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.Title: Mercy Road
Author: Ann Howard Creel
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genres: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: November 19, 2019
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.
❃ 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.
❀ Side Characters not well-developed
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 by Ann Howard Creel 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.