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A Rose for the ANZAC Boys

French, Jackie

The ‘War to end all Wars’, as seen through the eyes of three young women.

War is being fought on a horrific scale in the trenches of France, but it might as well be a world away from sixteen-year-old New Zealander Midge Macpherson, at school in England learning to be a young lady. But the war is coming closer: Midge’s brothers are in the army, and her twin, Tim, is listed as ‘missing’ in the devastating defeat of the Anzac forces at Gallipoli. Desperate to do their bit – and avoid the boredom of school and the restrictions of society – Midge and her friends Ethel and Anne start a canteen in France, caring for the endless flow of wounded soldiers returning from the front. Midge, recruited by the over-stretched ambulance service, is thrust into carnage and scenes of courage she could never have imagined.

And when the war is over, all three girls – and their Anzac boys – discover that even going ‘home’ can be both strange and wonderful. Exhaustively researched but written with the lightest of touches, this is Jackie French at her very best.

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