Menu
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



Rebels real-life warrior on the mend after surgery

AT LEFT: South Grafton Rebels captain Grant Stevens runs into a Matt Cheeseman tackle against the Coffs Harbour Comets during the 2017 Group 2 season. ABOVE: Stevens knee after the successful surgery this week.

After putting up with pain for years, Stevens forced into surgery.

How a baby bird was put back in its 40m high nest

A royal spoonbill chick was rescued by WIRES Northern Rivers volunteers at Alstonville.

Returning this chick to its loving parents was no easy task

Local Partners

Maze Runner reaches a dead end

REVIEW: Even a zombie apocalypse and a people’s rebellion can’t save the final film in the Maze Runner trilogy from dying an ignominious death.

Ed Sheeran engaged to high school crush

Ed Sheeran is engaged to Cherry Seaborn. Picture: AP

He popped the question last year but keep the news private until now

Isla Fisher nostalgic about her time on Home and Away

Isla Fisher says she keeps in touch with Kate Ritchie and Tempany Deckert from Home and Away. Picture: Instagram

Isla Fisher with Kate Ritchie and Tempany Deckert on Home and Away

What's on the small screen this week

Georgie Gardner will join Karl Stefanovic as co-host of the Today show on Monday.

GEORGIE Gardner returns to Today and Ten celebrates Australia Day.

Tom Petty died of ‘accidental overdose’

Tom Petty performs onstage in 2016.

Autopsy reveals the cause of Tom Petty's death

Oprah Winfrey’s major moments

In this Nov. 20, 2013, file photo, Oprah Winfrey listens in the East Room of the White House in Washington, during a ceremony where President Barack Obama awarded Presidential Medals of Freedom.

Here are the biggest moments from Oprah’s unbelievable career.

First look: surprise Dundee reboot

Danny McBride stars as Mick Dundee’s son in the reboot.

A reboot of iconic Aussie film Crocodile Dundee has been revealed