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I found "Hospital Sketches" to hold remarkable insight into the daily grind of a Civil War nurse. Louisa May Alcott gathers all the right elements and emotions, mixing sorrow, humor and strength together effortlessly.
The storyline: Tribulation Periwinkle, a restless spinster, desires to contribute in the war effort, and promptly becomes a nurse for the Union Army. Once in Washington DC, Nurse P becomes a busy woman, taking care of the injured soldiers and dealing with grueling situations, such as amputations, misfortune and death surrounding her. Trib displays a true heart for helping "the boys" in their time of need and has a wonderful sense of patriotism.
Actually, this story comes from Miss Alcott's early published works, but she was already quite the writer. The pages of "Hospital Sketches" hold much truth. Miss Alcott herself was a nurse as Tribulation is, and many parts of the fictional story were based on actual experiences. In all honesty, it's rather a plain book, and some may find it too dry (especially in contrast to the author's famous works which contain great frivolity). "Hospital Sketches" suited me just fine though, and I'm glad she penned the story on paper for future generations to learn of her experiences.
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