From the acclaimed author of Schindler’s List comes the epic, unforgettable story of two sisters whose lives are transformed by the cataclysm of the First World War.
IN 1915, Naomi and Sally Durance, two spirited Australian sisters, join the war effort as nurses, escaping the confines of their father’s farm and carrying a guilty secret with them. Though they are used to tending the sick, nothing could have prepared them for what they confront, first on a hospital ship near Gallipoli, then on the Western Front.
Yet amid the carnage, the sisters become the friends they never were at home and find themselves courageous in the face of extreme danger and also the hostility from some on their own side. There is great bravery, humor, and compassion, too, and the inspiring example of the remarkable women they serve alongside. In France, where Naomi nurses in a hospital set up by the eccentric Lady Tarlton while Sally works in a casualty clearing station, each meets an exceptional man: the kind of men for whom they might give up some of their newfound independence—if only they all survive.
At once vast in scope and extraordinarily intimate, The Daughters of Mars brings World War I vividly to life from an uncommon perspective. Thomas Keneally has written a remarkable novel about suffering and transcendence, despair and triumph, and the simple acts of decency that make us human even in a world gone mad.
Review International Praise for The Daughters of Mars
“Magnificent… a stunning performance, full of suspense, searing particulars, and deep emotion.… The huge talents of Thomas Keneally are everywhere on display.” (The Guardian)
“May be the best novel of Keneally’s career… a book that aims for, and achieves, real grandeur.” (The Spectator, One of the Best Books of 2012)