Seems I’m stuck in a somewhat historical mode with my reading lately.
First The Sandcastle Girls, centered around the Armenian Genocide in the early 20th century, then The Green Shore, which looks at the lives of a Greek family affected by a military junta which occurred in the late 1960’s.
And now The Bitter Truth, the third Bess Crawford mystery, in which this intrepid WWI nursing sister finds herself embroiled in a very interesting domestic situation involving an aristocratic military man, his wife, his extended family, and a long dead child.
I find this to be my favorite of the Bess Crawford series so far. Perhaps I’m finally warming up to Bess, getting to know her quirks a little bit better. She’s a strong woman, and I love the way she stands up to priggish men like Roger Ellis, the main character in this book. Women were still very much dominated by the male species, but Bess will have none of it, and follows her own standard no matter the cost.
I admire that in any woman and frankly wish I had a bit more of that kind of moxie.
As in each of these novels, Bess spends a bit of time talking about her entry into the nursing profession, and how the need for nurses (brought about by WWI) enabled so many women to enter professional life who might not have had an opportunity to do so. Social custom made it impossible for intelligent women of a certain class to “work.” Unlike the 21st century female, who begins thinking eagerly about professions at a very early age, attends many a CollegeWeekLive college fair or college finder event, and plans her future based on what she wants to do, not what society prescribes for her. A benefit of a horrible war, but at least something good came of it.
As I race through this engaging mystery, I’m glad to know I have a copy of the newest installment, An Unmarked Grave, waiting in the wings. (Watch for my review on July 2, 2012, as part of the TLC Book Tours.)