Publisher and Publication Date: Kensington Publishing Corp. June 28, 2022.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Source: I received a complimentary advanced reader copy from the publisher. I am not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Historical fiction readers. Readers of nursing history in the 19th century.
Amanda Skenandore’s author page at Goodreads.
New York City. 1883.
Una is a young woman who is a thief. She knows the “art of the grift.”
When the story begins, she is arrested for a murder she had nothing to do with. She looks for a way to hide herself and make a living. She creates a new life in a new nursing school.
Nursing is a new choice for women who do not mind the hard work, and the respectable interaction of caregiving.
In the beginning, Una’s tough facade does not pair well with employers and nursing students who are from a society that frowns upon the criminal and the lower income.
After the murder of a patient, Una begins to wonder if her situation and the victims is related.
The Nurse’s Secret is a mix of 19th century nursing history, 19th century New York city history, murder/mystery, and romance.
I dislike the name Una. I googled the name. It is of Irish origin and means lamb. Other countries have the first name also. For example, Bosnia and Wales. Another definition of the name is unity.
Una is not a lamb. She is the opposite of a lamb in character.
Actually, I dislike her character. It made it difficult to care what happened. She comes across as having an attitude that people owe her. She is arrogant. Haughty. Cunning. Calculating. Manipulative. Selfish. Brazen. I saw a little transformation in her through the story but not enough for me to care. It was difficult to finish the book.
The murder/mystery is so so. There isn’t a shock about the solving of the murders nor the closure.
What I liked most about the story is learning about the nursing practices of this time period. This is fascinating history.