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



Another Downer for Adani after breakup with major contractor

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani meets with Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the Port of Townsville in 2016.

A consequence of QLD Government's decision to veto a NAIF loan.

Disturbing mystery creature washes ashore on Cap Coast beach

MYSTERY SHARK: Justin Hill discovered the mystery creature on Emu Park beach Thursday morning.

STRANGE species with a "basketball head” and teeth divides community

List: Where to stop, revive, survive on Central Qld roads

Police urge motorists to stop, revive, survive as we enter the deadliest time on the state's roads.

Police plea to CQ drivers during killer time on roads

Local Partners

Jesinta Franklin dropped by David Jones

SHE’S been the face of the department store for two years, but now Jesinta Franklin has been dropped by DJs and replaced by an Aussie Victoria’s Secret model.

Top-selling sneakers revealed

Sneakers were again a key trend in fashion this year, as seen on Nike ambassador Bella Hadid. Picture: Supplied

Retailers announce that sneakers have been the footwear of choice this year

MOVIE REVIEW: Five-star film’s incredible achievement

Who knew kids running around like little nutters would be so endearing?

The Florida Project takes a big swing and hits it out of the park.

Meet the man making Taylor ‘happier than ever’

Taylor Swift has a new man.

POP star is keeping her latest boyfriend strictly under wraps.

Word is spreading about Rocky's sensational waterslides

BIG SMILES: Zara Peut and Millie Price are very approving of the new water slides.

WATCH: Take a virtual slide down North Rocky's newest attraction

LOTR star keen to reprise role for TV series

Sir Ian McKellan (right) starred as Gandalf alongside Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Sir Ian McKellan has announced he wants to return as Gandalf.

Photo gallery: Under the stars event brings wonder to Rocky

L-R James Donald, Chris Donald, Oliver Donald and Maddy Oliver at the Optus Movies Under the Stars at the Rockhampton Music Bowl.

Crowds flock to the free night of festive fun