‘When The World Stood Still’ by Kate Eastham is a historical and emotional book about a nurse, Emily, during World War One as the Spanish Flu Epidemic started.
Emily has a vocation in life with her nursing and is not looking forward to having to stop work when she marries Lewis, her secret Fiancé. She is waiting patiently for the end of the was when a flu epidemic begins to overwhelm all the hospitals. It spreads so fast through everyone, soldiers are as prone to catch it as easy as normal people can. This causes untold complications and emergencies that no-one could have foreseen, but Emily knows she has to carry on and deal with things that others aren’t prepared to.
I always love a good historical story and this one is all the more poignant to read as we ourselves are managing the COVID-19 pandemic and having to things in a weird situation. It made this book all the more realistic as I could imagine the panic back then.
The characters as, as always with Kate Eastham, great. We see Emily being a dedicates nurse and we also see the rebel in her. The fact she isn’t meant to have a fiancé and work at the same time means nothing, she goes ahead and does it. As I have said previously she isn’t keen on having to stop work when she gets married either. Emily is a girl who knows her own mind and is willing to fight for it.
Her dedication to her job is very apparent and she is put in really sad situations and we see her handle things, the unexpected things just make her more determined to sort things out. I could see this happening with quite a few nurses or career women back then and can envisage Emily make the stand for continuation of work after marriage if it came to it.
A moving and interesting book that swept me back to 1918 for a day or two and I loved being there!
Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for the copy of the book and my spot on the tour.