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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Audible Book Review: Wild Swan: A Story of Florence Nightingale by Patti Callahan

I enjoyed learning about this strong, brave woman through this short historical fiction.
Wild Swan: A Story of Florence Nightingale
By: Patti Callahan
Narrated by: Cynthia Erivo

Wild Swan Audiobook By Patti Callahan cover art

Series: Audible Original Stories
Length: 1 hr and 54 mins
Release date: 12-10-20
Publisher: Audible Originals
Categories: Literature & Fiction, Historical Fiction
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.25; Narration 4.25.

About This Audible Original
In this captivating historical novella narrated by Tony Award-winning actress Cynthia Erivo, New York Times best-selling author Patti Callahan Henry celebrates the life of the mother of modern nursing and one of history's greatest heroines: Florence Nightingale.
Wild Swan introduces listeners to the Lady with the Lamp long before she became a legend. In this poignant story, a young woman has just discovered her divine purpose to become a nurse, and struggles to make that dream a reality. While traveling abroad with her close friend, Selina Bracebridge - another strong woman living an unconventional life - a rare opportunity arises for Florence to practice medicine. Intellectually gifted with an advanced education thanks to her father’s progressive political views, can the daughter of a prominent English family defy Victorian societal expectations to fulfill her destiny?
Over the course of a few short years, Florence remains brave and determined in the face of all obstacles, pursuing her passion against her family’s wishes. From her parent’s luxurious countryside estate in England to her travels abroad to the German medical institute where she first began her training and fell in love with her work, we follow Florence during these pivotal early years of her extraordinary life.
©2020 Patti Callahan Henry (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC

Florence Nightingale was the daughter of a well-off English family and expectations from her mother were for her to have limited education, limited travel and then settle down in marriage. Fortunately, Florence’s father was progressive enough to allow her to get a higher education. Florence wanted to do so much more to help the less fortunate, and especially the injured and sick. Although her mother fought her every step, Florence ultimately persevered.

Florence used her time traveling with a friend to experience life in a convent. Later she is able to begin training at a German medical institute. Florence even made her way before the Queen to seek support for better resources and training to help soldiers in the Crimean War. Florence’s efforts helped lead to greater appreciation for nurses as well as better nursing care, especially during war circumstances.

I grew up knowing about Florence Nightingale as “the angel of mercy” but never really thought about all she went through to share her passion and skills. I appreciated this novella sharing the social reformer side of this unique woman who was determined have a more meaningful life and to ‘follow God’s call’. I like the apt title of "Wild Swan" too. I recommend this to readers who need to remember the pioneers who helped move women into higher education and broader careers.

Audio Notes: Cynthia Erivo does a nice job with the audio. She provides distinct voices and appropriate emotion in her presentation. Her accent and strong voice fit the work. I am glad I found this on Audible Plus.

Source: 12/14/2020 Audible Plus Catalog. This qualifies for 2022TBR, 2022Audiobook, and 2022Alphabet goals.

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