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When the World Stood Still: Heartbreaking historical fiction set in the time of Spanish flu

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30 review for When the World Stood Still: Heartbreaking historical fiction set in the time of Spanish flu

  1. 5 out of 5

    Literary Soirée

    “This was no mild fever with a cough and a sneeze – soldiers, young men in the prime of their lives, were coming through the door already cyanotic, with blue lips and fingertips.” WHEN THE WORLD STOOD STILL is a gripping hf account of the 1918 flu epidemic. It’s based on a true story featuring nurse trainee Emily Burdon, 20, at St. Marylebone Infirmary in London. As WWI nears its end, the hospital is jammed with injured soldiers, and soon, flu overwhelms them all. Author Kate Eastham’s elegant de “This was no mild fever with a cough and a sneeze – soldiers, young men in the prime of their lives, were coming through the door already cyanotic, with blue lips and fingertips.” WHEN THE WORLD STOOD STILL is a gripping hf account of the 1918 flu epidemic. It’s based on a true story featuring nurse trainee Emily Burdon, 20, at St. Marylebone Infirmary in London. As WWI nears its end, the hospital is jammed with injured soldiers, and soon, flu overwhelms them all. Author Kate Eastham’s elegant descriptive style takes us right there beside the nurses. “They all flitted around the ward in their whites, only identifiable by hair colour and eyes above the mask – like ghostly warriors in battle against an unseen enemy.” It is a Sisyphean effort, compounded by worry for unheard-from family members at the front and at home. “I’ve never seen anything like this pandemic,” said anesthetist Dr. McKenzie. “Whatever it is, it’s filling patients’ lungs with so much fluid that they’re drowning. We need more time to study but it’s ripping through every city in the world….” Staff succumb just as quickly. “They went down like ninepins,” said the actual infirmary head at the time. Oh how my heart seizes as I read this, so like today’s accounts of COVID. We live near a hospital, hear the scream of ambulances, the constant whir of medical choppers. As I write, I hear sirens now. I read on, seeking hope from the past, knowing the world survived both war and epidemic in 1918. It’s why I love historical fiction — to learn and take solace from what’s gone before us. And it’s why I give WHEN THE WORLD STOOD STILL my highest praise! 5 of 5 Stars Pub Date 22 Feb 2021 Thanks to the author, Bookouture, and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #WhentheWorldStoodStill #NetGalley

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    When the World Stood Still by Kate Eastham is a wonderful WWI era historical fiction novel that kept me engaged from beginning to end. This novel takes place in London during WWI and just while the English citizens think things cannot become any more dire, the epidemic that would become the Spanish Flu sweeps through the nation. This is a great account of what the average citizen and healthcare worker had to deal with during this volatile time. It was fascinating to see the medical landscape evolv When the World Stood Still by Kate Eastham is a wonderful WWI era historical fiction novel that kept me engaged from beginning to end. This novel takes place in London during WWI and just while the English citizens think things cannot become any more dire, the epidemic that would become the Spanish Flu sweeps through the nation. This is a great account of what the average citizen and healthcare worker had to deal with during this volatile time. It was fascinating to see the medical landscape evolve and change as new practices regarding epidemiology and infectious disease are evaluated, tested, implemented, and accepted. There was plenty of action, suspense, high stakes, a few surprises, and a little romance to help add complexity and depth to the story. I enjoyed reading about Emily Burdon and her personal and professional experiences within the book. As a nurse, she was thrust into the middle of so much, and experienced the same. I really enjoyed the relationships and secondary characters as well, but I really liked Emily. Passionate, strong, imperfect, like able, and realistic seems to fit the bill when describing her, and I really enjoyed reading her story. I also enjoyed the Author's Note of historical interest at the end of the book as well. It really added to the background of the story. A great read. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and Bookouture for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 2/22/21.

  3. 5 out of 5

    theliterateleprechaun

    All through the war, the nurses of London’s St. Marylebone Infirmary have stood strong, but they are about to be tested like never before when a deadly flu sweeps the country. Emily Burdon has recently trained as a nurse, getting practical learning tending to the soldiers who’ve returned from war as well as the patients from the crowded London poorhouses. When patients in the hospital contract the flu in late September 1918, Emily’s faith and courage are put to the test. It spreads rapidly, leav All through the war, the nurses of London’s St. Marylebone Infirmary have stood strong, but they are about to be tested like never before when a deadly flu sweeps the country. Emily Burdon has recently trained as a nurse, getting practical learning tending to the soldiers who’ve returned from war as well as the patients from the crowded London poorhouses. When patients in the hospital contract the flu in late September 1918, Emily’s faith and courage are put to the test. It spreads rapidly, leaving the hospital staff shorthanded and ill-equipped. In an effort to curb the transmission, they adopt Florence Nightengale’s philosophy regarding the importance of strict hygiene and ventilation. Sound familiar? Emily’s fiancé, Sargent Lewis Dupree, watches his best friend die on the battle front from the flu before contracting it himself. He suffers in a Dunkirk hospital as the war ends. Having survived the war, will the flu be the cause of his death just days before the war ends? Doctor James Cantor is sent from Prince Edward Island to help the understaffed hospital cope with the pandemic. Tall, gorgeous and clearly attracted to Emily, he brings tension to the hospital. Can Emily survive the changes the pandemic has brought to her life? Can she do it with her heart intact? This heartbreaking historical novel based on the Spanish Flu epidemic is emotional and unforgettable. The first quarter of the book is a slow simmer as the author sets the scene, but by the midpoint in the story, you’ll be glad you stuck with it. There are plot twists, deaths, and romance, mixed in with heartwarming moments and shattering heartbreak as well as reminders of those before us who wore masks, washed hands, sanitized, and social distanced. Central to the theme of this novel are the important threads of love, care and life and how the pandemic brings to light that these threads are the only things that matter. The author has a fantastic write up about her research on the Spanish Flu at the end of her novel. There are many similarities that give us comfort that we are not alone in our Covid-19 fight and make us thankful for progress in the medical field since then that have reduced the number of deaths. Thank you to Kate Eastham, Bookouture and NetGalley for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ghada

    #WhentheWorldStoodStill #NetGalley Thanks NetGalley, my favorite publisher Bookouture and Kate Eastham for an ARC to review. Be prepared with a large box of tissues, clear your schedule before you start reading this book. The year is 1918, hospitals are crowded with wounded soldiers, nurses and doctors are overwhelmed and emotionally drained trying their best to save bodies and souls. 20 years old Emily is training to be a qualified nurse at St Marylebone Infirmary, she and her friends are stretched #WhentheWorldStoodStill #NetGalley Thanks NetGalley, my favorite publisher Bookouture and Kate Eastham for an ARC to review. Be prepared with a large box of tissues, clear your schedule before you start reading this book. The year is 1918, hospitals are crowded with wounded soldiers, nurses and doctors are overwhelmed and emotionally drained trying their best to save bodies and souls. 20 years old Emily is training to be a qualified nurse at St Marylebone Infirmary, she and her friends are stretched thin when above all the Spanish flu spread viciously stealing lives everywhere. Emily's fiance Lewis is participating at the war front while she's waiting for him and for the war to be over. A heartbreaking yet uplifting emotional book that will definitely stay long with you after you finish it.especially during the stressful times we are living through. A major shout out to all the medical sector workers, sacrificing it all and doing their best fighting a painful epidemic.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hailey Goodwin

    Emily is a young nurse training at the St Marylebone Infirmary in London of 1918. Already understaffed and overcrowded while caring for the injured soldiers, the hospital staff find themselves pushing harder to not only save their patients, but also, their peers and loved ones when the Spanish Flu hits. Kate Eastham did an amazing job with this beautifully crafted novel. She was able to capture the time period perfectly, and all the emotions that come with a pandemic without it being too hard to Emily is a young nurse training at the St Marylebone Infirmary in London of 1918. Already understaffed and overcrowded while caring for the injured soldiers, the hospital staff find themselves pushing harder to not only save their patients, but also, their peers and loved ones when the Spanish Flu hits. Kate Eastham did an amazing job with this beautifully crafted novel. She was able to capture the time period perfectly, and all the emotions that come with a pandemic without it being too hard to read. The characters were easy to connect with, there were plot twists that I never saw coming, romance, and gentle reminders of what needs to be done to overcome a global pandemic. I found myself reading slower and even re-reading passages just to saver it all. Thank you to NetGalley, Kate Eastham, and Bookouture for this free e-ARC in return for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bev Walkling

    Review to follow

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Schlesinger

  8. 5 out of 5

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    Kylie Dowers

  10. 4 out of 5

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  11. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Mcclenathan

  12. 5 out of 5

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  13. 4 out of 5

    Nicki

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Smith

  15. 4 out of 5

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  16. 5 out of 5

    Denise

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kerry Pittmann-galcik

  18. 5 out of 5

    Appoloin

  19. 4 out of 5

    Britt

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Scott

  21. 4 out of 5

    Courtney | Novel Maven

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melva J

  23. 4 out of 5

    Holly (2 Kids and Tired)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kate Gnade

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carol Keenan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julissa Vela

  27. 5 out of 5

    Patty Montoro

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura Bass

  30. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

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