Review: Thea Hayes – A Country Nurse

A Country Nurse
Thea Hayes

“Thea Hayes spent twenty years living and working on Wave Hill Station in the Northern Territory. She arrived as a twenty-two-year-old nurse from Sydney, but when she left in 1979 she was married with four children and eager for her next adventure.”

This is more like a teaser rather than a collection of stories. Although the chapter headings lead me to believe that each chapter would be its own little narrative, instead the narrative seemed to jump around a lot. There’s too much packed in, and not enough details.

This doesn’t have the personal details that I need to be entranced by a book. I wanted to hear about Thea’s personal connection with some of her palliative care patients, or a stronger link to her customers in the shop. Even her brush with cancer seemed indifferent, and I didn’t actually care about her family members enough to remember their names. I also felt that her views on Australian Aboriginal treatment were quite antiquated and not well informed. If they aren’t how she saw them, she should do something about it!

My mom was a nurse, and she collects nursing fiction (she’s also impossible to buy presents for!). Thus I’m always on the lookout for more fiction that she might enjoy. Would I normally fork out $29.99 for this book? No, I definitely wouldn’t. Maybe if someone was potentially interested in nursing stories, but enjoyed a loose narrative by a nurse, this would be a book for them.

Allen & Unwin | 7th January 2020 | AU$29.99 | paperback

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