroine is based on a real Sanitary Commission nurse by the name of Georgeanna Woolsey. Good luck in the drawing!

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  6. A fantastic review! I love christian fiction set in the 1800-early 1900's, the Civil War and nurses too. Thanks for offering this book contest, I would love to win a copy.

    I am a nurse-I had been out of high school for 18 years before I went to nursing school. Needless to say it was difficult-a husband,
    two young sons (10 & 12) and working full time. But it was God's direction for me. I worked on an Oncology unit in our local hospital. My mother was a nurses aid at the hospital, I also have two nieces who are nurses, niece who is a PA, a sister-in-law who is
    an EMT and a great-niece who is in school to be a forensic expert for the police. So there are a lot of medical people in my family.

    We learned about Florence Nightingale while in nursing school and there is a movie about her life as a nurse and the struggles she
    faced.

    Blessings, Tina
    tfrice@comcast.net

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    1. TINA, WOW! You and your family are all about nursing! Then I bet you will just eat up Wedded to War. Florence Nightingale was one of the inspirations for my heroine, and in one conversation, my heroine makes her argument using Florence as her example. I think all of you would really enjoy Wedded! Good luck!

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    2. Thank you, Tina!! I surely hope you will get to read this book. Lots of luck in the contest!

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  7. My sister is a nurse, and I have long wished that I had followed through with my interest in nursing. However, I have not, so I enjoy reading about it very much. Would love to read with of these books :)
    bettimace(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. BETZ, reading these books will make you feel like you did follow through with your interest in nursing--only you've been transported back to the 1860s! Yikes! :) Good luck in the drawing.

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  8. I have a couple of friends that are nurses. None of them have spoken about Civil War nursing with me.

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi CINDI, Thanks for entering this drawing! Nursing is very different now than it was during the Civil War, obviously. One of the most important tasks of a nurse back then was to write letters home for the patients, and read to them any letters that came through the lines for them. These days I bet most patients are texting in the waiting room! :)

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  9. i am a nurse and love reading books from all the different eras. I enjoy seeing how it grew to be the way it is today. Would love reading this book.

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    1. Hi LORI, as a nurse, yes, you would really be interested in these books! Not just what the women went through to be accepted as nurses, but how they treated patients with their limited knowledge. Of course these are novels and not handbooks on Civil War nursing... if you're very interested, I would recommend a thin little book by Louisa May Alcott called Hospital Sketches, which she wrote about her six weeks of nursing in a Washington hospital during the Civil War. (Then she grew ill with tuberculosis and her father had to come carry her back home to Concord.) Her book was one of my sources in my bibliography. I think. At least, it should have been because I know I read it! :)

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  10. I have relatives that are nurses but they've never talked about civil war nurses but I do remember reading about Clara Barton when I was in grade school and I loved that book.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Hi again WENDY! Clara Barton was such a fascinating figure, wasn't she? I believe she was the first female government clerk at the Patent Office in Washington before she gave that up and decided to single-handedly make conditions better for the Union wounded soldiers. I found it interesting that she didn't want to work with the Sanitary Commission or government, but chose to be completely independent. She did a lot of good after the war too, helping families locate the bodies of their deceased loved ones. WOW what a job that must have been. Can you imagine? Talk about a labor of love!

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  11. I have friends who are nurses but none mentioned the civil war.
    I did have an aunt who went to New Guinea during WW2 as a nurse aide.
    I guess I had always associated Florence Nightingale as the start of the nursing profession in the Crimean War but then looking it up it wasn't long before the Civil war and she probably was a fore runner to it becoming the profession it became.
    It is interesting its really not a long time mid 1800's its around 150 years which isn't really that long in the scheme of things.

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    1. Hi JENNY, yes, I think Florence Nightingale really opened the door for women to be nurses in Great Britain, and then during the American Civil War not many years later, American women followed her example and led the charge using her guiding principles. Up until then, in the U.S., nurses had always been men. Women had been relegated to the home. But when doctors made house calls, they usually left instructions with the female family members as to how to continue caring for the patient. So during the Civil War, most women nurses argued, "We HAVE been nursing our own brothers, husbands, etc. We are the surrogate wives/mothers/sisters of these soldiers now."

      I agree with you, 150 years ago is not that much time, really!

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  12. My grandmother was a nurse , but i dont know if she help in the war, she died when i was young and no one ever talk much about her
    i would love to read this book i hope i win
    jcisforme@aol.com

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    1. SHIRLEY, I bet your grandmother had some amazing experiences! Thanks for entering the drawing today and good luck to you!

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  13. I just love OWG. I have wanted to read one of Jocelyn's books and have not had a chance to yet. It sounds great!
    I have several family members that are nurses, but none have talked about
    nursing during the Civil War. I love history and the Civil War era is my all time favorite. I have read some on this. My family were coal miners in the Hills of WV and before that they lived in Ireland and Scotland. I have family members that fought during the Civil War but none that were nurses that I know of. I will have to check with my aunt as she is the family's geneologist. My e-mail is sunydey26@aol.com

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    1. JOHNETTE, wow, it sounds like you've got some fascinating family history there! I love that you have a family genealogist. I'm sure you've discovered some really interesting stories! Now, if Civil War is your all-time favorite era, I hope you get a chance soon to read Wedded and Widow! (Don't you love how ironic those titles are when put together like that? Ha!) If you love history, you'll find some real gems in these novels. Thanks for your interest!

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  14. I do not have a friend or relative that was a nurse... but I have read Murray Puras book Face of Heaven where An amish woman was a nurse and I just loved that story. I loved the interview and will love reading the book you have written.
    Blessings
    Linda
    faithfulacres7@gmail.com

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    1. LINDA, thank you so much! I certainly hope you do love Wedded to War and/or Widow of Gettysburg. When I started writing my series, I didn't plan to connect all the books but as it turns out, there is some overlap with characters, so I would start with Wedded first. Good luck!

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  15. Hi Marian. This was a very good review. Joycelyn has some good sites and books. Yes, I have friends who were nurses, now retired. No, I never heard them mention Civil War nurses, bit i'm glad they started the nursing by women. Please enter me in the contest for one of these books. OWG gals, thanks for having Jocelyn here. Guess I'm going to start putting my comment of sticky paper to get it attached to a finger for a win, LOL Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. MAXIE, thanks so much for entering! If you don't win, be sure to check with your local library for these books. If they don't have them, suggest that they order them! I know a library in a very small Iowa town that ordered eight copies of Wedded to War so they could have a book club! So sweet. Best wishes!

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    2. Thanks Maxie. You are always such a great supporter!

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  16. One of my sister-in-laws is a nurse. She had a career in computers before this. I believe it was a special calling from the Lord because my brother suffered an accident at his job and became paralyzed for several years before his death last year. She did so much for him!

    As a child, I read the book of Clara Barton over and over! I still love Civil War stories! Thanks for this chance of winning this book!!

    Susan in NC (susanlulu@yahoo.com)

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    1. SUSAN, I'm so sorry to hear about your brother's accident, paralysis and death. How heartbreaking. I'm sure your sister-in-law was called to nursing! I think many nurses, especially during the Civil War were called to it because it certainly wasn't a traditional or easy choice!
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. Interesting review !!! One of my childhood friends I grew up with is a nurse and also my mother's cousin is a RN. They have never brought up about nursing during the Civil War. I have fascinated reading Fiction Civil War books and enjoy watching Gone with the Wind and North and South movies on TV. Nurses were rare and scarce during the Civil War. Nurses were "angels" who tendered to care for the soldiers on the battlefield and helped them writing letters to the loved ones at home by the candlelight. Time have changed from scarce medical equipment, supplies and food during the Civil War to the present time at the hospitals with better technology, equipment and supplies. Also the nurse uniform have changed too. Pioneer nurses like Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton and Elizabeth Blackwell helped to start nursing career in the early days to overcome their struggles and fought their causes. I would love to win the copy of Widow of Gettysburg. Thank you and Happy Spring !!! Kim JKTerrazas09@aol.com

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    1. KIM, looks like you know your history! Not sure if you read Wedded to War yet, but Elizabeth Blackwell is a character in that story. Dr. Blackwell is one of my all-time favorite historical people. She was so fun to research and write.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. Can't recall any close friends as being a nurse. I have Wedded to War but I don't have Widow of Gettysburg yet. Can't to read them! They Look Great!!! God Bless! Thanks for the Giveaway!!!

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    1. Hi ABIGAIL, well I'm glad you already have Wedded! Read it first, it will make Widow more enjoyable because there is just a tiny amount of character cross-over. If you read Widow first you'll know the ending of Wedded.
      Thanks for your interest!

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  19. I'm a Registered Nurse. My specialties are Maternity and Children. I also have 3 sisters who nurse. Civil War nursing would be a far cry from what I am used to. WEDDED TO WAR promises to be a wonderful story.


    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Hi MARY, wow! You and three sisters are nurses! How wonderful. Yes, it's a far cry from where we are now. A couple of weeks ago my daughter had to be hospitalized and I couldn't help but think of all the wonderful things they had for her that they didn't have for patients in the Civil War. A bed! A bedside toilet! A clean room! Appropriate food! Not to mention the IVs and medicine... I'm just so grateful for what we have today.

      I bet you and your sisters would love Wedded to War for the inside look at the pioneering days of female nursing.

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  20. My sister is a Registered Nurse and has done it for about 20 years now. My grandmother was a Florence Nightingale nurse. But I don't have any knowledge of how nursing started. I know it is always a thankless job. I would certainly be interested in reading this novel.

    Helen hmmbailey@live.ca

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    1. HELEN, Wedded to War will certainly open your eyes about how women broke into nursing. I hope you get a chance to read it--and your sister, too! Thanks so much for entering the drawing.

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  21. I could have sworn I already left a post on here--I must have lost my connection or forget to hit post. So, am I too late for the giveaway? If not, please throw me in...

    Great review onn a great book--another series, that I am going to want to add to my TBR list! I have a friend who is a nurse, (actually my college roommate...) but we have never really talked about nursing things, with the exception of a few times when I have asked her medical questions, when had them, so I don't know if she knows much about Civil War Nursing or not.
    Vicki OWG vmarney(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. VICKI, you are not too late for the give-away! So sorry your original comment was lost. Hate that.

      Thanks so much for your interest in this series! There is a lot more information at the series Web site, including character sketches for both books: www.heroinesbehindthelines.com.

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  22. Jocelyn, thank you for responding to all the comments! I'm really grateful for that. My neck is doing a bit better, but reading all the comments make me dizzy, so I'm truly happy with you hanging around here. :) Bless you!

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    1. MARIAN, you need to get better! :( Ooh I just had sympathy dizziness for you. Weird. Well I like hanging around here, too. Thanks for all you do, just take it easy if you can!

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  23. I don't have any close friends who are nurses, but there are several ladies in our church who have gone and studied nursing after their children were raised. I really admire them as I'm sure it's not an easy course of study!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. PATTY, wow, that is very impressive! I admire adults who pursue further education like that, too. Sometimes I wonder about going to grad school to study writing (like a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing) and then I think, no, I'm too busy actually writing (and also raising two small children)! LOL But it would be fun for me to take some history classes. I do feel like I'm doing an independent study though for each new novel. I love the research.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  24. Ms. Green,

    Honestly, no I haven't had them mention the Civil War to me, nor have they mentioned tv series or films that discuss nursing. As for myself, I am always drawn into the lives of nurses in one way or another, as with ER I appreciated the nursing pov quite frequently, as I always felt they had the shaft! :( Then, in Downton Abbey I appreciated how strong their daugther was to not only become a nurse but to further follow her heart which led to Ireland, as she could continue to nurse and be of service, even if it meant breaking ties to her family! There is a new BBC series entitled: Call the Midwife, which has me deeply curious at the moment! :) And, as foresaid, those 1940s films with Claudette Colbert are amongst my absolute favourites! Ooh, and of course, M*A*S*H! Love that one, dearly! :) :)

    Nursing is a calling like so many fields, but it's a special instinctive trade at the very same time, because your put into situations you cannot mentally, emotionally, or psychologically prepare for,... you have to draw on what you have inside you to not only overcome 'where' you are at the time of the job at hand, but 'how' and 'why' your there!! I give a lot of credit to those who continue to choose this profession because its such a warming testament of humanity!

    Jorie
    inkand-blogaways(at)usa.net
    OWG RSS feed subscriber

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    1. Hi JORIE! So nice to meet you here. I share your admiration for those in the nursing profession. You're right, it is a mental challenge, but also emotional and spiritual when one is face to face with human suffering. That was a hard lesson for the Civil War nurses to learn, but they did so quickly--to save their tears for later, do the work that must be done immediately, and sort out all the philosophical questions and observations later.

      I am a big fan of Downton Abbey, too, and my editor recently told me I would love Call the Midwife. :) I'm sure I'll enjoy that series as well!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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