A STORY OF COURAGE, PASSION, AND HEROISM SET AGAINST ONE OF THE MOST TRAUMATIC WARS IN HISTORY
Growing up in Wales, Catherine Carreg has been allowed to run wild, spending her childhood racing ponies along the beach with her friend Deio, the cattle-driver’s son. But Catherine is consumed by a longing to escape the monotony of village life and runs away to London with Deio’s help. Alone in the unfamiliar city, Catherine secures a position in Florence Nightingale’s home for sick governesses. As the nation is gripped by reports of war in the Crimea, Catherine volunteers as a nurse—and her life changes beyond all recognition. Arriving in Scutari, she is immediately thrown into a living nightmare. Amid the madness and chaos, Catherine is forced to grow up quickly, learning the hardest lessons of love and war.
Gregson (East of the Sun) takes the reader deep into the horrors of the Crimean War in this novel originally published and praised in the U.K. as The Water Horse. Catherine Carreg is permitted extraordinary freedom as a child in Wales in 1844, including friendship with a local drover boy, Deio, until local gossip forces the end of their relationship. Catherine's mother dies in childbirth, and loathing the shallow life she's forced to live at home, Catherine concocts a plan with Deio's help to disguise herself as a boy and run away to London. Once there, Catherine lands a job in Florence Nightingale's home for sick governesses, then volunteers as a nurse in the Crimea while Deio, who owns her heart, joins the war effort as a soldier. Their separation and frightening reunion changes their lives and challenges their love. Gregson's journalistic eye for detail supports the power and connection between the couple as Catherine matures into a strong, driven yet compassionate woman. The stench of war is not softened, and the scenes of the battlefield are not for the fainthearted.