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Teresa Messineo: The Fire by Night



Today, I listened to a podcast episode from HarperAudio Presents, which was called Teresa Messineo Talks The Fire by Night.  In this podcast episode, Messineo discusses how she wrote her debut novel, The Fire by Night. I was immediately impressed as she talked about how she spent seven years reseaching the material for her text.  Messineo talked with World War II nurses to get the material and understand their first-hand accounts about World War II. Even though the book is a historical fiction novel, Messineo explained that only two characters within the book are not based on actual facts.  I have always been intrigued by historical fiction and the talent that exudes from writers, who tackle this particular genre.


Hearing this fact, I added The Fire by Night to my To Be Read list.  I am craving to understand how the plot unfolds.  Also, I am intrigued because she takes a viewpoint of the World War II nurses, who are often forgotten when war stories are shared.  I am excited about buying my copy of The Fire by Night.

The energy that Messineo exhibits as she talks about her inpsiration for the book is quite contagious.  During the podcast episode, she shares her background and life.  Even though she researched for her book, she homeschools her children, which I tought was very impressive.

Here is the synopsis about the book from Amazon:

Image Retrieved from Goodreads
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.


Based on the information that I shared,  would you read this book?


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