Inspired by the letters and journals of Australian nurses, this is wonderfully - but never obtrusively - researched. It is superbly exciting to read; one expects no less form the author of Schindler's Ark. An unmissable, unforgettable tribute.
phrasemaking of such powerful resonance that the result is something few authors would aim for, let alone achieve: genuine grandeur...Keneally retains his miraculous sense of originality...The sudden jolting appearance of an unexpected but unimprovable word is a feat he pulls off again and again...Keneally never loses sight of the individual members of his increasingly huge cast, treating the themes of family and friendship with the same mixture of quiet seriousness and page-turning brio as he tackles the war.
Along with a Tolstoyan ability to describe the horrors of battle, this amazing book also has an extraordinary intimacy, especially in the relationship between the sisters (again, Tolstoy comes to mind.)...an altogether towering achievement.
The skill of Tom Keneally is that he writes with a large scope on matters from the Irish diaspora to convict life in Australia, the Holocaust and now World War I, but his stories are engagingly intimate.
Tom Keneally excels in exploring how tragedy brings out both the best and the worst in individuals, and his memorable characters...provide some surprising flashes of humour and touching romance amid the carnage. This is a novel which effortlessly balances the epic and the intimate and which, despite its unusual ending, is a profoundly satisfying story.
Complex, dark and filled with unexpected turns, The Daughters of Mars is a moving novel, which is as much about the strained relationship between two women as the perils of war...a gripping and emotional read.
This is a psychologically convincing tale of two ordinary women's experience of the thoroughly masculine world of war
Keneally's magic makes his shop-worn subject seem fresh...Over and over again, a brief but brilliant phrase (an injured soldier "writhing and trembling but with a good-mannered lack of excess") turns a statistic into a real person and wrings compassion from you.