Book Review: Mercy Road by Ann Howard Creel

Book Review: Mercy Road by Ann Howard Creel

Mercy Road by Ann Howard Creel is a book that has a really interesting concept. The involvement of women in the First World War is not something that I have read much about before. It is so interesting and awe inspiring to learn about the American Women’s Hospital. While I enjoyed the story and the main character, the side characters are not very complex.

Book Review: Mercy Road by Ann Howard CreelTitle: Mercy Road
Author: Ann Howard Creel
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: November 19, 2019

three-half-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Inspired by the true story of the World War I American Women’s Hospital, Mercy Road is a novel about love, courage, and a female ambulance driver who risks everything.

In 1917, after Arlene Favier’s home burns to the ground, taking her father with it, she must find a way to support her mother and younger brother. If she doesn’t succeed, they will all be impoverished. Job opportunities are scarce, but then a daring possibility arises: the American Women’s Hospital needs ambulance drivers to join a trailblazing, all-female team of doctors and nurses bound for war-torn France.

On the front lines, Arlene and her fellow ambulance drivers work day and night to aid injured soldiers and civilians. In between dangerous ambulance runs, Arlene reunites with a childhood friend, Jimmy Tucker, now a soldier, who opens her heart like no one before. But she has also caught the attention of Felix Brohammer, a charismatic army captain who harbors a dark, treacherous secret.

To expose Brohammer means risking her family’s future and the promise of love. Arlene must make a choice: stay in the safety of silence or take the greatest chance of her life.

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Book Review: Mercy Road by Ann Howard Creel

Arlene is a really interesting character, and considering the setting of the novel, she is well ahead of her times. She is a headstrong woman who isn’t afraid to follow her own path. This becomes clear when she leaves her family and heads off to France to help support them. I really enjoyed reading about Arlene, as she is a character who is easy to relate to.

❀ Vivid Descriptions

Learning about the conditions of the French people and the risky situations the female ambulance drivers put themselves in is quite gripping. The descriptions that the author uses to describe the devastation and the struggles the war caused are vivid. It is very inspiring to read about these women who were on the front lines collecting injured and sick civilians.

While it is enjoyable to read Arlene’s story and her life as an ambulance driver, there are aspects of the story that are not as well-developed. There are many other women in the novel, but their stories aren’t  revealed much, with the exception of Cass. That being said, Cass’s story is one that I would have liked to read more of. The women aren’t close friends, yet they share a room and a common connection as ambulance drivers. I would have liked to see this friendship evolve more than it did.

❀ Interesting Concept

The idea that there were women on the front lines of World War I is incredible to discover. Mercy Road is an historical novel that shares some interesting aspects of the stories behind the American Women’s hospital. The concept of the novel is fascinating, but there are  parts of the story that are lacking.

About Ann Howard Creel

Ann Howard Creel

Ann Howard Creel writes guaranteed heart-wrenching historical fiction. In her novels, strong female characters face unforeseen obstacles and then have to make life-changing decisions.

In her new novel, MERCY ROAD, a Kentucky horsewoman who has lost everything joins an all-female team of doctors and nurses as an ambulance driver on the front lines during WW I in France.

Besides writing, Ann's other interests include old houses, new yoga routines, red wine, and all things cat. She currently lives in Paris, Kentucky.

18 thoughts on “Book Review: Mercy Road by Ann Howard Creel

  1. Danielle Hammelef says:

    I also never knew this about women in WWI. And ambulance drivers too–this sounds like a book I’d love to read.

  2. Angela says:

    That’s too bad, it does seem like the premise has a lot of potential! There are a lot of wartime stories out there, so it’s nice to find a unique angle.

  3. Mary Gardner says:

    This sounds like such an interesting read. I have read lots about women entering the workplace during World War ll but very little about women at all during World War l. I am excited to read this one.

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