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The Daughters Of Mars - Tom Keneally

Paperback

Published: 1st June 2012
For Ages: 15 - 18 years old
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Escaping the pain and guilt of their mother’s death, and the future they inherited, the Durance sisters leave Australia to nurse on the front during WWI.

In 1915 sisters Naomi and Sally Durance answer a call for nurses to join the war effort. They are escaping the family dairy farm in the Macleay Valley, and they carry a secret with them. Soon they are in Egypt, where they are put to work on the Red Cross hospital ship Archimedes as it patrols the Dardanelles. On Archimedes they witness Mars in all his ferocity, as he pummels soldiers in the massive, brutal metal brawl that is Gallipoli. Yet the sisters and their newfound nursing friends, with whom they will witness undreamt-of carnage and take care of unspeakably blighted men, find themselves courageous in the face of the horror.

Naomi, Sally and their gang are then sent to northern Europe, where Naomi nurses in the visionary Australian Voluntary Hospital run by the committed and eccentric Lady Tarlton, and Sally in a casualty clearing station next to the Western Front. Here, again, they must face the inhumanity of war in its many terrible guises - where trench warfare and gas abound. But it is here, too, that the sisters meet the remarkable men with whom they wish to spend the rest of their lives.

Inspired by journals of Australian nursing sisters who gave their all to the Great War effort and the men they nursed, The Daughters Of Mars is vast in scope yet extraordinarily intimate. This is Keneally at the height of his storytelling powers; a stunning tour de force to join the best of First World War literature, and one that casts a fresh light on the challenges faced by the Australian men and women who voluntarily risked their lives for peace.

About the Author

Thomas Keneally won the Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler's Ark, later made into the Academy Award-winning film Schindler's List by Steven Spielberg. His non-fiction, includes the memoir Searching for Schindler and Three Famines, an LA Times Book of the Year, and the histories The Commonwealth of Thieves, The Great Shame and American Scoundrel. His fiction, includes The Widow and Her Hero (shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award), An Angel in Australia and Bettany's Book. His novels The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers for the Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award. The People's Train was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia division.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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The Daughters Of Mars
 
5.0

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Engaging characters (6)
  • Well written (6)
  • Deserves multiple readings (4)
  • Page turner (4)
  • Suspenseful (4)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift (6)
    • Older readers (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Everyday reader (4)

    Reviewed by 6 customers

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    5.0

    A brilliant read probably his besnovel.t

    By Northerner

    from Burnie Tasmania

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Engaging Characters
    • Page Turner
    • Suspenseful
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift
      • Special Needs
      • Younger Readers

      Comments about The Daughters Of Mars:

      This was a great novel about an area of WW1 which has really been neglected ie nursing and the horrible injuries incurred by facial shrapnel wounds and gas. Also had to admire the Quaker Ian Kiernan who stuck to his morals and beliefs. Whilst a sad ending it helped this reader to reflect even more onn the plight of those involved. Probably in years to come should be on schools curriculums.

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      A Brilliant Anti-War Tale

      By Aussie Reader

      from Geelong, AU

      About Me Everyday Reader

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Deserves Multiple Readings
      • Engaging Characters
      • Page Turner
      • Suspenseful
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Adult readers
        • Discussion group
        • Gift

        Comments about The Daughters Of Mars:

        A well-crafted, beautifully written tale which deserves wide readership. One of Keneally's best!

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        The title says it all!

        By Ellisa

        from Geelong Australia

        About Me Bookworm

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Engaging Characters
        • Enthralling
        • Page Turner
        • Suspenseful
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Everyone Over 16
          • Gift
          • Older Readers
          • Reference
          • Travel Reading

          Comments about The Daughters Of Mars:

          This is one of the most impressive books i have read in years. The attention to detail, the description of events, the examination of the plight of the Australian participants of WW! were all portrayed with amazing clarity. The level of research done by Tom Keneally is staggering. I enjoyed this book on every level. It is heart-breaking in some places, and describes a world of horrific and unrelenting realism in others, and yet there is a vein of generous humanity that run alongside the story of appalling waste of lives, people and countries. It was an exciting book in other ways too, as it portrays a group of brave women and the men who came to love them for what they were, as well as the unthinking dolts who underestimated them.

          I did not like the ending-- But it actually continued the theme of malicious fate that is so much part of this novel.

          Everyone should read this book.

          Comment on this review

           
          5.0

          Brilliant

          By Shazz

          from Sydney Australia

          About Me Everyday Reader

          Pros

          • Engaging Characters
          • Page Turner
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Older Readers

            Comments about The Daughters Of Mars:

            This book was the best book I have read in years. The detail about women as nurses in WWI was an interesting topic and one not written about often. The characters were easy to relate to and it also made you realise how much sacrifice was made by earlier Australians. A must read for any Australian.

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            Great insight and well worth the read

            By Hilary

            from Melbourne

            About Me Bookworm

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Engaging Characters
            • Well Written

            Cons

            • A little slow to start

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Travel Reading

            Comments about The Daughters Of Mars:

            A little slow to start, but a truly insightful and thoughtful portrayal of women in WW1. Well written as Tom Keneally always is, and well worth the read.

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            History brought alive

            By Kees the flying Dutchman

            from Mount Eliza, Vic, Au

            About Me Everyday Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Deserves Multiple Readings
            • Engaging Characters
            • Suspenseful
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Gift
              • Older Readers

              Comments about The Daughters Of Mars:

              It highlights the extraordinary sacrifices of Australian nurses during WW I

              Comment on this review

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              ISBN: 9781864712254
              ISBN-10: 1864712252
              Audience: General
              For Ages: 15 - 18 years old
              For Grades: 11 - 12
              Format: Paperback
              Language: English
              Number Of Pages: 608
              Published: 1st June 2012
              Publisher: Random House Australia
              Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.3  x 3.9
              Weight (kg): 0.68

              Thomas Keneally

              Thomas Keneally won the Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler's Ark, later made into the Academy Award-winning film Schindler's List by Steven Spielberg. His non-fiction, includes the memoir Searching For Schindler and Three Famines, an LA Times Book of the Year, and the histories The Commonwealth Of Thieves, The Great Shame and American Scoundrel.

              His fiction, includes The Daughters Of Mars, The Widow And Her Hero (shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award), An Angel In Australia and Bettany's Book. His novels The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers For The Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award. The People's Train was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia division.

              Visit Thomas Keneally's Booktopia Author Page