Has anyone read "We band of angels?"

  1. I just got done reading this book and can't get it off my mind. If anyone who hasn't read it is interested, it's about a group of army nurses who were captured by the Japanese in the Phillipines in WWII. They were held as POW's for 3 years. Their story is amazing, and at the same time very sad.

    I was just wondering if anyone who has read it would like to discuss it.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   KaraLea
    I've read this book too and loved it. It has been awhile though and I have been thinking of re-reading it if I can find a copy somewhere.
  4. by   pattyjo
    Loved it! What an awesome story, in the truest sense of the word.

    Those of us in PA were so lucky to have heard the author speak at PSNA's annual summit in October '01. It was especially poignant so close to the tragedy of 9-11. I still say the only sound in the room throughout Elizabeth Norman's talk was sniffing and rustling Kleenex! She stayed afterwards to sign her book, and wrote "From one nurse to another." Then she spoke again at ANA's convention in Philly last year and we were all awestruck again. The slides and pictures she brought were incredible. Our PSNA district has started a book club for nursing-oriented books, and hers was our first choice.


    Patty
  5. by   CountrifiedRN
    Kara Lea, I found mine at Barnes and Noble online. I think it was $14.95. None of the book stores near me carry it in stock.

    Pattyjo, it must have been awesome to see the author in person. What were the slides and pictures she brought? I saw in the back of the book I have that she also wrote another book about nurses in Vietnam.

    I have been thinking about this book since I finished it. (I read it in about 2-3 days) I keep thinking of the statistics of the many people who died in those prison camps, yet not one of the 57 Army nurses or the 11 Navy nurses. The author attributes it to the cohesiveness of the group and the discipline they maintained through out their internment. And the way they continued to work and take care of patients.

    The author also mentioned that for some of the women hard work was instilled in their upbringing. They were used to putting in long hours and doing with very little, especially the ones who had been raised on a farm. But in general back in the 1930's and 40's daily living was much different than what we have today with all our modern conveniences. How do you think women of today would hold up under the same circumstances? In some ways I think it would be harder because we've (our culture has) gotten spoiled with all of the conveniences we have and become unaccustomed to doing really hard work. Now we have machines that do the bulk of our everyday work. (Dishwasher, washing machine, cars to get us from place to place) We go to the grocery store to buy our food instead of grow it. I personally have killed every house plant I've ever owned, except for one lone cactus plant. If I ever had to grow my own food I'd surely starve!

    Just some thoughts for discussion!
  6. by   Nurse Ratched
    OK - you've talked me into it - I reserved the local library's copy. Will pick it up this afternoon. Sounds fascinating. I love non-fiction.
  7. by   Jenny P
    Originally posted by pattyjo
    Loved it! What an awesome story, in the truest sense of the word.

    .... she spoke again at ANA's convention in Philly last year and we were all awestruck again. The slides and pictures she brought were incredible. Our PSNA district has started a book club for nursing-oriented books, and hers was our first choice.

    Patty

    Pattyjo, I was in Philly for the ANA convention and heard her speak. She was awesome and I did buy the book and read it in less than a week. It does haunt you afterwards; I told my DH to read it and he had such a hard time reading it he had to quit several times and re-start a month or so later--- it was too much reality for him.
  8. by   pattyjo
    This makes me want to read the book again!
    Nurse Ratched, you'll be amazed by this. It is non-fiction of course, but reads like the very best kind of story. As everyone else has said, it stays with you.

    One of the women Elizabeth Norman wrote about, Col. Ruby Bradley, died about a month before Dr. Norman spoke at ANA. She was 94. If you look on the cover of the book, she is the one in the front middle of the jeep waving and smiling. Dr. Norman also showed pictures of some of the women, before the left for the Philipines, and then upon their rescue. Quite stunning.

    Patty
  9. by   perfectbluebuildings
    Yes, I read that book and it was incredible. The courage those women had and the way they looked out for their patients first to the very end, and still had the sense to know they had to care for themselves too- and that they stuck together for years after that also! I guess an experience like that would bind you pretty tightly. Yes, I agree with others who say it stays with you.
  10. by   P_RN
    It sounds like I will have a new book to read!! Thanks for the suggestion.
  11. by   night owl
    I wish I had a copy to read right now! Will get me one as soon as I can.
  12. by   jnette
    Originally posted by Nurse Ratched
    OK - you've talked me into it - Sounds fascinating. I love non-fiction.
    Me too. Sounds like a must-read. Can't wait.

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