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The Woman at the Front  By  cover art

The Woman at the Front

By: Lecia Cornwall
Narrated by: Hannah Curtis
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Publisher's Summary

A daring young woman risks everything to pursue a career as a doctor on the front lines in France during World War I and learns the true meaning of hope, love, and resilience in the darkest of times.

When Eleanor Atherton graduates from medical school near the top of her class in 1917, she dreams of going overseas to help the wounded, but her ambition is thwarted at every turn. Eleanor's parents insist she must give up medicine, marry a respectable man, and assume her proper place. While women might serve as ambulance drivers or nurses at the front, they cannot be physicians - that work is too dangerous and frightening.

Nevertheless, Eleanor is determined to make more of a contribution than sitting at home knitting for the troops. When an unexpected twist of fate sends Eleanor to the battlefields of France as the private doctor of a British peer, she seizes the opportunity for what it is - the chance to finally prove herself.

But there's a war on, and a casualty clearing station close to the front lines is an unforgiving place. Facing skeptical commanders who question her skills, scores of wounded men needing care, underhanded efforts by her family to bring her back home, and a blossoming romance, Eleanor must decide if she's brave enough to break the rules, face her darkest fears, and take the chance to win the career - and the love - she's always wanted.

©2021 Lecia Cornwall (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"An adventurous woman ahead of her time…a fascinating historical novel.”—Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author

“A uniquely female perspective of World War I…a beautiful, touching, romantic women’s fiction novel that is sure to delight fans of Outlander and Downton Abbey.”—Lori Nelson Spielman, New York Times bestselling author

"Realistic and emotionally engaging, you’ll believe every word."Toronto Star

What listeners say about The Woman at the Front

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couldn't stop listening

I have listened to several books about women in medicine during the Revolutionary War and WW 1.
I always come away with awe of their strength and fortitude. This book is no exception. I found myself yelling at the men who were so overbearing and in her way. Even the matron dragon, I got so angry at . But Elenore persevered in the worst place on earth to be. There is just enough romance . I am an old nurse now and look at so far we have come.
We are women hear us roar!

3 people found this helpful

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An enjoyable read.

I enjoyed this book. There were times I felt a little impatient with the authoress, such as with her repetitive uses of phrases like "lifted her chin" and "crisp," and because of the plot's tendency to predictability, but overall it was fun and engaging. Held my attention, and the pace was great. Hannah Curtis's voice is very pleasant to listen to, also.
A great novel? Maybe not--but definitely likable and worth the read!

3 people found this helpful

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Engaging premise, uneven storytelling

I found this work perplexing. After getting off to a promising start, with the interesting premise of a woman, trained as a doctor, seeking to use her skills in the period prior to and during World War I, the story suffers from strange bouts of redundancy and repetition. During the course of the first two chapters alone, the same information is repeated either narratively or through dialogue, again and again. At times, certain characters repeat the same words verbatim, either within the same chapter or subsequent ones. I almost gave up on listening several times, but then would arrive at wonderful, evocative descriptive passage-- of a wartime railway station where weary, wounded soldiers mingle with fresh-faced new recruits, or of a medical post at the front under fire. those sequences kept me involved, despite the heavy-handed dialogue and tiresome repetition. It felt at times almost as if there were two different writers involved, one of whom was responsible for those wonderful descriptive sequences and action scenes, and another who was scripting the dialogue and ostensible thoughts of the lead character and her (no fewer than) three male "leads." The woodenness of many of the latter, and an overall tendency to re-state the obvious a second and then a third time, caused me to give this a low rating.

Postscript /SPOILER ALERT- (Do not read if you intend to listen to this audiobook): One among many touches that I found tonally 'off' was the notion, indicated in the epilogue, that one of two wartime suitors, the man whom the protagonist does NOT marry, would name his daughter after her--- rather than after the wife who died in childbirth. ( I really wondered what the deceased wife's family felt about that!) It all seemed part and parcel of an overdone conclusion in which the protagonist receives all of the validation and honor that evaded her throughout the course of the story.

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nice story

An enjoyable story with good characters and a strong female lead. I love the historical aspect of the story. Some unnecessary redundant dialogue, which could be filler or the writer felt the reader needs to hear the same info again.

2 people found this helpful

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World of Wars

O loved listening to this historical novel. The struggle of the main character to achieve his dream of becoming a real professional practicing doctor amazed me. The details of the horrors of soldiers men and women, civilians or not, at the battle front is very realistic. It is so well described that the reader can imagine him or herself feeling the hardships and terror those people faced.
The narrator is excellent!!! But it seems that memory is fragile for those who heard about the war, but not really participated in it. Time passes and new wars develop, every few years …. Getting more and more global and lethal as human race evolves. I cried listening some chapters of this book…..

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Outstanding Story

This is a great book that is brought to life by the narrator.
The details really allowed me to envision the story.
Well Done!

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Slow!

I just couldn't even finish this. I didn't warm up to the narrator and the storyline went so, so slow that I just couldn't continue.

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Fiction with historical perspective

There were times where I felt the prolonged wordiness of descriptions were irrelevant, and more of a push for a literary vocabulary word than telling a story. Getting beyond that, I enjoyed the story.

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Such a beautifully written story

I loved every minute of this story. Thoroughly engaging and beautifully written. You thank yourself for picking this one.

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An absolute favorite

It is rare to come across an audio book that doesn’t lose momentum or become repetitive when this lengthy.
Cheers for The Woman at the Front. I wish the author had more historical based works. Highly recommend.