I knew that the Catholic News Service had requested a copy of Battlefield Angels to review, but I didn’t know if they would actually review it or when it would be published. I stumbled across this review quite by accident this past weekend when I looking through some Gettysburg news.
It is a respectable review for my first book-length non-fiction. The reviewer seemed to like the things that I was worried about so I’m pretty happy with that. She wrote, “Rada describes women religious who selflessly performed life-saving work in often miserable conditions and thereby gained the admiration and respect of countless contemporaries. In so doing, Rada offers an appealing narrative and an entry point into the wealth of sources kept by the sisters.”
Now she took issue with the fact that I didn’t explore some broader issues about the role of women in society and opportunities that becoming a sister offered and also the role of Catholics in society. My read on it was that she was hoping that it would be more scholarly in its presentation and explore these themes.
That wasn’t quite what I was aiming for. I wanted to tell a story about the work that these sister-nurses did and the fruits that it bore. I think I accomplished that. The reviewer noted, “Rada writes poignantly of the initial distrust accorded to the sisters by a population imbued with anti-Catholic sentiments and the eventual respect that they won from both citizens and soldiers for their work.”
So, all in all, I’m pleased. Read the entire review for yourself here.