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A daring young woman risks everything to pursue a career as a doctor on the front lines in France during World War I, and learns the true meaning of hope, love, and resilience in the darkest of times. When Eleanor Atherton graduates from medical school near the top of her class in 1917, she dreams of going overseas to help the wounded, but her ambition is thwarted at every A daring young woman risks everything to pursue a career as a doctor on the front lines in France during World War I, and learns the true meaning of hope, love, and resilience in the darkest of times. When Eleanor Atherton graduates from medical school near the top of her class in 1917, she dreams of going overseas to help the wounded, but her ambition is thwarted at every turn. Eleanor's parents insist she must give up medicine, marry a respectable man, and assume her proper place. While women might serve as ambulance drivers or nurses at the front, they cannot be physicians—that work is too dangerous and frightening. Nevertheless, Eleanor is determined to make more of a contribution than sitting at home knitting for the troops. When an unexpected twist of fate sends Eleanor to the battlefields of France as the private doctor of a British peer, she seizes the opportunity for what it is—the chance to finally prove herself. But there's a war on, and a casualty clearing station close to the front lines is an unforgiving place. Facing skeptical commanders who question her skills, scores of wounded men needing care, underhanded efforts by her family to bring her back home, and a blossoming romance, Eleanor must decide if she's brave enough to break the rules, face her darkest fears, and take the chance to win the career—and the love—she's always wanted.


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A daring young woman risks everything to pursue a career as a doctor on the front lines in France during World War I, and learns the true meaning of hope, love, and resilience in the darkest of times. When Eleanor Atherton graduates from medical school near the top of her class in 1917, she dreams of going overseas to help the wounded, but her ambition is thwarted at every A daring young woman risks everything to pursue a career as a doctor on the front lines in France during World War I, and learns the true meaning of hope, love, and resilience in the darkest of times. When Eleanor Atherton graduates from medical school near the top of her class in 1917, she dreams of going overseas to help the wounded, but her ambition is thwarted at every turn. Eleanor's parents insist she must give up medicine, marry a respectable man, and assume her proper place. While women might serve as ambulance drivers or nurses at the front, they cannot be physicians—that work is too dangerous and frightening. Nevertheless, Eleanor is determined to make more of a contribution than sitting at home knitting for the troops. When an unexpected twist of fate sends Eleanor to the battlefields of France as the private doctor of a British peer, she seizes the opportunity for what it is—the chance to finally prove herself. But there's a war on, and a casualty clearing station close to the front lines is an unforgiving place. Facing skeptical commanders who question her skills, scores of wounded men needing care, underhanded efforts by her family to bring her back home, and a blossoming romance, Eleanor must decide if she's brave enough to break the rules, face her darkest fears, and take the chance to win the career—and the love—she's always wanted.

30 review for The Woman at the Front

  1. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    The Woman at the Front by Lecia Cornwall There is so much I like about The Woman at the Front. It never occurred to me the sacrifices and heroics of the stretcher bearers during WWI. These men had to be strong, courageous, and willing to risk their lives to go right into the heat of battle and carry back wounded, dying, or dead men, often times carrying their heavy loads for hours, through mud, muck, and gore. They needed to have at least some basic medical skills to help the wounded have a chanc The Woman at the Front by Lecia Cornwall There is so much I like about The Woman at the Front. It never occurred to me the sacrifices and heroics of the stretcher bearers during WWI. These men had to be strong, courageous, and willing to risk their lives to go right into the heat of battle and carry back wounded, dying, or dead men, often times carrying their heavy loads for hours, through mud, muck, and gore. They needed to have at least some basic medical skills to help the wounded have a chance of getting to doctors. Then they had to go back out there again to try to save more soldiers. I really enjoyed seeing the war through the eyes of Fraser, a stretcher bearer. It's 1917 and Eleanor Atherton has graduated from medical school, despite opposition from her family and everyone else she encounters. She wants to go to the front and help the wounded soldiers and gets her chance when a wounded British peer needs to be brought back home. Soon, Eleanor is in the thick of things, fighting the prejudices of everyone, once again. It's not just the men who don't want her "doctoring" but the woman look down on her too, for not sticking to the expected roles of the women of that day. The story seems a bit too extreme in certain areas. Eleanor's family despises her to a degree that is hard to understand. It's as if they never liked her, from the time she was born. On the other extreme, certain characters seem to fall into insta-love with her, to the extent that they will never ever get over it. I think the story appealed me the most, when it was showing all the horrors of war, when Eleanor would just get down to the business at hand, without all the focus on her being a doctor. I enjoyed the perspectives of the other characters more than Eleanor's perspective, which felt too romance-y for the time and place. Publication: September 28, 2021 Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY*** I have always enjoyed historical fiction. Because of this I have read lots of novels about WWII but not as much about WW1. The fact that this involved a heroic female doctor and that she was not really permitted to serve in the war peaked my interest!! Eleanor and Edward Atherton are twins, living in London in 1918. Their father is a physician and it was always thought that Edward would also become a doctor and eventually take over his father’s practice. Edward however ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY*** I have always enjoyed historical fiction. Because of this I have read lots of novels about WWII but not as much about WW1. The fact that this involved a heroic female doctor and that she was not really permitted to serve in the war peaked my interest!! Eleanor and Edward Atherton are twins, living in London in 1918. Their father is a physician and it was always thought that Edward would also become a doctor and eventually take over his father’s practice. Edward however always wanted to be part of high society and sought out friends in high places. He was more concerned about parties, women, drinking and having fun!! In the end it is Eleanor who goes to medical school, is 7th in her graduating class and wants more than anything to practice medicine. Her parents only want her to marry well, settle down and have a family, not what she wants at all!! In this fourth year of the war there is a desperate need for doctors, nevertheless since she is a woman she is turned away. A Countess hears that Eleanor, a local woman, wants to become a practicing doctor. She offers to help her get started in medicine in London if only she will go to France and bring home her wounded son. He is next in line for the family title and she has already lost one son. There is a lot of time spent on how men on the trains going to France and all of the men at the field hospital feel about her. I thought a little too much time was spent on this and it made the story drag for me. There are several love interests and had I known that this author wrote mostly historical romance novels I would have been more prepared for it. I found the love interests to be distracting from the tragedies surrounding these troops. When things go awry and Eleanor is the only one left to help, she finally gets her chance. She does her job bravely and with great skill. When a male doctor is finally returned to the front ranks Eleanor is expected to return to England. I don’t want to give away the ending or any more of the story. I will leave that for the reader to discover. I prefer my historical fiction to be a bit more gritty and with less romance. The book is well researched and some characters are derived from the author’s reading of other books about French doctors and nurses who set up their own aid posts during the war. “Several other scenes are also loosely based on actual accounts” per the author. I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss. This novel is set to publish on September 28, 2021

  3. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Fascinating solid read! ________4.5 Compelling story about a young woman’s fight to be recognized as a doctor during WW1 by her family, her community and the War Office. It’s 1918, the allies are being hammered on the Western Front. All Eleanor Atherton wants to do is follow her calling. She’s hampered by the times. Women doctors are given no respect. They “weren’t wanted by the military, the War Office, or even the Red Cross, no matter how competent or willing they might be.” They are seen by ma Fascinating solid read! ________4.5 Compelling story about a young woman’s fight to be recognized as a doctor during WW1 by her family, her community and the War Office. It’s 1918, the allies are being hammered on the Western Front. All Eleanor Atherton wants to do is follow her calling. She’s hampered by the times. Women doctors are given no respect. They “weren’t wanted by the military, the War Office, or even the Red Cross, no matter how competent or willing they might be.” They are seen by many as betraying feminine standards in general, and as the weaker sex. Rather than be exposed to the brutalities of the war and life in the trenches, they should have their sensibilities protected. They should undertake “more ladylike pursuits.” I loved it when Eleanor told an undersecretary in the War Office that she didn’t knit, she embroidered to ensure her suturing would be perfect. Then a series of circumstances has Eleanor agreeing to journey to France for the local landowner, the Countess of Kirkwall, to the Casualty Clearing Station at Sainte-Croix. She’s been tasked to bring home her twin brother’s childhood friend, Louis Chastaine, Viscount Somerton, who’s recently inherited the family title. Louis was the younger son and this is not what he wants. Louis is a talented pilot who just wants to keep doing what he loves the most. Enroute to Arras, at Calais, Eleanor is befriended by a stretcher bearer, Sergeant Fraser MacLeod, a man whose ready acceptance of her as a doctor gives her strength. A series of mishaps and the surge of injured at the Front has Eleanor tending to casualties, despite the rigidity of the commanding officer and the matron. The wounded and dying only cared that she was a doctor. Talk about an innocent abroad! There were moments at Calais when she was in real trouble. The scenes at the front are horrific. Eleanor demonstrates she has the stomach and the determination to use her talents, and to answer her calling, legal or not. The truly harrowing experiences described really do expose the human cost of war. Eleanor finally accepts her fractured familial relationships, which is an underlying sorrow. Her relationship with her twin I found troubling. Cornwell’s author’s notes give more clarity about the roles and regulations of personnel at this time, and the fighting conditions on the Front for Allied forces. Places mentioned like Vimy Ridge resound for many. The romantic aspects round Eleanor’s character out, although the coincidences did sort of annoy me, as did Eleanor’s behavior with her family. Despite this I found myself absorbed in both Eleanor’s struggles with mores of the time and with the conditions on the Front. A Berkley Group ARC via NetGalley Please note: Quotes taken from an advanced reading copy maybe subject to change

  4. 5 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    Despite no encouragement from her family especially her doctor father Eleanor Atherton is determined. She graduates medical school in 1917 at the top of her class. Her parents expect her to do what is expected of women of the day, marry a well to do man, make him happy and have children. We see that Eleanor is not a conventional woman and she will do what she believes in. She dreams of going overseas to help the wounded but is met with opposition from every side. She is a well qualified doctor but Despite no encouragement from her family especially her doctor father Eleanor Atherton is determined. She graduates medical school in 1917 at the top of her class. Her parents expect her to do what is expected of women of the day, marry a well to do man, make him happy and have children. We see that Eleanor is not a conventional woman and she will do what she believes in. She dreams of going overseas to help the wounded but is met with opposition from every side. She is a well qualified doctor but despite this men don't want a woman doctor and some would rather die than have her as their doctor. When she gets sent to the battlefields of France as a private doctor of a British peer she knows it is now time to prove herself in a male dominated field. This book gets right into the thick of things during the war, the surgery, the front lines of the battle, the fear the soldiers have . I didn't realize the importance stretcher bearers had during ww1. These men have to be young,strong and have medical knowledge. They must go onto the battle field after a man has been wounded, risking potential death to carry the men through mud,muck,rain and making sure they don't fall off the stretcher all while the men are moaning and screaming in pain to get them to the doctor for surgery. Despite being the darkest of times Eleanor finds her heart opening to love. Pub Date 28 Sep 2021 I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Lester

    I love an adventurous women ahead of her time and Dr Eleanor Atherton, who finds herself unexpectedly in France during WWI when female doctors are almost unheard of, is my kind of woman! I was utterly absorbed by her tenacity and fierce desire to do whatever she could to help the wounded, even if it meant breaking all the rules to do so. Meticulous research, as well as a gorgeous love story, make this a fascinating historical novel.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this a B at AAR. I associate Lecia Cornwall’s name with historical romances, although I confess I haven’t read any of her work in that genre.  The blurb for her latest book, The Woman at the Front, caught my eye because of its First World War setting; I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Northern France (pre-Covid) researching family history so it’s a period I’m particularly interested in - and the premise of a young female doctor wanting to make a useful contribution to the war effort I've given this a B at AAR. I associate Lecia Cornwall’s name with historical romances, although I confess I haven’t read any of her work in that genre.  The blurb for her latest book, The Woman at the Front, caught my eye because of its First World War setting; I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Northern France (pre-Covid) researching family history so it’s a period I’m particularly interested in - and the premise of a young female doctor wanting to make a useful contribution to the war effort but being thwarted at every turn promised an interesting read. Eleanor Atherton, the daughter of a Yorkshire doctor, has always longed to follow in her father’s footsteps.  In 1917, she graduated from medical school in Edinburgh near the top of her class (and thus ahead of almost 130 of her male colleagues) and has been looking forward to using her hard-earned skills in a meaningful way – but she’s derided and looked down upon for her choices at every turn.  Even her father doesn’t support her ambitions and has relegated her to menial tasks, such as doing paperwork or cleaning his surgery, while her mother constantly bemoans the fact that Eleanor will never be able to find a husband because no man wants a wife with an advanced education who refuses to stick to her ‘proper’ place in the order of things. But Eleanor - who worked harder than anyone else so she’d be taken seriously, who put up with the constant bullying of the male students - refuses to be diverted from her chosen path.  When we meet her, it’s January of 1918 and she’s in a meeting with Sir William Foxleigh at the War Office, asking to be allowed to offer her services to the army hospitals in France.   Unfortunately, Sir William’s response is just the same as she’s received from just about every other man when informed she’s a doctor – distaste, disbelief and an instruction to “go home, sit down, and take up something more useful, such as knitting.”  With the war raging into its fourth year, she knows doctors are desperately needed and tries to make her case, but Foxleigh dismisses her and suggests that she should instead find a position at one of the hospitals in England that care for women and children – or if she’s set on going to France, that she should become a nurse or a member of the VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) as those are “much more ladylike pursuits.” Furious and frustrated, Eleanor responds: “I am not a nurse, Sir William, or a volunteer.  I am a doctor.” Back at home a couple of weeks later, however, an unexpected opportunity presents itself when the Countess of Kirkswell informs Eleanor that her son Louis – a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps and now the heir to the earldom following his older brother’s recent death – has been injured and is currently being treated at a Casualty Clearing Station near Arras – and then asks Eleanor to travel to France to act as Louis’ doctor and to bring him home. You can read the rest of this review at All About Romance .

  7. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    In 1917, Eleanor Atherton is proud of graduating from medical school despite every obstacle (including her own family) that got in her way. Now she wants to go help the war effort. World War I is raging, and Eleanor wants to use her medical skills to help wounded soldiers, but women aren't allowed to be doctors at the front. A position as a private doctor to a wounded man gives Eleanor her chance. She's soon at the front in France, and learns what a horror war can be.... This is such a compelling In 1917, Eleanor Atherton is proud of graduating from medical school despite every obstacle (including her own family) that got in her way. Now she wants to go help the war effort. World War I is raging, and Eleanor wants to use her medical skills to help wounded soldiers, but women aren't allowed to be doctors at the front. A position as a private doctor to a wounded man gives Eleanor her chance. She's soon at the front in France, and learns what a horror war can be.... This is such a compelling story. Eleanor is a strong, courageous main character. I can only imagine how horrible it was to be at the front during WW I. This story brought some of the danger, violence and courage to life so that I could understand better what it would have been like to be there. I got sucked into this story immediately and enjoyed it! I thought at times that the horrible behavior of her family was a bit melodramatic, but I think that might be due to the fact it made me mad! And at times the plot was a bit more romantic than I would have liked. But all in all....I enjoyed the story. This is the first book by Lecia Cornwall that I've read. Her other books are mostly romance novels so I won't be reading those, but if she pens another story like this, I will definitely read it! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    A glorious look at an indomitable woman at the precarious balance of duty and ambition, The Woman at The Front spotlights Eleanor Atherton who is a victim of the structure of her time period: both as a woman of social expectation and a courageous female doctor. Luscious, harrowing and romantic, Cornwall's meticulous research is met with spirited, urgent prose. All my favourite catnip is here: romance, immersive history and a feminist exploration of a woman ahead of her time --- forging ahead in A glorious look at an indomitable woman at the precarious balance of duty and ambition, The Woman at The Front spotlights Eleanor Atherton who is a victim of the structure of her time period: both as a woman of social expectation and a courageous female doctor. Luscious, harrowing and romantic, Cornwall's meticulous research is met with spirited, urgent prose. All my favourite catnip is here: romance, immersive history and a feminist exploration of a woman ahead of her time --- forging ahead in a man's world while the world's barriers and traditions fall around her.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Haley

    Wow, just wow. I have a history of DNF'ing historicals to a fault but this one was absolutely stunning. The research that had to have went into this book was gripping. The determination of Eleanor, the unfolding story of the war, the romance, just the entire book took hold of my heart and kept me turning page after page to the very end. I absolutely adored this book and truly recommend. Thank you to Lecia Cornwall, Netgalley, and the publisher for the ARC. ♥️ Wow, just wow. I have a history of DNF'ing historicals to a fault but this one was absolutely stunning. The research that had to have went into this book was gripping. The determination of Eleanor, the unfolding story of the war, the romance, just the entire book took hold of my heart and kept me turning page after page to the very end. I absolutely adored this book and truly recommend. Thank you to Lecia Cornwall, Netgalley, and the publisher for the ARC. ♥️

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christine Wells

    THE WOMAN AT THE FRONT is the powerful story of one young woman’s struggle to fulfil her destiny as a doctor, as she encounters not only the prejudice against women in her chosen profession but the horrors and deprivations of the front lines during the First World War. Meticulously researched and deeply emotional — Cornwall has a gift for bringing history to life!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christine Mott

    The Woman at the Front By: Lecia Cornwall 5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Dr. Eleanor Atherton is in the middle of WWII in France when women doctors are rare. She is a fierce woman who is defying the odds. 🏥 Eleanor is struggling to fulfill her destiny, even as her family struggles with her dreams. One of her wealthy neighbors sends her on a personal mission which lands Eleanor in the middle of the war. She is seeing the wounded up front and making quick decisions in the battlefield. 🏥 Eleanor is dealing with backlash f The Woman at the Front By: Lecia Cornwall 5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Dr. Eleanor Atherton is in the middle of WWII in France when women doctors are rare. She is a fierce woman who is defying the odds. 🏥 Eleanor is struggling to fulfill her destiny, even as her family struggles with her dreams. One of her wealthy neighbors sends her on a personal mission which lands Eleanor in the middle of the war. She is seeing the wounded up front and making quick decisions in the battlefield. 🏥 Eleanor is dealing with backlash from many who do not believe in women doctors, even with her medical degree. As she struggles with backlash she has to face something in her past which could jeopardize her medical license. #thewomanatthefront, #leciacornwall, #berkley, #bookreview, #bookstagram, #booksconnectus, #audiobook, #stamperlady50, #penguinaudio, #audible

  12. 5 out of 5

    ☕️Kimberly

    Full RTC

  13. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Gorecki

    Beautifully written, Woman at the Front was a fantastic story taking place during WW1, as Dr Eleanor Atherton tries to make a difference and put her medical degree and expertise to use in the midst of so many obstacles and so many ridiculous and demeaning rules during that time period that fiercely opposed women in any place but in the home. The intense misogynistic environment females in general were treated with at the time was crazy and contradictory, but especially towards female doctors. It Beautifully written, Woman at the Front was a fantastic story taking place during WW1, as Dr Eleanor Atherton tries to make a difference and put her medical degree and expertise to use in the midst of so many obstacles and so many ridiculous and demeaning rules during that time period that fiercely opposed women in any place but in the home. The intense misogynistic environment females in general were treated with at the time was crazy and contradictory, but especially towards female doctors. It’s amazing how the military would allow nurses to enlist but not female doctors. The author does a great job showing Eleanors’ determination and drive despite so many, including her family, who were against her and didn’t think she could - or didn’t want her to - succeed. However, with her perseverance and selflessness, she ultimately won over so many with that same determination, including the love and admiration from 2 men who saw her and believed in her. It also showed how grim and destructive WW1 was. The book was hard to put down and I enjoyed it very much. Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Penny Cook

    Many thanks to Netgally and the Publisher for the complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. This was a really good book. The challenges she faces becoming a doctor are unheard of now. The book gives you an understanding of what woman went through doing something that only men thought they could do. I don't think this is a spoiler but you may want to stop reading because I don't know. The man who loved her but didn't get her was unnecessary to the st Many thanks to Netgally and the Publisher for the complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. This was a really good book. The challenges she faces becoming a doctor are unheard of now. The book gives you an understanding of what woman went through doing something that only men thought they could do. I don't think this is a spoiler but you may want to stop reading because I don't know. The man who loved her but didn't get her was unnecessary to the story. Your dealing with WWI and that is sad enough, I don't need to think about some heartbroken soul living out his live without his love.

  15. 5 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    A WWI battlefield nurse romance? Yes please! I saw this cover and was instantly like YES WWI nurse romances are where it’s at for me! But as I dove into this one it was about a female doctor not a nurse which added a feel of newness for me to a tried and true genre. Lecia Cornwall has written a number of other romances so I was eager to see how much of a romance this book would be. I would say it contained a fair bit of romance but that wasn’t necessarily the focus—the focus was more about the ma A WWI battlefield nurse romance? Yes please! I saw this cover and was instantly like YES WWI nurse romances are where it’s at for me! But as I dove into this one it was about a female doctor not a nurse which added a feel of newness for me to a tried and true genre. Lecia Cornwall has written a number of other romances so I was eager to see how much of a romance this book would be. I would say it contained a fair bit of romance but that wasn’t necessarily the focus—the focus was more about the main character, Eleanor’s, journey from fresh new doctor to battle tested doctor. It was an interesting journey and one that I rather enjoyed as I breezed through this one in a matter of one sitting! It was such a wonderful read and I simply had to know what happened next. WWI romances are totally my jam and I loved how this one unfolded. If you haven’t read anything by Cornwall, I would certainly start here and move on to her other romances which is what I plan on doing next! This was on top of my most anticipated for fall this year so I am so thrilled that I was able to be an early reader for this one because it was just such a wonderful read! This one fell firmly in the historical fiction category for me rather than romance. It certainly has a romantic element to it but as I said, the focus really was on Eleanor. I studied battlefield nurses (Civil War) for my masters degree so books like this instantly grab my interest. I thought the author did a wonderful job recreating the chaos and stress of the battlefield and while Eleanor was a doctor and not a nurse, it was evident that even as a doctor Eleanor encountered many of the same issues that nurses might have at that time. Having Eleanor be a doctor was an interesting angle for readers. There were things I never considered that would be impactful such as sitting for medical exams. I loved how the author brought this kind of little detail into the larger story it was really well done and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The romance was fitting too. Although personally I would have left out the love triangle as it felt forced to me. I don’t mind a good love triangle but this one just for unnecessary for the larger story and like it was trying to be something that it wasn’t. In the long run it didn’t really impact my decision in rating but as I was reading I found myself less interested in the other guy and more interested in the main guy. It was a strong enough story and romance without the triangle. There was plenty of drama and interest there without that. Eleanor was a wonderful heroine. She was ambitious, strong, and tenacious. I loved her and often found myself admiring her fortitude and strength. Some times the ‘I’m a doctor’ bit got a little excessive but in the grand scheme of things, she was a fighter and eager to prove herself to others. She was more than capable as a physician and I loved watching her character grow through the story and the war. I think that she will be a character that readers will instantly love and admire. I know I sure did! If you are a historical fiction fan you absolutely need to read this one. It’s so incredibly good and even if you aren’t a huge historical fiction fan, this one is entertaining, quick moving, and engaging. Readers will be sure to love this one. It met every single expectation I had for it! See my full review here

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katie Rogers

    The Woman at the Front - Lecia Cornwall Eleanor has dreamed of following in her father's footsteps, becoming a doctor and one day taking over the family practice. If only it were that simple. She lives in a time where women are meant to be a wife, a mother and nothing more. She is determined to break out of that role expectation and when presented with a chance to prove herself, she jumps at it. She finds herself in the battlefields in France, ready to help bring home a pilot/old family friend wh The Woman at the Front - Lecia Cornwall Eleanor has dreamed of following in her father's footsteps, becoming a doctor and one day taking over the family practice. If only it were that simple. She lives in a time where women are meant to be a wife, a mother and nothing more. She is determined to break out of that role expectation and when presented with a chance to prove herself, she jumps at it. She finds herself in the battlefields in France, ready to help bring home a pilot/old family friend who has broken his leg. Her presence as a female doctor is alarming to many and she is given strict instructions to not touch another patient. Eleanor begins to win over the trust of many of the men when put in situations where she must jump in and do what's right for the patients. She does what many men cannot and faces the gruesome horrors with dignity and grace, living up to her title of Doctor. I've said it before, I am hit or miss with historical fiction, and most definitely have to be in the right mood, but The Woman at the Front captured me right from the beginning and I wasn't able to put it down. Eleanor's character growth was almost addictive. I had to see her prove herself and grow into her own self. She had such good intentions and such strong determination that I was rooting for her success from page 1. I can say this easily, this is now my favorite historical fiction and I can't wait for everyone to have a chance to fall in love with this as well! Keep an eye out in October folks! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 Thanks so much to Netgalley for the ARC!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deidre Butkus

    Truth be told, I had to let this book settle with me before I wrote a review. There was more than once, because of the males in this book, that I wanted to throw this book across the room in frustration. Eleanor is a trained doctor, graduating seventh in her class during WWI. When she is given the opportunity to go to France to be the personal doctor of a childhood friend. However when she gets there, very little goes according to plan. The childhood friend doesn’t want her around, the doctors a Truth be told, I had to let this book settle with me before I wrote a review. There was more than once, because of the males in this book, that I wanted to throw this book across the room in frustration. Eleanor is a trained doctor, graduating seventh in her class during WWI. When she is given the opportunity to go to France to be the personal doctor of a childhood friend. However when she gets there, very little goes according to plan. The childhood friend doesn’t want her around, the doctors and nurses in the hospital don’t want her around and Eleanor is questioning whether it was right for her to even come. However, she doesn’t back down and digs in when the situation calls for it. I admire Eleanor’s determination, grit and perseverance. In the end, I absolutely loved this book and loved how Leica wrapped it up. Highly recommend this book for an unique view into WWI battlefronts.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jaymi The OC Book Girl

    This book has it all - heroism and courage and a female doctor who saved many lives during WWI. Also has a gorgeous Scottish lead: Fraser I highlighted quite a few quotes. Here’s one of my favorites. “I liked it,” she told him softly. “Not because men were hurt, but because I was useful—I helped, I made a difference. They needed me.” Her eyes met Fraser’s, and he saw the flame burning there, the sense of purpose and determination, the realization that she was alive amid the carnage, had come thr This book has it all - heroism and courage and a female doctor who saved many lives during WWI. Also has a gorgeous Scottish lead: Fraser I highlighted quite a few quotes. Here’s one of my favorites. “I liked it,” she told him softly. “Not because men were hurt, but because I was useful—I helped, I made a difference. They needed me.” Her eyes met Fraser’s, and he saw the flame burning there, the sense of purpose and determination, the realization that she was alive amid the carnage, had come through it. “Was I useful?”

  19. 5 out of 5

    Diana N.

    This is a fantastic book! Women can do anything they put their mind to. Eleanor is a great example of determination to be a doctor in a society that said it was not a place for women. This story kept me engrossed in wondering what would happen next. From coming into a war zone as a civillian, to helping near the front lines, leading in dire circumstances, and a bit of romance made this a book hard to put down. As a women in a mostly male dominated field, this book was truly inspiring. How many you This is a fantastic book! Women can do anything they put their mind to. Eleanor is a great example of determination to be a doctor in a society that said it was not a place for women. This story kept me engrossed in wondering what would happen next. From coming into a war zone as a civillian, to helping near the front lines, leading in dire circumstances, and a bit of romance made this a book hard to put down. As a women in a mostly male dominated field, this book was truly inspiring. How many young girls can be like Eleanor now over 100 years later. This is one of the best books I have read! Can I give it more than 5 stars? Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free digital copy of this ARC for my honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Diana N.

    This is a fantastic book! Women can do anything they put their mind to. Eleanor is a great example of determination to be a doctor in a society that said it was not a place for women. This story kept me engrossed in wondering what would happen next. From coming into a war zone as a civillian, to helping near the front lines, leading in dire circumstances, and a bit of romance made this a book hard to put down. As a women in a mostly male dominated field, this book was truly inspiring. How many you This is a fantastic book! Women can do anything they put their mind to. Eleanor is a great example of determination to be a doctor in a society that said it was not a place for women. This story kept me engrossed in wondering what would happen next. From coming into a war zone as a civillian, to helping near the front lines, leading in dire circumstances, and a bit of romance made this a book hard to put down. As a women in a mostly male dominated field, this book was truly inspiring. How many young girls can be like Eleanor now over 100 years later. This is one of the best books I have read! Can I give it more than 5 stars? Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free digital copy of this ARC for my honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Doherty

    110% what I needed to read right now. Not only impeccably researched, but delivered in a narrative style that was invoked from familial ties. This incredible World War I legacy epic is ideal for historical fiction readers, as well as those new to the genre. After hearing the originated story in her author’s note, as well as her deliciously sounding backlist, I couldn’t support the story more! I cannot wait to bring this to Bookstore’s across the country this fall. Galley borrowed from the publishe 110% what I needed to read right now. Not only impeccably researched, but delivered in a narrative style that was invoked from familial ties. This incredible World War I legacy epic is ideal for historical fiction readers, as well as those new to the genre. After hearing the originated story in her author’s note, as well as her deliciously sounding backlist, I couldn’t support the story more! I cannot wait to bring this to Bookstore’s across the country this fall. Galley borrowed from the publisher.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Eleanor Atherton, a recent medical school graduate, has been turned away from applying for a position as a medical doctor in France during WWI because she is a woman. Assisting in a medical emergency and demanding that a farmer be admitted to the medical wing of Chesscroft Park brings her to the attention of Lady Somerton, who asks to speak to her in private. Her son, Louis Chastaine, is serving as a pilot and he was wounded after his plane caught fire while he was involved in a fire fight. He w Eleanor Atherton, a recent medical school graduate, has been turned away from applying for a position as a medical doctor in France during WWI because she is a woman. Assisting in a medical emergency and demanding that a farmer be admitted to the medical wing of Chesscroft Park brings her to the attention of Lady Somerton, who asks to speak to her in private. Her son, Louis Chastaine, is serving as a pilot and he was wounded after his plane caught fire while he was involved in a fire fight. He was fortunate to land near a casualty clearing station and was being looked after. His older brother, Lord Cyril, who was raised to be the next Earl of Kirkswell, had died in a riding accident and the countess appoints Eleanor to be her son's private doctor and to go to France to escort him back to West Yorkshire. The countess promises Eleanor that she will be well rewarded and would serve as a doctor to her circle of female friends. While her parents object to her decision, Eleanor leaves for the front and gets her first taste of being on her own and not accepted within her profession. She is bullied by an aristocrat VAD, who pushes her out of her first-class carriage, and she is harassed by soldiers going to the front until she is saved by a Scottish sergeant, Fraser MacLeod, who is a stretcher bearer. Eleanor is given a ride to the 46 Casualty Clearing Station by Reverand Strong and finally makes her way to Louis' bedside accompanied by Matron Connolly. She is introduced to Colonel Bellford, the commandant of the station by Captain David Blair, a surgeon. The meeting does not go well, but Louis gets his way and Eleanor is able to stay. Eleanor spends her time visiting Louis and checking his splint but is not allowed to help in any way until she saves Captain Findlay, who was suffering from a pneumothorax, because his chest bandages were too tight. Louis now realizes that Eleanor isn't the little girl who followed him and her brother, Edward, around as a child. While Edward and Lady Frances Parfitt, Louis' girlfriend, have a champagne party in the tent, Fraser takes Eleanor away to help with triage. With one week to go before Louis can return to West Yorkshire, she is finally using her education on the front lines. Colonel Bellford requests that she assist in case of an emergency with a list of restrictions. Louis is not happy that Eleanor has been away for so many hours. When Edward returns to the CCS to escort Louis to Paris over Eleanor's objections, she finds out the truth that could endanger her career as a doctor. She froze during the examination and was not able to complete the exam. Her brother, Edward, returned to the exam room and changed her exam paper for his. She was given a place in the medical school, and he flunked. She entered medical school through a lie. How to keep this from affecting her career, how she sees herself, and her future? Ms. Cornwall presents a story about a female doctor in the front lines during World War I. I found the story interesting, and I rooted for the heroine. While the story also has a romantic storyline, it served more to bring into focus the strictures that society placed on women, what they could do at the time, and the horrors of war. If you are an avid reader of historical fiction than you should include this title in your TBR pile.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Thanks to Berkley for an advanced copy of The Woman at the Front by Lecia Cornwall. World War I Historical Fiction is becoming my favorite as it is really such a fascinating time period, especially for women and the different class/societal changes that came out of the war and this book is a great example of a woman who risks everything to be a doctor on the front lines in France. Eleanor Atherton just graduated from medical school at the top of her class in 1917 and wants to serve as a doctor o Thanks to Berkley for an advanced copy of The Woman at the Front by Lecia Cornwall. World War I Historical Fiction is becoming my favorite as it is really such a fascinating time period, especially for women and the different class/societal changes that came out of the war and this book is a great example of a woman who risks everything to be a doctor on the front lines in France. Eleanor Atherton just graduated from medical school at the top of her class in 1917 and wants to serve as a doctor on the front lines in France, but women can't be doctors on the front lines. Her parents want her to give up medicine and marry a doctor... When she gets the chance to go to France to serve as the private doctor for her neighbor and British peer when she takes an opportunity to prove herself at a casualty clearing station to prove that she is a skilled doctor and that she can handle the gruesome injuries of the war. I loved the author's note on her inspiration for the story from her grandfather and his brother in WWI and when she got the opportunity years later to visit her great uncle's grave. I like that she chose to put the main character as a doctor instead of a nurse and used the stories of the women who created their own hospitals so they could be doctors when they were told no. The research and work put into this book were the best. At times the book was a little long and I wished there was a little less romance in the story, but if you're a historical fiction fan then I recommend The Woman At the Front.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carlie | shesbecomingbookish

    Ask anyone who was there and they’ll tell you Dr Eleanor Atherton is one heck of a good doctor. But hindsight’s 20/20, right? Ask Dr Eleanor Atherton what it took to get to the battlefields of France in 1918, and she’ll likely tell you it took every ounce of determination, courage, and will to step off the train in Calais and into the world of WWI. And those are precisely the words her peers would later use to describe her and her actions during the months she spent on the front. Despite her par Ask anyone who was there and they’ll tell you Dr Eleanor Atherton is one heck of a good doctor. But hindsight’s 20/20, right? Ask Dr Eleanor Atherton what it took to get to the battlefields of France in 1918, and she’ll likely tell you it took every ounce of determination, courage, and will to step off the train in Calais and into the world of WWI. And those are precisely the words her peers would later use to describe her and her actions during the months she spent on the front. Despite her parent’s wishes, despite the odds stacked against her, Eleanor was going to practice medicine and prove to everyone, most importantly herself, that she was called to be a doctor. I loved this book, but I have a fondness for all things WWI and WWII, which is likely why I gravitate to historical fiction. I’m the nerdy chick who watches all the old war documentaries with ancient footage on PBS. This book was like stepping into one of those films but better! I loved the main character; her stubbornness and determination in the face of what seemed like insurmountable obstacles is exactly what I want in a strong female lead. And my own background in medical care made this even more fascinating. Though I’m not a nurse or a doctor, I know what it’s like to be called to care for the others, to run toward rather than away from the sick and injured. The characters arcs the author wove together gave depth and feeling to the book. And the ending was exactly what I wanted it to be! If you enjoy war-time fiction, strong female leads, and Scottish men named Fraser then this should be a must read!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Lynn

    Eleanor Atherton is a hero. She gets accepted into medical school and then graduates near the top of her class. WWI is going on and she wants nothing more than to do her part as a doctor. I found her persistence amazing. She had everything working against her, but she still found a way to make a difference, to follow her heart, and to become the doctor she dreamed of becoming. Lecia Cornwall wrote a book that I could not stop reading. I was so intrigued by the characters but also by the storylin Eleanor Atherton is a hero. She gets accepted into medical school and then graduates near the top of her class. WWI is going on and she wants nothing more than to do her part as a doctor. I found her persistence amazing. She had everything working against her, but she still found a way to make a difference, to follow her heart, and to become the doctor she dreamed of becoming. Lecia Cornwall wrote a book that I could not stop reading. I was so intrigued by the characters but also by the storyline. The horrors of war, the way Eleanor had to travel to get to where she had to be, and the people she dealt with kept me turning pages and hoping that all would be okay. I was hopeful that Eleanor Atherton would find people who would support her, who would guide her, and who would get her to where she needed to be. The Woman at the Front is a strong, powerful story of a woman challenges the parameters of her time and her family. She pushes the boundaries, she challenges those who question her, and she is amazing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Judith von Kirchbach

    Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I was very excited to see this book focused on WWI instead of WWII, there are so many. The fact that this book involved a heroic female doctor, one of Britain’s first and that she was not really permitted to serve in the war piqued my interest. I thought the WWI part of this story was quite well done and especially well researched, I loved reading about Eleanor, the MCs, work and her experiences at the front. The injuries and tragedies but also the procedu Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I was very excited to see this book focused on WWI instead of WWII, there are so many. The fact that this book involved a heroic female doctor, one of Britain’s first and that she was not really permitted to serve in the war piqued my interest. I thought the WWI part of this story was quite well done and especially well researched, I loved reading about Eleanor, the MCs, work and her experiences at the front. The injuries and tragedies but also the procedures performed, the lack of supplies it all felt real and very well written but and it’s a big but for a shy and proper character like Eleanor it seemed quite odd after studying in Edinburgh by herself without a single love interest, flirtation or kiss because she is so determined to make it as a doctor to suddenly have three men (maybe more) fall in love with her and have heart palpitations all the time - it just didn’t fit the character well. That being said I enjoyed the historical detail and looking up the background on the historical facts. The book was well researched !

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Kristens.reading.nook

    Eleanor Atherton is the daughter of a doctor in England in 1917. At a time when women really had no job opportunities, she pursued a career in medicine. Her entire family was against that decision, including her father. When the war broke out, she wanted to help in anyway she could, however, her parents would not allow it. After being sent to France to bring a friend who was injured back home, Eleanor finds herself in a hospital where she is able to care for wounded veterans, even though all of t Eleanor Atherton is the daughter of a doctor in England in 1917. At a time when women really had no job opportunities, she pursued a career in medicine. Her entire family was against that decision, including her father. When the war broke out, she wanted to help in anyway she could, however, her parents would not allow it. After being sent to France to bring a friend who was injured back home, Eleanor finds herself in a hospital where she is able to care for wounded veterans, even though all of the staff members do not want a woman around. She also ends up with an opportunity to work on the front lines of the war. I believe this is the first WWI historical fiction book I’ve read, but it surely won’t be my last. I was so immersed in this time and place, that I did not feel the length of this book - 450 pages! The author’s note at the end made me appreciate the story even more. Her grandfather told her about his brother who had died in WWI, which led her on a journey to find his grave and learn more about this period in history. Thank you to NetGalley and Berkeley for a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Judith von Kirchbach

    Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I was very excited to see this book focused on WWI instead of WWII, there are so many. The fact that this book involved a heroic female doctor, one of Britain’s first and that she was not really permitted to serve in the war piqued my interest. I thought the WWI part of this story was quite well done and especially well researched, I loved reading about Eleanor, the MCs, work and her experiences at the front. The injuries and tragedies but also the procedu Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I was very excited to see this book focused on WWI instead of WWII, there are so many. The fact that this book involved a heroic female doctor, one of Britain’s first and that she was not really permitted to serve in the war piqued my interest. I thought the WWI part of this story was quite well done and especially well researched, I loved reading about Eleanor, the MCs, work and her experiences at the front. The injuries and tragedies but also the procedures performed, the lack of supplies it all felt real and very well written but and it’s a big but for a shy and proper character like Eleanor it seemed quite odd after studying in Edinburgh by herself without a single love interest, flirtation or kiss because she is so determined to make it as a doctor to suddenly have three men (maybe more) fall in love with her and have heart palpitations all the time - it just didn’t fit the character well. That being said I enjoyed the historical detail and looking up the background on the historical facts. The book was well researched !

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    I have to admit that I love reading about others adventures, but I don't know how many I could actually handle. I am quite sure that- from everything I've read about WWI- I could not have done what this woman did. Since I read a lot of historical fiction, I have read much about how women doctors were not accepted by male doctors, nor were they well thought of during this time period. The fact the main character has to fight her own family to reach her goal shows how strong and how determined she I have to admit that I love reading about others adventures, but I don't know how many I could actually handle. I am quite sure that- from everything I've read about WWI- I could not have done what this woman did. Since I read a lot of historical fiction, I have read much about how women doctors were not accepted by male doctors, nor were they well thought of during this time period. The fact the main character has to fight her own family to reach her goal shows how strong and how determined she was. I did like that the family did not change its idea and kept its disdain obvious during the whole book. I really liked this book and I was rooting for her the whole time. The romance between her and the Scot was more in the background until he is missing. Other than that, I couldn't read fast enough to see what she accomplished!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    The Woman at the Front focuses on a very determined young English doctor determined to prove she is more than just the future wife of a doctor. Her struggle to overcome the misconception that women cannot handle the horrors of war, the male body or rude behaviour was it's own epic battle. I spent a great deal of this book frustrated. Not with the book itself but with the time. Even in 2021 women are often seen as not able to handle something simply because they are women. So I can only imagine ho The Woman at the Front focuses on a very determined young English doctor determined to prove she is more than just the future wife of a doctor. Her struggle to overcome the misconception that women cannot handle the horrors of war, the male body or rude behaviour was it's own epic battle. I spent a great deal of this book frustrated. Not with the book itself but with the time. Even in 2021 women are often seen as not able to handle something simply because they are women. So I can only imagine how bad it was in the early part of the 20th century. How easy it was for people to sacrifice so much but when it came to the innocence of a female oh no we cannot expose her to reality! Eleanor was a brave and capable character I loved her inability to take no for an answer! I also really enjoyed Fraser and David. Some others I could have done without but they balanced the good and served a purpose. The book is written using multiple POVs and even though I wasn't a huge fan of it I was also happy to have those perspectives. Especially those of Fraser and David. I did get pretty strong Somewhere in France vibes which was... Both a good and bad thing. I spent a lot of time at the beginning a bit worried. However, things didn't go the way I had anticipated and so I got over it quickly! That being said, this book is perfect for fans of Somewhere in France.

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