In 1915, two spirited Australian sisters join the war effort as nurses, escaping the confines of their father’s dairy farm and carrying a guilty secret with them. Used to tending the sick as they are, nothing could have prepared them for what they confront, first in the Dardanelles, then on the Western Front.
At once vast in scope and extraordinarily intimate, The Daughters of Mars brings the First World War to vivid life from an unusual perspective. A searing and profoundly moving tale, it pays tribute to the men and women who voluntarily risked their lives for peace.
The Daughters of Mars by Tom Keneally was first published in 2012 and was long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award. Keneally has previously won the Miles Franklin for Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers for the Paraclete. He also won the Booker prize in 1982 for his novel titled, Schindler’s Ark, which was consequently made into the film Schindler’s List.
With Anzac Day soon approaching on April 25th I thought this book would be the perfect read, and with luck, I will have it finished by then too. Like Easter, Anzac Day will be very different this year with services being cancelled across the nation, however we will still find ways to mark the commemoration. Brizzy Mays Books and Bruschetta recently wrote about an idea that is circulating, which involves people standing out on their footpath with a lit candle just before 6am and the Last Post will be played over the radio. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
The War Memorial here in Toowoomba would have been the perfect backdrop for this book, however I don’t think I would be allowed to count Book Snap as an essential trip into town. Nevertheless The Daughters of Mars is featured with a red backdrop to represent the red poppies that have been traditionally used to commemorate Remembrance Day and are now also being used on Anzac Day too. The biscuit tin features the National World War II Memorial and marks the 75th anniversary of WWII. It contains Anzac biscuits and all proceeds go to the RSL. I thought it was a good way of supporting the RSL this year, given the circumstances.
Simpson and his Donkey by Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac was published in 2008 and was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia award. It is the “heroic story of one man and a donkey.”
Jack Simpson Kirkpatrick landed at Gallipoli on April 25th 1915 to serve as a stretcher-bearer. He enlisted the help of a donkey and together these unlikely heroes worked tirelessly, carrying wounded soldiers from the battlefront to the beach hospital.
Book Snap Sunday is hosted by Sharon from Gums and Galaxies. If you are looking for something to fill in your time while social distancing and you enjoy reading and photography, feel free to join in.