The Fire by Night: A Novel by Teresa MessineoThe Fire by Night: A Novel by Teresa Messineo

The Fire by Night: A Novel

byTeresa Messineo

Hardcover | June 30, 2018

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A powerful and evocative debut novel about two American military nurses during World War II that illuminates the unsung heroism of women who risked their lives in the fight—a riveting saga of friendship, valor, sacrifice, and survival combining the grit and selflessness of Band of Brothers with the emotional resonance of The Nightingale.

In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school.

Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can . . . and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more.

When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place—and the hope of love—in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.

Title:The Fire by Night: A NovelFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:320 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.05 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.5 × 1.05 inPublished:June 30, 2018Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062459104

ISBN - 13:9780062459107


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read I found it hard to put the book down. I understood the atrocities these nurses went through. I cried at a few parts I must say. I was so moved. To think it took so long for these women to be recognized as hero's. That is such a crime in itself. Awesome read highly recommend it.
Date published: 2018-09-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from good read Fictional story from the point of view of two different WW2 nurses based in 2 different locations. Good read that touched on many of the atrocities of war while nursing. The ending was a bit of a let down.
Date published: 2018-06-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful “...You say this is a man’s world, sir, and I am not so naive as to disagree with you. But if the world of men ever tears itself apart again, it will take an army of nurses to put it back together.” I think this quote sums up The Fire by Night beautifully. Jo and Kay are two military nurses, passionate about their jobs and willing to go above and beyond to save the injured casualties of war. Jo looks after six wounded soldiers on the Western Front while Kay struggles with her own survival in war-torn Hawaii and then Japan. These women are fierce and brave beyond a doubt. While their futures look quite different, it is obvious that the war will forever be ingratiated in the lives of the two women. I found the writing to be powerful and was so engrossed by each of their stories.
Date published: 2018-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tough story to read This is the story if two friends, nurses in WWII, one stationed in Europe, the other a prisoner of war of the Japanese. Their stories are told in alternating chapters. I say this book is tough to read because it is unrelentingly awful. The conditions these women work in and endure are beyond imagining. At times I felt the author was belabouring the point and dragging on the misery too long. I do realize these stories are no exaggeration, and that kept me going. The ending was more satisfying than I expected it to be.
Date published: 2017-07-04

Editorial Reviews

"An epic story of love, loss and survival that weaves meticulous research together with the complexities of the human heart. This novel is not to be missed."