Book reviews

Here are some reviews of novels by Lucilla Andrews. The reviews are by fellow RNA members.

Review of The Print Petticoat by Lucilla Andrews

The first thing that struck me about this book is Lucilla’s sense of humour which lights up every page. It is a very true to life story of dedicated working nurses at all stages in their careers, very new and very experienced doctors and, quite frankly, I’d say the book is a must read for any writer hoping to create a fictional ‘lady with the lamp’ and/or a doctor hero.

Tuberculosis is not funny; it can be if Lucilla Andrews, a fully qualified nurse, writes about it with sensitivity.

The path of true love runs through the story and our heroine, Jo, has, I feel, more than her fair share of knights in shining armour, but she does make up her mind, after her ghastly illness, and selects, I’m sure, the right one.

Reviewed by Eileen Ramsay

Review of The Print Petticoat by Lucilla Andrews

This book is now thirty years old. Lucilla Andrews was the queen of the medical romance genre in the late 70s and 80s. On reviewing this novel, however, I’d have to say that by today’s standards the genre for this book would more likely be called New Adult, or possibly Women’s Fiction.

The reason is that this first book of Andrews’s does not contain the major emphasis on romance that her later books did. As times changed, she developed and altered her style to suit.

The Print Petticoat is largely expository at the beginning. Lucilla Andrews’s own nursing experience shines through the entire novel. It is full of medical terminology, much of it now outdated, but still it sings with the story of a young woman who loves and is good at her nursing career and somehow ends up with not one, but three suitors. It outlines the growing up of a girl moving into womanhood at a time when the threat of a serious illness or the possibility of marriage put paid to a nursing career.

Post-war, many of the young men she works with have served and are consequently more mature than others of her contemporaries. When she contracts tuberculosis, Joanna comes to realise which of her suitors proves his love and determines her future.

Reviewed by Vonnie Hughes

Review of One Night in London by Lucilla Andrews

Apart from her brilliant autobiography, this book has to be my favourite of the few books I have so far read by the incredible Lucilla.

Naively, I assumed it would be a typical World War II story. Pretty nurse dating handsome doctor, dinner at The Ritz or The Savoy. Not so. This is a gritty absolutely authentic portrayal of what could and did happen during more than One Night in London in WWII. As always the descriptions are first rate and each protagonist in this story is a perfect creation. Each and every one is real. Interesting points are made about the snobbery involved in the selections of staff. Where did that doctor, nurse, train and how well did each one do in examinations?  Who one’s father was had importance. Some things never change.

What does a nurse do when she believes a patient – perhaps one who has just had a limb amputated – is suicidal? Yes, she is supposed to tell her superior who may well have seen the signs already and be dealing with it.

There are air raids in this novel and, together with locals, injured military find themselves in this hospital. There is more sadness than joy in the story but I bet you’ll never forget it.

Reviewed by Eileen Ramsay

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