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A spellbinding novel of love and courage set in the England, Italy and Florence Nightingale’s Crimea.
A Richard and Judy Book Club bestseller – includes a fascinating and moving brand new final chapter.

Russia, 1854. As the Crimean War grinds on, Rosa Barr – young, headstrong and beautiful – travels to the battlefields, determined to join Florence Nightingale and save as many of the wounded as she can.

For Mariella, Rosa’s cousin, the war is contained within the pages of her scrapbook, her sewing circle, and the letters she receives from Henry, her fiancé, a celebrated surgeon who has also volunteered to work within the shadow of the guns. But when Henry falls ill, and Rosa’s communications cease, Mariella finds herself drawn inexorably towards the war.

Following the trail of her elusive and captivating cousin, Mariella’s epic journey takes her from the domestic restraint of Victorian England to the ravaged landscape of the Crimea. As she ventures deeper into the dark heart of the conflict, Mariella discovers her own strengths and passions through Rosa’s tough lessons of concealment, faithfulness and love.

Reviews

In her novel written with great attention to detail and obvious affection for her characters and the time period, Katharine McMahon has penned a deeply affecting piece of historical fiction.
HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW
absorbing
MY WEEKLY
a heart-stopping tale of love and war during Queen Victoria's reign
WOMAN & HOME
A heart-stopping tale of love and war during Queen Victoria's reign
WOMAN & HOME
Absorbing
MY WEEKLY
In her novel written with great attention to detail and obvious affection for her characters and the time period, Katharine McMahon has penned a deeply affecting piece of historical fiction.
HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW
McMahon is a talented writer whose twists will keep you turning pages
THE LADY
Katharine McMahon is a great storyteller
Niamh Cusack
McMahon combines a thriller writer's grip, pace and punch with the true novelist's depth and warmth of feeling
GUARDIAN
This is the best kind of historical fiction with a searing climax and characters you really believe in
DAILY MAIL
Its themes of medicine, contagious disease and the control of medicine speak to us as we battle with a global pandemic ... But it is not all war and medicine. There is a strong storyline, centred around the relationship between Rosa and Mariella, and the men who complicate their lives ... an enjoyable and thought-provoking read
Karen Warren