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Nightingales Books In Order

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Publication Order of Nightingales Books

The Nightingale Girls (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Nightingale Sisters (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Nightingale Nurses (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Child is Born (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nightingales on Call (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Nightingale Christmas Wish (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nightingales at War (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nightingales Under the Mistletoe (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Nightingale Christmas Carol (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Nightingale Christmas Show (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Nightingale Christmas Promise (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nightingale Wedding Bells (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Nightingale Daughters (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

“The Nightingale” series is a set of novels by Donna Douglas, a historical fiction, romance and literary fiction writer who writes heartwarming sagas set in Britain during the war.

The author was born in the small town of Wandsworth in London and was known for making up stories behind the house while she was still a child. At the time, books were something of a luxury for the family and she used to enjoy going to the library as a rare treat.

However, she got a lot of inspiration from the adventure comics she was gifted by her grandmother from time to time. She also got some drive from “Jackanory,” the TV show, which has some amazing storytellers.

She penned “The Nightingale Girls,” her debut novel in 2012 and has never looked back since. With her debut novel becoming a huge success, she made it into a series and even wrote several other series on the same theme.

Donna currently makes her home in York and when she is not writing her novels, she can be found reading, walking and watching daytime television.

Even though Donna Douglas started out writing contemporary women’s fiction, she would find much of her success in historical fiction.
It was her editor that suggested that she should try to write something based on history and even suggested the life and times of nurses from the 1930s. At the time, she did not know anything about the subject but once she dove into the research she realized she had a lot of information that could make for some great stories.

In writing her stories, Douglas got much help from the Royal College of Nursing. The institution has a massive archive of first hand nurse accounts that reach back as far as Florence Nightingale.

As such, it was not too hard to get a good overview of hospital life, particularly as it pertains to nurses. As for specific medical practices, she was fortunate enough to procure some many original nursing and medical textbooks that offered context.

Thanks to this, she now knows where to apply a leech and how to make linseed poultice.

Douglas published “The Nightingale Girls” as Donna Douglas to differentiate it from her previous contemporary romances. Set in the mid 1930s, it tells the stories of three nurses in some kind of Downtown Abbey meets Holby City format.

The three girls come from very different backgrounds that face all manner of traumas and trials after signing up as student nurses. Nurse training was very difficult in those days as students were subjected to a strict regimen that only the most hardworking students could have fun.

One nurse described the regimen as the school trying to keep them like nuns even though they did not live like nuns. In fact, the 1930s in which the novels are set was a difficult time, particularly since most of the nurses started training when they were 18.

Once they were done with preliminary training, they spent about three months in the ward learning under some very harsh and strict sisters. Most of the time it was a terrifying experience and the days were exhausting, long, full of hard work and little time off.
This is what she portrays in the “Nightingale Girls” series of novels.

Donna Douglas’s novel “The Nightingale Girls” introduces the fictional students studying at the Florence Nightingale Teaching Hospital in the East End of London.

The lead protagonists of the story are Millie, Hellen and Dora who could not have had any more different background. But they have a shared mission to graduate into nurses and are brought together by their shared experiences.

Dora is a girl from the working class and poor East End. She is looked down on by many students as she is not the typical student at the prestigious institution. She is a tough girl that has battled hard to leave home and get away from an abusive stepfather.

Helen is a studious and quiet girl and is known to be a tattle tale who nobody at the institution trusts. She is the daughter to the strict and sometimes harsh Trustee at the hospital. She is known for ruling both her daughter and the staff with a rod of iron.

The third girl is Millie who is of noble birth and is much loved by her father. No one believes she will ever graduate given that she is often flippant and carefree.

Sharing their training experiences, the girls make an unlikely alliance as they open up to each other while battling 14 hour days, washing out bedpans and stripping beds.

“The Nightingale Sisters” by Donna Douglas continues to follow the three student nurses introduced in the debut novel of the series. They are dealing with some frightening and heartless ward sisters that have some very high work standards. But Violet, Dora and Millie also have their own problems.

The new night sister named Violet is not what everyone thinks she is. She seems to be hiding a dark secret and Sister Wren has vowed to find out what it is. Student nurse Dora is struggling with heartbreak over the love of her life Nick.

The arrival of a new resident offers an opportunity at new love but forgetting Nick will not be so easy. Meanwhile, Millie is torn over two men. But when she develops an unexpected friendship with one of her patients she starts questioning where her future and heart lies.

With the nation in mourning over King George V’s death the women at the Nightingale might just have their lives changed forever.

Donna Douglas’s novel “The Nightingale Nurses” goes deeper into the individual lives of the nurses. They are now trying to reconcile their personal lives, their future and training as they enter the final year and prepare for the State Examination.

If they pass the exam, they can specialize in nursing or midwifery fields or become staff nurses. Helen is struggling to find her footing since she is torn between her fiance and her mother. Millie has been having a rocky relationship as her boyfriend does not seem to value honesty.

Meanwhile, Dora needs to deal with her siblings’ narrow minded hatred and membership in Blackshirt even as she tries to mend her friendship with Ruby.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Nightingales

One Response to “Nightingales”

  1. Chris Dearling: 3 months ago

    I am 77 yrs old, a 3rd generation nurse, my daughter followed me into the profession and my 17yr old grandaughter may be the 5th generation in the profession. A Nursing colleague introduced me to Donna’s books and I have loved each one. Please keep going Donna, I am looking forward to getting an audio copy of “the nightingale daughters”. Thank you

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