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Friday, February 27, 2009

All This Hell by Evelyn M. Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee

Posted by Irish in Review2 Comments

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky (website)
Publication Year: 2003
ISBN: 0813190614
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 264
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
A few years ago I read a book called And if I Perish by Evelyn M. Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee. The book dealt with the experiences of what the US Army nurses went through during World War II. I was so impressed with this book and learned so much. After all history largerly ignores the contributions that the nurses gave to the war effort. When they are seen in movies its usually in hospitals far from the actual battle and they are dress in their white uniforms where their biggest worry was running out of clean bandages and the occasional bombing. And while that was one role of nurses it wasn’t the main role. Nurses where right there with the Army soldiers as they stormed the beaches of Africa, on the front lines at Anzio Beach and all in all just leading a hugely remarkable and awe inspiring life.

So when I learned that there was another book written by Monahan and Greenlee I just had to get it. This book, All This Hell, tells the story of the nurses who where imprisoned in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded. Overall, this wasn’t a bad book…the writing and the research where all there but after reading And If I Perish I think that I expected more from it. All This Hell was more of a broad overview of what nurses, soldiers, doctors and civilians went through during their internment. To me this made things a little less personal than if she’d just focused on the experiences of the nurses. Not that there is anything wrong with the broad view, but there are so many books out there that talk about what the soldiers suffered that I was hoping to learn specifics about the women. Those all too often overlooked people who worked just as hard and suffered just as much as the male soldiers but never get their story told.

All This Hell is a good read and will give the reader much to think about of the plight of those imprisoned in the Philippines during the war. But if you want some real hard hitting and inspirational stories of strength and survival then I highly recommend that you read And If I Perish. Its been years since I’ve read it, but the stories all remain fresh in my mind.

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Challenge Summary:
Book 19 for my 75 Book Challenge
Book 3 out of 5 for my World War II Challenge
Book 2 out of 9 for the Non-Fiction Category of my 999 Challenge

2 Responses to “All This Hell by Evelyn M. Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee”

  1. Literary Feline

    Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I am especially interested in And if I Perish, which you mention. I hadn’t heard of that or All This Hell before. Both sound like worthwhile reads. Great review!