Some nurses, a pub and an ex-army soldier: a good book on the whole
I have been attracted by this novel because my mother is a nurse like the author and I’m used to listen to her hospital stories even if they are different from the ones narrated in this book. I think An Angel’s Alternative would be a pleasant reading for all the lovers of TV series like E.R., Grey’s Anatomy, Dr House, Nurse Jackie and so on. I’m very happy to have won a copy of An Angel’s Alternative thanks to the author and Goodreads – First Reads and now that I have read the book I can say that is a good text on the whole, even if its rhythm is sometimes too slow.
What else should be improved? The size of the book, for example. It’s quite big and thin and it looks more like an exercise book than a novel. Then the title: it would have been better a simpler A Nurse’s Alternative than the misleading An Angel’s Alternative. Only reading the plot, you understand what the book is about.
Last but not least, there are a few typos due to the confusion between couples of words with a similar pronunciation (then/than, to/too, bad/bed) but which have different spelling and meaning.
On the other hand it was interesting the presence of characters coming from different countries like Kate Ricks from Trinidad, Dave from Australia, Gloria from the Philippines and Veronica from Sweden.
The narration gets better towards the end with the death of Tom. Who will be the new pub owner? Will the nurse Dave continue to manage the place as he had started to do during Tom’s illness? Or will the Snake’s Arms be shut down?
Also the extremely jealous and violent husband of the ward sister Sarah Ashe dies and the poor woman is finally free from his persecution.
The main character, the nurse John, gets rid of the matron Carol who had tried to make his life difficult and has learned that unfortunately we can’t always tell what we think to our boss, even if we’re right.
Anyway the most entertaining characters are the bad ones like Nick, who abandoned Roxanne for another woman, fought in Afghanistan and now wants her again. He’s threatening and potentially violent. We don’t know what happens to him in the end, but we can suppose that he’s gone to South Africa to work as a mercenary after deserting the army and his plan is to go back to the UK. Roxanne is safe now, but maybe only for a while. What it’s not clear in the novel is why Roxanne couldn’t go on holiday to Greece with her boyfriend John, since they are both adults living on their own. The author only mentions that the decision is due to her family. In another point, Roxanne is described as exotic. Does she have foreign origins? What a pity that these aspects haven’t been developed further!