Carol Middleton reviews 'In Love and War' by Liz Byrski

Carol Middleton reviews 'In Love and War' by Liz Byrski

In Love and War: Nursing Heroes

by Liz Byrski

Fremantle Press, $24.99 pb, 216 pp, 9781925161458

Western Australian novelist and academic Liz Byrski has written a memoir that explores the reality behind a World War II myth: the ground-breaking work done by plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe to repair the disfigured faces, hands, and lives of fighter pilots and crews. Byrski grew up during the war in East Grinstead, Sussex, near the hospital where McIndoe worked, and was haunted by the sight of the Guinea Pigs, as the men were called.

As the sixty-fifth reunion of the Guinea Pig Club approaches, Byrski decides to revisit her childhood home on a research trip for this book. Her intention is to uncover the female aspect of the story: how the nurses coped in the extraordinary Ward III. She also needs to put her childhood demons to rest.

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Carol Middleton

Carol Middleton

Carol Middleton is a journalist, arts critic and author, based in Melbourne. Her short story awards include second place in The Age competition 2010. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in the anthologies Melbourne Subjective, Ink3 and Vine Leaves Literary Journal. She is working on a memoir in essays. Her work can be seen at

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