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The Daughters of Marsby Thomas Keneally
Synopses & Reviews
From the acclaimed author of Schindler’s List, the new novel that has been called the best of Thomas Keneally’s career, and hailed as “magnificent…stunning…full of suspense, searing particulars, and deep emotion” (The Guardian).
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. Used to tending the sick as they are, 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.
"Poignant...masterly...epic....[Keneally] has rescued forgotten heroines from obscurity and briefly placed them center stage." The New York Times Book Review
"A burly, captivating saga of Australian nurses on the front lines of World War I....Inscribed with the stately, benign authority of an eminent tale-spinner." Wall Street Journal
"The The Daughters of Mars is the work of a master storyteller, sharing a tale that is simultaneously sprawling and intimate." NPR
"[A] poignant novel." New York Times, Editor's Choice
"An epic, sweeping book." LA Times
"Extraordinarily moving...Keneally is a master of character development and period detail....Fans of Downton Abbey and Gallipoli alike will find much to admire in Keneally's fast-moving, flawlessly written pages." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Keneally has a Tolstoy-like gift for getting into his characters' heads, as well as for portraying great turns of history in scenes of everyday life." The Dallas Morning News
"Greatly detailed...boasts authentic characters set in equally authentic locations." Booklist
"Magnificent...a stunning performance, full of suspense, searing particulars, and deep emotion....The huge talents of Thomas Keneally are everywhere on display." The Guardian
About the Author
Thomas Keneally began his writing career in 1964 and has published thirty-one novels since. They include Schindler’s List, which won the Booker Prize in 1982, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates, all of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He has also written several works of nonfiction, including his boyhood memoir, Homebush Boy, The Commonwealth of Thieves, and Searching for Schindler. He is married with two daughters and lives in Sydney, Australia.
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