Sunday, February 4, 2007
Before ER, before Grey's Anatomy, there was Cherry Ames. Cherry Ames, Student Nurse by Helen Wells was written and set during World War Two, at least in part to get girls to go into nursing. That didn't work on me but the first four books in this series,(the others being Cherry Ames, Senior Nurse; Cherry Ames, Army Nurse; and Cherry Ames, Chief Nurse are a lot of fun and now are a view back in time. Cherry starts off book one, fresh out of high school and heading for nursing school at Spencer Hospital. Her nursing program is three years and is considered a top nursing education, the way an Master's in Nursing might be today. Cherry is serious about nursing as a career, as are all her classmates. The war is felt from the very beginning, Cherry's twin brother, Charlie is an Army pilot and the Ames' family neighbor, Dr. Fortune (who inspired Cherry to go into Nursing) is working on a top secret wonder drug(pencillan). This series is a cousin of Nancy Drew, so Cherry solves a mystery in each book, but these first four are more focused on Cherry becoming a nurse, her friends, her love life (the crushworthy Dr. Lex Upham is introduced in book two) and the war. As the series goes on, the war ends, and the books become more straightforward mysteries (and not as good). There is an exhaustive Cherry Ames web page, with lists of all the books and characters here. The books are fluffy fun and example of the rare "career" books for girls.