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4.8 out of 5 stars89
4.8 out of 5 stars
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It's 1945, and the Second World War is over, but for 25 year old Millie Sullivan, her life as a qualified nurse and midwife in the East End of London is as busy as ever. Together with her nurse colleagues at Munroe House Nurse's Home, Millie witnesses her share of tragedy and yet her determined spirit sees her though the harsh reality of living through some tough circumstances. The indomitable spirit of the people who inhabit the overcrowded streets and the bomb damaged buildings of the East End, come gloriously alive in this wonderful historical saga.

This is the first of Jean Fullerton's books I have read, but I am impressed with the way she controls the narrative and allows the characters to develop, so that by the end of the book you really care about what happens to them. Millie in particular is a feisty heroine who encapsulates the spirit of the time in her no nonsense approach and down to earth way of dealing with whatever life throws at her. By using her undoubted skill as qualified nurse, the author has used her medical knowledge to good effect, and has written a story which pulls you in from the very beginning. The individual stories really tug at your heart strings, and yet beyond the heartbreak and tragedy, there is always hope for a better future.

Overall, this is a really lovely story, which will appeal to anyone who enjoys post-war social history.
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on 25 May 2013
I really enjoyed this novel. We see the post war London through the sympathetic eyes of Queen's Nurse, Millie - the squalor and disease that was part of everyday life for the slum dwellers. It is clear that the author has done her research, but uses a light hand to skillfully weave historical fact/social history and a great story together in such a way that the reader is engaged and entertained. I read Call Nurse Millie quickly because I wanted to know what happened to Millie's fiancé, the other nurses, her mother and all of the well rounded secondary characters who walk across the pages of this novel. I don't want to write a spoiler so I'll just say there is romance, tragedy, humour and, ultimately, a happy conclusion for most of the characters.
I hope there will be a sequel and that Nurse Millie will be knocking on our doors, very soon.
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on 24 October 2013
I hadn't seen *that TV show* and I did think this would be a bit predictable and sweet. I also don't tend to read stories which aren't contemporary. How wrong was I? I LOVED THIS STORY, FROM THE FIRST PAGE TO THE LAST. ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT.
It didn't turn out how I'd thought. There were some very sad moments in the story, and I cried about three times while reading it. It deals with some very harsh subjects too, very well.
The period details about nursing, and the NHS starting were very interesting, and didn't jar with the story. They were just slipped in without me hardly noticing. They gave it a really authentic feel and I never felt anywhere else but the East End of London, in that time period. My mum wasn't even born when this story is set and I'm in my thirties, but it didn't stop me finding the time period very interesting. It's shocking how differently we are as a society now from then, and this book really showed that, in positive and negative ways.
The characters were a joy to read - Milly was a likeable character, but not too perfect. She had her faults, and made mistakes, like real people do. Her heard was always in the right place.
Her friends were great fun, and I loved reading about the dances they went on together. The details like their hairstyles, and the music added in elements which made me always feel in that time and place, every time I opened the book.
Some of the patients were so interesting, I wanted to hear more about them each time.
The woman in charge of the nurses home was great, I loved her and Millie's run ins each time. It was like a good soap opera, and I laughed a lot.
I was sad when it ended, and look forward to reading more from this author.
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on 27 May 2013
I tried really hard not to finish this book because I was enjoying it so much!! What a lovely story, I laughed, cried and now am bereft it's finished, I hope the author does a follow up as I feel there is so much more to tell!!!!!
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on 12 September 2013
If I'm honest I thought this book would be just like 'Call the Midwife' but I've read other books by the same author and so trusted her instinct for storytelling. To start with my imagination conjured up the nurse in Call the Midwife but that only lasted a page I got to know and love Millie. Oh my! She was nursing in some tough conditions and having to care for her family.

I genuinely couldn't put the book down. My husband would find me tucked away in some corner of the house reading when I really should have been doing other things.

The brilliant thing about the story is that it wasn't predictable. It didn't turn out how I expected - right down to the last page. The writing evoked emotion (I won't say any more!) and I desperately want to find out what happens next in Millie's life.
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on 9 September 2013
I usually shy away from hospital romances. But this was recommended by a friend, and as it is set immediately after the 2nd World War, and I like historical novels, I decided to give it a go. Millie is a great character - full of life (when she's not exhausted!) - and not afraid to come forward when there's any injustice. I felt I learnt a lot through Jean Fullerton's meticulous research and telling details what life was really like for a nurse in those times. Millie enticed me into her world of family and colleages and suitors. Next to Millie, I loved the mother. Thought she was terrific. The story swings along and the ending - well, just a few paragraphs before the very end - took me completely by surprise, and I just wanted to say, 'Ahhh.'
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on 4 March 2014
Jean Fullerton paints a vivid picture of life in post-war London in her enchanting and engrossing saga, Call Nurse Millie.

Sister Millie Sullivan was looking forward to celebrating the end of the Second World War. However, her happiness was short-lived when her beloved father died suddenly on VE day. Juggling the demands of her challenging job as a district nurse in one of London’s poorest areas with caring for her grieving mother Doris is not easy, but Millie knows that she must not let her own personal sorrow get in the way of her profession. Her patients’ safety and well-being is paramount – however this doesn’t stop Millie from missing her dad or from wondering how her mother is coping now that the love of her life is no longer by her side. Although her mother keeps herself busy by becoming more active in the community, Millie cannot quite shake off the feeling that all is not quite well with Doris. Romance is the last thing on the young nurse’s mind. With her workload constantly increasing and her duties getting heavier and heavier, Millie has got neither the time nor the energy for a relationship. But when she meets dashing policeman Alex Nolan at a dance, Millie soon begins to realise that there is more to life than work…

The war had been the making of Alex Nolan. Having spent most of his adult life lurching from one dead-end job to the next, Alex had spent most of the war fighting shoulder to shoulder with men born to great privilege – and time and again he proved himself to be their equal. Determined to make something of himself now that he’s on Civvy Street, Alex had joined the police force and had his eyes firmly set on climbing up the ladder and making it to the top. But when Alex realizes that the only way he can make his dreams of promotion come true is by emigrating, will he manage to convince Millie – whom he has fallen madly in love with – to join him in Palestine and leave her old life behind?

Nobody had been more surprised than Millie when she had started walking out with Alex. Attraction had quickly given way to a love that simply couldn’t be denied. However, Millie is not sure whether she is ready to leave everything that is dear and familiar behind, especially when the burden of responsibility is weighing heavily upon her shoulder.

Happiness is within the plucky young nurse’s reach. But does it lie thousands of miles away or is it closer than she’s ever even imagined?

Call Nurse Millie is a compelling, warm-hearted and captivating tale that beautifully captures the joys, the sorrows, the humanity and the heart of a community poised on the precipice of great change. Jean Fullerton has managed to recreate the triumphs, hardships and humour of the people of the East End with flair, skill and ease and the reader finds herself caring not just for Millie and her friends, but also for the colourful supporting characters who people this outstanding saga. The historical background is beautifully rendered and exquisitely evoked, the action fast-paced, the dialogue wonderfully authentic and the emotion heartfelt and true.

Jean Fullerton has outdone herself with Call Nurse Millie and she has written a first-class tale readers will not easily forget!

This review was originally published on the Single Titles website.
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on 11 November 2013
The author very kindly gave me the opportunity to read a pre-publication copy of this entertaining account of a Nurse's life in London immediately after the end of World War II. I hope the author will forgive me for having taken so long to read and review her novel but unfortunately life rather got in the way and I was unable to read it as soon as I had hoped. The follow up All Change for Nurse Millie is due for publication next February and I plan to read it as soon as it is released if I can. It is worth mentioning that the author of this book has a great deal of experience in healthcare, as well as being passionate about her native city both of which I believe shows in the attention to detail found in the novel. Being so well researched Call Nurse Millie is a vivid description of life in the East End of London, during a time of great strife.

Millie is the feisty protagonist of the story, it is through her eyes and the way she deals with everything life throws at her that you will learn more of the community spirit that existed during that period. Health Care was only available to those that paid for it, rationing was an every day occurrence. Life was harsh yet there was still time for happiness and romance. The characters and storylines develop well throughout the novel, by the end I really cared about them and wanted to know more about their lives. This is why it is good news that the sequel as mentioned above is coming soon. In conclusion I found this read like a true story it certainly feels authentic enough to be one.

I would not normally compare a novel to a television programme but this one reminded me of one I have enjoyed recently, the series from a true story, was 'Call The Midwife'. Fans of this series will definitely enjoy this novel as will those that are interested in the immediate post war social history of the UK.
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on 15 July 2013
I can highly recommend this book, it is very well researched, very authentic and a great story to boot! I can remember the early fifties as I was a small girl then, although this book is set a little earlier than this it feels very evocative of that time to me. The nursing detail is excellent, I trained in the early 60's but its very familiar, this is how nursing was then! Even with no nursing background this book will appeal as the characters and storyline grip from page one! Many congratulations to Jean on a first class book, looking forward to the next one, meanwhile I will be getting hold of Jean's earlier titles!
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on 22 August 2014
What an engaging tale, I loved this book! I found it compulsive reading and was unable to put it down. Jean Fullerton has written a tale of post war London, where her heroine Nurse Millie works in her local community. It is clear that Jean has done her research, as the story has a wonderfully authentic feel, bringing alive the sounds and smells of time and place, with beautiful drawn characters that I cared about and moving story lines that kept me hooked. I am looking forward to more Nurse Millie books to lose myself in.
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