Today is Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of World War 1, at 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month 1918.
The facts are well known, a recently novel puts the human side of the horror and heroism.
Lives We leave Behind by Maxine Alterio tells the story of New Zealand nurses Addie Harrington and Meg Dutton who serve in Egypt and France.
Historical details and the inclusion of some real names among the fictional characters helps adds to the feeling of authenticity.
The characters, what happens to them and how they react feel real and true to the time.
This is a herstory, concentrating on the women, telling their stories in their words and helping us see what happened through their eyes.
It is a story of ordinary people dealing with extraordinary conditions and events without being either maudlin or saccharine.
Lives We leave Behind by Maxine Alterio, Penguin 2012: The author’s website is here.