The Fire by Night

The Fire by Night 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 friendsh

  • Title: The Fire by Night
  • Author: Teresa Messineo
  • ISBN: 9780062662095
  • Page: 238
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 IA 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 .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.

    368 Comment

    • Lindsay says:

      4 stars! What an eye-opening, well-researched book! I have read plenty of WWII stories, but this was one gave me a completely fresh perspective.This story is told from the viewpoints of two military field nurses, Jo and Kay. I learned a lot from this book and have gained so much respect for these women who willingly put their lives at risk in the battlefields to help their soldiers and war effort. Prior to reading this, I had never really thought about all that was involved in these nurses' duti [...]

    • Diane S ☔ says:

      World War II, and two young woman, Kay and Jo, feel the need to do more, to sacrifice forma short time their lives in order to help the fighting soldiers, They join the military, attend nursing school, where they bond and become best friends. At the end of training they are hoping to be assigned to the same base but Jo is assigned to the western front while Kay is assigned to the South Pacific. For a while it looks as if Kay has pulled the ideal assignment, beautiful weather, beautiful beaches, [...]

    • Erin says:

      From the moment she had stepped off the gangplank at Pearl Harbor-back when that name had just been a port of call- she had lived with her feet off the ground, in a world set apart. That dream world was now shattered. She found herself dirty, disheveled, dripping with sweat. She was hungry and thirsty so tired that she wanted to lie down in the dirt road and sleep and sleep and never wake up.Oh 2017, you really are giving readers a beautiful year in debut authors with such outstanding books. It' [...]

    • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede says:

      The Fire by Night is a book that really shows the dark side of WW2. The book as two POV, first we have Jo McMahon who is stuck tending six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. She had to do this all alone after bombs destroyed the hospital convoy she would have traveled with and to make it all worse is the unit close to the Germans. Her friend Kay is trapped in a Japanese POW camp in Manila. Both of them have gone through so much and in flashbacks, we get to see what happened [...]

    • Bill says:

      3.5 Stars"Oh Teresa Messineo you are killing me! Parts of this book are so mesmerizingly compelling and while other segments read like a Hallmark Channel romance I love Jo and Kay but I am so mixed and torn about how you delivered them to me. " -Bill Westerlind, member of and Free Bird Readers and amateur book reviewerI received an ARC copy of this book from the Westfield Athenaeum and as much as I wanted to love it, I just didn't! I liked it very much but love not quite. The field of WWII his [...]

    • Denise says:

      The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo is a realistic, part romance, part historical fiction novel about two combat nurses, who were friends. Jo McMahon went to the Western Front and Kay Elliott went to Hawaii and Japan. This is a well research novel about these combat nurses who were unsung heros and made an incredible contribution to the war efforts. It is an emotional, shocking, powerful novel that is NOT your typical Hollywood glamour war story.

    • Sue says:

      I read a lot of books about World War II and am especially interested in the nurses who were often in harm's way. This book is one of the best that I have read on nurse's roles, the danger that they were often faced with and the grit and determination they had to have to survive.Jo and Kay met in nursing school and became friends. They both wanted adventure in their lives and they signed for the Army, hoping to go the the same location. Jo was sent to Europe, she wasn't exactly sure where becaus [...]

    • The Lit Bitch says:

      2017 has started off as a very good year for me when it comes to reading choices! This book, THE FIRE BY NIGHT, sounded so full of potential and interesting that I couldn’t pass it up.This was story of friendship, valor, sacrifice, and survival and one that will likely stay with readers long after they are finished.I was surprised at how easy it was to like the main characters. I worried I would like one more than the other but I found myself equally captivated by each one and invested in each [...]

    • Melissa Crytzer Fry says:

      There is something about this little book that packs a big punch. Perhaps it’s the reality of nurses who volunteered to serve during the war and who were put into the same horrific, life-threatening predicaments as soldiers, but who were never fully recognized for it? Perhaps it was learning of their mettle, their humanity.While this book had a more commercial feel to it than the books I gravitate toward in my 4- and 5-star ratings (faster pace vs. a quiet unraveling, less emphasis on setting [...]

    • Asheley says:

      This book caught my eye mainly because it is the story of two American nurses that enlisted to serve during World War II: Jo was sent to The Western Front and Kay served at Pearl Harbor. I’m especially interested in these wartime, frontline nurses because I am a nurse and this is a branch of my career that I know almost nothing about. I was also intrigued by the fact that these two nurses were best friends back in New York before even going to war.Kay and Jo tell their stories in separate POV- [...]

    • Teddy says:

      Although I do read other book genres, historical fiction is my favorite. World War II is my top favorite and I tend to read a lot, both fiction and non-fiction. When I heard about ‘Fire By Night’ at a webinar with the publisher, I knew I had to read it.Fire By Night is a bit different than many WWII books out there. Its focus is on two American Military nurses that served near two different war fronts. Jo and Kay are from two very different parts of the U.S. Jo is from Brooklyn and Kay from [...]

    • Eileen says:

      Harrowing, and at times so very moving, was this tale of two American nurses serving on different fronts during World War II. Jo and Kay became friends in nursing school, and, together, they joined the Army nurse corps. The horrific challenges of practicing medicine in a theatre of war were many! Jo was to manage her task of tending to six critically wounded soldiers in the mayhem of a field hospital/tent while coping with a shortage of necessary drugs, impossibly unsanitary conditions, widespre [...]

    • Fred Shaw says:

      Who are the heroes in war? The soldier fighting at the front? The general with the strategic plan? The nurses and doctors saving lives in field hospitals?“The Fire by Night”, by Teresa Messineo, published 2017, is an historical novel of 2 WW II Army nurses, friends from nursing school, who went to war to save lives. “Jo” an Irish American and Brooklynite, went to Europe, Kay a small-town girl from Pennsylvania, went to the Pacific. Very different backgrounds and theaters of war but very [...]

    • Tina says:

      Stories about nurses serving during war time has always been an interest to me. This book was very well researched and I can say, I would anything else by this author.This fictionalized account of two nurses, Jo and Kay, was very detailed and realistic. As they wanted adventure in their lives and the war was on, they joined the service hoping to be stationed together. The book is split in two narratives, going back and forth between Jo’s experience in the Europe and Kay in Hawaii and Japan.Bot [...]

    • Cora says:

      I give this book a lot of credit for what it was trying to do. It followed two army nurses during WW2, one on the Western Front, and one in the Pacific arena, during the final days of the war. Jo (the one in Europe, and to me the more compelling character) is left with 6 patients in a field hospital on the front line, with dwindling medicine and food, and several acute cases on her hands; and Kay has been captured by the Japanese and is taken to an internment camp in the Philippines, with horrif [...]

    • Tammy says:

      Powerful. I was riveted from the first chapter. This book pulls no punches and offers an unflinching look at the anguish and despair of WWII from the perspective of two nurses. The Fire by Night is about harrowing situations, heroes and heartbreak. Read this!

    • Fred says:

      NOTE: This review contains spoilers, so if you haven't read it yet, skip this review!I was really torn about whether or not I liked this book. No, that's not quite right. I did LIKE it, but my enjoyment of it went up and down. At one point I would have rated it a 1, then a few pages later I would have given it a 5. There was some beautiful writing, followed by some naive, childish writing, and I became irritated by all of the overly long sentences. They work well when showing a character's menta [...]

    • Mainlinebooker says:

      This is not a book for the faint of heart. It is a story of war without sugar coating, covered in blemishes and warts. Two different nurses who had become friends in nursing school eagerly sign up to use their skills in WWII. However, real war turned out to be different than their expectations. Jo McMahon is sent to France while Kay Elliot ended up in the city of Manila, Philippines. Jo tries to minister to her bedraggled, starving patients in a poorly stocked tent while the Germans are advancin [...]

    • Rhonda Ruff says:

      I love wwII books and read quite a few. This was a great story with sadness and love and friendship. It was a very easy read. The reason for 4 stars is i found in some Jo chapters things got jumbled up a bit and i found myself having to go back and reread. Other then that i highly recommend

    • Brynna Clarke says:

      Absolutely inspiring. Messineo captures so many incredible aspects of nursing, and I imagine does justice to the war-front. I can't wait to buy this book when it is finally released!

    • Guylou says:

      As Canada is remembering the battle at Vimy Ridge which happened 100 years ago, I have been reading more historical novels. This one is 5+ star book!!! This story is filled with emotions and pulls at the strings of your heart in an expected way. This is the story of two American nurse friends who both served in the WW2. One was sent to the Pacific war; the other to the war in Europe. Their stories will touch you and most likely move you. When I think of war nurses, I think of the old war movies [...]

    • Harpercollins Canada says:

      Part historical fiction, part romance, all parts enchanting: The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo tells the stories of World War II nurses and best friends Jo McMahon and Kay Elliot.Jo is stationed in France and determined to keep her patients alive in their makeshift, supply-barren medical tent. She is the last woman standing after an explosion takes the lives of her fellow nurses and doctors. With hardly enough food for one person, Jo divides the rations to serve six wounded officers plus hers [...]

    • Lynn says:

      WWII. Two young women graduate nursing school and sign up to assist the war effort. Though they hope to be placed in the same unit, one is sent to the Western Front and one to the South Pacific.They keep in contact by letter as long as they are able. As their stories unfold, the horrors of war come closer, caring for the injured becomes next to impossible and their own lives are put in danger. The strength of these women, as they tap into reserves they didn't know they possessed, will cause you [...]

    • Melissa Rothman says:

      I received this book in a give away and there are so many things I want to say about it 1 it's a beautiful cover that fits the book great. 2 this read is a very raw, emotional and hardcore book and that is what makes it so damn beautiful and unique. 3 the writing and descriptions make U feel like ur there with them. 4 it was a good idea to have both women tell their stories. 5 I highly recommend it for anyone!!!

    • Melissa says:

      It's like Band of Brothers from the nurses perspective.Absolutely loved this book

    • Erika says:

      Jo and Kay are in two very different parts of the war (WWII) with alternating points of view. This is one of the very best I've read of WWII literature about nurses and being in the trenches and actually including a lot of the nitty gritty that usually gets left out, especially when women are involved. I'm mad about Teresa Messineo and I will be waiting with bated breath for anything else coming our way.This paragraph was just a little part of the beauty:"She had stopped singing the words in Ger [...]

    • DJ Sakata says:

      Favorite Quotes:When a command comes to fall back, it takes an infantryman less than ten seconds to simply turn around – and run. But not military nurses, whose only creed, whose one, unbreakable rule, is never to leave their patients. Never. Jo looked at Captain Clark now as he came up to her, hands on hips, spitting before he spoke, and realized how much the movies had conditioned her, had prejudiced her. She’d believed that all U.S. soldiers in perilous positions would be just as truthful [...]

    • Bev Walkling says:

      Review to follow

    • Roxy says:

      I liked the fact that the author did her research. I have started several books in the past that purported to be the WWII nurses' story, but they were sentimental and mawkish. This novel rang true, unflinching and honest. I salute not only all our brave Armed Forces Nurses, but also the author for telling their story.

    • Jenny Q says:

      4.5 Stars. Sometimes the books that move me the most are the hardest to review. It can be hard to put thoughts into words when a book so completely absorbs me, chews me up, and spits me out. I'm sure there are other novels out there focusing specifically on nurses in World War II, but this is the first one I've read, and though it's only February, I can already say this is one of the best books I'll read all year. It may end up being THE best. It's going to be hard to beat. The back cover copy d [...]

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