Keneally's magical but everyday prose takes you to the heart of the WW1 experience for the Australian nurses - the pride, the escape, the war machine, the cannon fodder, the romance and the loss, the heroism recycled into palatable form for the home audience.
Nearly eight hundred men were on Archimedes when the anchor was again raised - another battalion of men treated brutishly by metal but better accommodated now by new cots crowded in. This time more were dysentry and typhoid cases and so a hasty readjustment had to be made to the ship to contain a contagious ward. It was a short run this time, a matter of four or five hours. Nurses off-shift were frightened awake by yet another clank and buffet of mooring.