Author: Kate Eastham

Publication Date: February 22, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Description

The nurses were putting in twelve-hour shifts now, day and night. Emily felt broken inside, dried out, not even capable of tears. They were short-staffed after a softly spoken Irish nurse, who’d only been with them for four days, had died from the deadly flu and two more had fallen ill. And more patients were coming in every hour, though the hospital beds were already full…

1918. Twenty-year-old Emily Burdon has been training as a nurse in London, learning on the job as she tends to patients from the crowded poorhouses that ring the hospital as well as wounded soldiers returning from the war. She pours her heart into her nursing while she waits for happier times – peace in Europe and the return of her childhood sweetheart Lewis from the Western Front.

But when the deadly Spanish Flu arrives in London on the heels of the war, Emily’s faith and courage are put to the test. All around her men and women in the prime of their lives are wasting away, and until a cure is found there is nothing for Emily and her colleagues to do except make them comfortable, treat them as best they can… and, eventually, ease the pain of their passing.

But then Lewis catches the deadly flu himself on his way back home, just as a new doctor is transferred to head up Emily’s ward. From the distant land of Prince Edward Island in Canada, Dr James Cantor is the first of a generations-old farming family to have left the island, and wartime London feels a long way away from the rugged beauty of his homeland. But despite their differences, he and Emily find common ground in their passion for helping patients and stopping the spread of the disease. But with life forever changed around her and Lewis’ future hanging by a thread, can Emily survive the most terrible epidemic in the history with her life – and heart – intact?

A heartbreaking historical novel based on true history – emotional and unforgettable. Perfect for fans of Jean Grainger, The Beantown Girls and Diney Costeloe.

Book Review

When the World Stood Still by Kate Eastham is an emotional novel about a nurse during World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic.

When the World Stood Still is a great story that I was invested in from the beginning. Emily loves being a nurse and is worried she will have to leave the profession when she marries her secret fiancé. She cannot wait for the war to end and be reunited with Lewis. However, an unexpected flu quickly overwhelms the hospitals spreading among soldiers and the public. This causes many unforeseen circumstances. Emily has to deal with struggles and unexpected situations that nobody is prepared to handle.

When the World Stood Still is a moving story with great characters. Emily is very hard working and fights for what she wants. Even though she isn’t allowed to have a fiancé and work, she does anyways. Emily is very career oriented and doesn’t want to give up nursing after she gets married like is expected. Lucy is Emily’s best friend, and they are always there for each other. A new nurse arrives from America and Emily quickly develops a friendship with her. Emily has a loving family back home. Emily is put in heartbreaking situations. It is interesting to see how Emily reacts to the unexpected and doesn’t give up. The hospital is over capacity so it is hard for the nurses to keep up. There is constantly something going on in the hospital or in Emily’s personal life.  I recommend When the World Stood Still to fans of historical fiction.

Thank you Bookouture and NetGalley for When the World Stood Still.

About the Author

A change in circumstance meant Kate Eastham made the shift from a career in nursing to being a carer for her partner. Determined to make the most of this new role ‘working from home’ and inspired by an in-depth study of the origins of nursing, she wrote her first novel at the kitchen table. Miss Nightingale’s Nurses was published by Penguin in 2018, closely followed by three more in the series. With her passion for history, Kate aims to make visible the lives of ordinary yet extraordinary women from the past. Her current historical fiction is set during the World Wars and will be published by Bookouture.

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