July Online eBook Club Wrap-up – Amy

Amy*Note: This discussion contains spoilers*

Amy by Peggy Savage, is the story of a female Doctor who loses her medical licence on the outbreak of World War I. In response she goes to France as an orderly determined to get her medical licence back and clear her name. It is here that she must decide between keeping her identity a secret and watching more soldiers die, or using her medical knowledge to save them and risking the loss of her medical licence forever. In a subplot, she also attracts the attention of two men, one a fellow Doctor and the other a charismatic soldier. Amy struggles to come to terms with her feelings about both men throughout the book.

While this story kept me entertained it wasn’t overly thought-provoking and I found that many of the characters were a little one-dimensional. In saying this it was quite interesting to read about the medical profession and the treatment of female Doctors at that time. Here are my responses to the discussion questions I set at the beginning of the month:

1. What does the book tell you about women in the medical profession at that time? How differently are they treated?

It was obviously very difficult for women in all professions at that time. This is made clear in the way Amy is treated by the medical review board and the fact that the hospital with female Doctors is initially not accepted by the British army. We even see it in Johnny’s difficulty in accepting Amy’s profession. Even when he changes his attitude toward female Doctors he still assumes that Amy will give up her role to play wife to him.

2. What did you think of the tone of the novel? How did it portray the First World War? Was it believable?

I actually found the descriptions of the hospitals, Paris and the camps to be quite believable and well-described. I think the reality of World War I was probably harsher than portrayed in the novel but it was one of the more interesting aspects of the book.

3. Could you relate to any of the characters? Were there any characters you loved or hated?

I actually found the characters a little difficult to relate to as they were very one-dimensional. Amy was a little too perfect (aside from her ignorance in relationships) and I would have liked to have seen more emotion in her. I did like the character of Helen as she at least seemed a little more human and strong. I also liked the character of Dan as he supported women in medicine. Johnny on the other hand was completely irritating and I hated reading the romantic scenes between Johnny and Amy. I struggled to understand how an intelligent women would like anyone that sexist. In saying that, falling in love with people that are completely wrong for us is something most of us have done in our time so in a sense this is quite realistic despite my irritations.

4. What did you think of the ending to the novel?

The ending was possibly wrapped up a little too nicely with everything perfectly falling into place for the surviving characters. In reality I doubt this would have happened. I was very sad when a certain character died and I don’t think there was enough time spent mourning her death. In saying that it was at least a slightly uplifting ending.

5. Did this novel change your perspective in any way?

I think it made me more aware of the struggles female Doctors faced during that time and I have since researched the plight of female Doctors during World War I.

All in all, it was an entertaining book and I’d recommend it if you are interested in historical fiction or romance.

You can download the book from One Click digital.