Thursday, June 26, 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Inspired by Diane Burke Fessler's "No Time For Fear-Voices of American Military Nurses in World War II", I continued to explore the topic with a history by Evelyn M. Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee called "And If I Perish - Frontline US Army Nurses in World War II". From the very beginning of the war, the Japanese attack and invasion of various Pacific Islands, the entrapment of dozens of nurses in the Phillipines (where they remained til the end of the war in concentration camps), the initial recruiting and training of what would be about 70,000 nurses from the homeland; this book tells it all. Then proceeds to describe the evolving policies and tactics for incorporating medical support with the invading American troops from Africa to Sicily and the terrible, dangerous situation at Anzio. Eventually, the preparation and support for the invasion of France in the June 6, 1944 D-Day. Finally, the confusion after VE Day (how to get those in Europe immediately to the Pacific) or how long would those in Europe remain with the occupation? After the many nurses returned home, there were periods of readjustment and restlessness. I have mentioned my Mother was involved as a dietitian, late in the war in France. From reading this book, I understand why, as a 4-year- old, I would sit listening to my young, stay-at-home Mother, tell stories more exciting than fairy tales, while she smoked purple and pink cigarettes and sipped creme de menthe.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Following one of my reading themes, sampling the works of popular writers of my time that I haven't quite gotten around to, I settled on this novella and four stories by Maeve Binchy. The "bus" is written by the device of eight vigniettes about the lives of citizens of a tiny town in the west of Ireland who work, during the week, in Dublin. Each Friday evening, they climb aboard the purple mini-bus driven by Tom, the last story to be told. He takes them all home for a reasonable fare; everyone has the weekend with family in the village; on Sunday evening, they all go back to Dublin. The people have known one another for years, so we see each one thru the eyes of some or all of the others, as the book progresses. The yarns are intertangled in some cases; mainly, each character seems to find some resolution to problems in their lives: one young woman comes to terms with her own nature, which others see as selfish, thoughtless, remote and too penny-pinching (like "Georgie Girl" of the 1960's); another, with a life of crime, etc. The best story, imo, was "Flat in Ringsend", a small classic in the genre of "the alien or outsider comes to belong". An eighteen year old country girl with her first job, free in Dublin, figuring out the ropes of living on her own, finding a flat to share with strange roommates, arranging a social life for herself, finding friends. We see the strangeness thru her "new eyes". Tho it was no problem to finish reading the book, I feel comfortable with one "Maeve Binchy" exposure.
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