“Fatal Decision: Edith Cavell WWI Nurse” by Terri Arthur is truly one of the most compelling books I have ever read! Arthur, a nurse herself, blends superb writing, meticulous research, nursing knowledge, and a desire to celebrate and honor the amazing life journey of British Nurse, Edith Cavell into an extremely engaging portrayal.
How many profound adjectives can I come up with to describe this moving book? Right up to the very last page, Cavell’s story includes intrigue, danger, courage, suspense, and even some very subtle hints of romance.
A novel based on historical fact, Arthur shares, “I have exercised creative license with a few minor characters and situations but have tried to keep my additions scrupulously consistent with the known facts”.
It is inspiring because even with the real evils of human cruelty and depths of despair that are so evident in WWI (or war in general), this nurse did not veer from a commitment to healing. First as a 1:1 nurse to patient but also in a larger mission as a nurse to humankind. Edith Cavell is role model for nurses and perhaps all of us in healthcare.
It is provocative because it challenged me to think about her ‘decision’ and what I would do. It raises questions about selflessness during times of war as a necessary torch for triumph while reaffirming my own opinion that the prevention of aggression must include selfness and assertiveness on a large scale. (If you read it, and I hope you do, I’d love to exchange thoughts on this philosophical paradox.)
It is gripping because of the story itself and Arthur’s extraordinary ability to tell it. I suspect that everyone who reads this will never forget Nurse Edith Cavell and will be grateful to Terri Arthur for making her story visible. I hope she is working on another novel and this book becomes a movie or television program. I will be in line!