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Lorna Griess
M*A*S*H Vietnam: What it's like to be a war nurse
Lorna Griess, author
M*A*S*H Vietnam shows how one young nurse survived the day-to-day drama in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in South Vietnam. Dealt in a frank, no-holds-barred tone, the book uncovers the operations of a MASH unit in a combat zone and the bleak hardships of war. This story is not so much about a war but about a regular nurse who followed her passion, her desire to do good, into the middle of a war zone, and her mixed emotions going home to a country torn by an unpopular war, uncertain how she will be treated and even uncertain how she will relate to family and friends. This firsthand, behind-the-scenes account of what Vietnam was really like in the middle of war is memorable, informative, and ought to be required reading for everyone in our war-prone world.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 5 out of 10
Character/Execution: 6 out of 10
Overall: 6.25 out of 10


Plot/Idea: This is an intriguing idea, but the text could be expanded to obtain a larger view of the terribly difficult situation and inherent dangers of working and living in a war zone. 

Prose: The book is compact and mimics journalistic writing. Griess describes several different events that took place during her time in Vietnam, and although the activities are less dramatic than readers may expect, she is particularly skilled at ending chapters with short, provocative sentences that lend suspense to the narrative.

Originality: The author's perspective as a female nurse who served in Vietnam gives this originality and a sense of variation from similar books. 

Character/Execution: Griess's character is brave, adaptable and kind. She does not come across as having much trepidation about her tasks, and readers may wish for more interiority throughout the memoir—much of the writing focuses on relating her experiences rather than her emotions during and after those events. 

Date Submitted: January 31, 2023

Pacific Book Review

The detailing of events and emotions makes this an excellent and highly recommended read.