Iris is a young Australian nurse who travels to World War I in France in hopes of returning home with her fifteen-year-old brother, who had run away to fight the war against his father’s wishes. During her journey to retrieve him, she comes across a young physician who convinces her to stay and lend a helping hand in the founding of an army hospitable entirely run by females. She decides to help, believing it would better her chances of finding her brother. Soon Iris finds herself caught up in all the commotion as she finds herself now a nurse and an administrator at the new hospitable. There she sees the consequences of war and the great impacts it afflicts.
Sixty years after the War, Iris receives an invitation inviting her to come back to France to celebrate their 60th anniversary As Iris reads through the letter, we follow her into a journey of the past as she relieves her time as a nurse and decides to go back, even though some painful memories await her. With her granddaughter Grace along her side, we as readers as see the dynamic contracts of both their lives, and what Iris will do to protect her family. Both their stories became intertwined in unexpected ways.
I enjoyed how the novel constantly shifted from the present to the past, as Iris recalls the past at the near end of her days. It was interesting to view what it was like during World War I for the women who served as nurses and doctors in the era of World War I. It was also just as intriguing to learn that during those times, there happened to be a hospitable run merely by women, out on the Western Front. The history and experiences were well written and made you want to find out more of what really happened back then.