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The Fire By Night

The Fire by Night - Teresa Messineo

I really enjoyed this novel. The excitement of two best friends experiencing the war from two different locations, made this novel one that I couldn’t put down and one that also frustrated me. Jo and Kay had been best friends back home and now the two friends found themselves far away from one another, taking the oath as nurses, in a war which sometimes did not make any sense. It was the Nurse’s Creed and these two women with the other nurses around them, lived by this oath, as they guarded their patients like soldiers and never left their side, even as bullets were raining down around them.


Told in diary format, the year is 1942 and Kay lives her life in a tunnel near Pearl Harbor. With other individuals sent over to care for the sick and dying, Kay cares for her patients inside this tunnel. They live like hermits; their patients are brought to them inside this tunnel and everyone lives in fear. To step outside this tunnel, would be to risk taking your own life as the Japanese patrol this area. Kay and her fellow nurses and doctors are allowed a few minutes outside the tunnel for fresh air but the view outside the tunnel is revolting. Casualties of the Japanese soldiers lay scattered about while small rodents rummage among them. After some time, Kay and her team must move out of the tunnel for they are being relocated. This move is hard for Kay, for she is leaving much more behind than just security and the tears are falling from my face as she leaves. War is hard and for Kay, this is only the beginning.


Jo, is as close to the front lines as a field hospital can get. I can feel the urgency and the desperation each time I read Jo’s entries. I feel as if I must be quiet as I read about Jo’s life, otherwise someone might hear me and they might start bombing Jo and her team. I seriously couldn’t get enough of Jo; this woman is amazing. She shows us that she is human, I can feel how scared she is yet this woman is devoted to the Nurse’s Creed 100% and while the war is hitting her unit hard, she’s standing. Jo somehow during all of this, she is finding the words to her childhood song to calm things down. I loved how these two best friends are still in each other thoughts as they are each experiencing their own little hell. This novel was great, I really enjoyed it and I highly recommend it. It got my blood pumping and I was sad to see it end.