Entertainment

Not your average nurse, a memoir

BEFORE you read this book it's probably important to first understand what inspired Maggie Groff to write the memoir.

According to the author, the book was originally written for her daughter, Hannah, so she could have some knowledge of her mum's nursing career, as she grew up only knowing her as a struggling writer.

I only discovered this fact after I had read the book. Had I known this beforehand I think I would have read it through different eyes.

The reason is this. There were a few times while reading where I found it strange that some incidents were not elaborated on, and others where you wondered why they were mentioned at all.

I have a feeling that because Groff was writing with her daughter in mind she imposed some sort of self-censorship. Perhaps I am wrong.

The book is made up of three basic parts.

Firstly, the author's experience of becoming a nurse and working in England in the 1970s.

Then there is the bit in the middle where she does lots of exciting things, such as working as an in-house nurse at glamorous Selfridges and taking up a position at a hospital in Switzerland.

In the third part, she fulfils a lifelong dream and heads off to work in Australia, where she remains to the present day.

I found the first part of the book the most fascinating. It covers the period where the author embarks on her training at London's King's College Hospital and the following years as she works in various London hospitals.

It was certainly an eye-opener. Groff describes the struggle of young trainee nurses, often treated as nothing more than glorified cleaners, and of their fight for their rights and for better pay.

All this is played out against the backdrop of feminism and fashion, IRA bombings and the music and movies of those years.

The story takes us from 1970s London to the Australian outback and everywhere in between - this woman certainly has had a fascinating career. It's hard to keep up.

With her many interesting and often witty anecdotes, she reminded me a bit of James Herriot - except with human patients not animal.

Overall, a fascinating jaunt through time through the eyes of a young nurse.

Not Your Average Nurse by Maggie Groff, RRP $34.99, is out now through Penguin.

Topics:  book review memoir nursing



Campaign to curb holiday theft

CRACKING DOWN: Maclean Neighbourhood Watch president Brian Haselum and secretary Warren Rackham get together with (back, from left) Yamba Chamber of Commerce secretary Bev Mansfield, Blue Dolphin Resort manager Andrew Parr, Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, Mayor Jim Simmons and Yamba Chamber of Commerce president Debbie McCredie at the announcement of funding for a new program to help reduce break-ins.

Grant from government to help stop break-ins

Thousands turn up the heat at Yamba Gourmet festival

Cassidy OSeland, Tiahnee Cropper and Sally-Jane Loy came from Grafton to enjoy day of good food and fun at the Yamba Gourmet Food Street Truck Festival at Yamba Golf Club.

Food festival held on golf club driving range

PM'S Frack Out: Turnbull calls for gas field action

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian smiles during a press conference at the construction site for the new Western Sydney Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, September 24, 2017.

Turnbull demands Berejiklian open new fracking wells

Local Partners

Seinfeld reveals who almost played Elaine

AS SOON as Julia Louis-Dreyfus auditioned for the role of Elaine, Jerry Seinfeld knew she was the right person. But who else almost landed the role?

Singer brings a bit of Broadway to Brisbane

Broadway star Liz Callaway is coming to QPAC for two concerts. She will also mentor Queensland Conservatorium students.

Students will get the chance to sing in An Evening With Liz Callaway

MOVIE REVIEW: Smashing tale of a game-changing match

Emma Stone and Steve Carell in a scene from Battle of the Sexes.

Battle Of the Sexes brings to light a timely moment in history.

The Block’s angriest confrontation yet

Keith has some tough love for Jason.

FOREMAN Keith had some tough words for The Block’s black sheep.

Lundgren plans to stay around

Dolph Lundgren and his girlfriend Jenny Sandersson spotted out and about on the Gold Coast.

Dolph Lundgren reportedly planns to stay on the Gold Coast.

Sophie Monk stuns TV panel with low-cut dress

Sophie Monk appeared as a guest Quizmaster on Monday night's episode of Have You Been Paying Attention?

THE Bachelorette turns up to quiz show in a very revealing outfit.

Top model sashays out of Survivor

Sarah Tilleke and Jonathan LaPaglia on Australian Survivor.

THE latest to leave Survivor is a model who broke down stereotypes.