McMahon, Katharine "The Rose of Sebastopol" - 2007
It is the time of Florence Nightingale, the Crimean War in 1854. How can an intelligent girl not want to follow in her footsteps?
This is the beginning of the novel, Rosa Barr follows Florence Nightingale in order to help her wounded compatriots. From then on, it drifts to the cousin who stays behind to Italy where Rosa's traces disappear. It has the tendency to drift into chick lit but fortunately finds its way back all the time. Not a bad read, a lot of different situations play into the story.
From the back cover:
"In 1855 Rosa Barr, a headstrong young woman, travels to the Crimea, against the wishes of her family, determined to work as a nurse. She does not return.Three people have been intimately connected with her. One, her brother, a soldier and adventurer; the second a doctor, traumatized by the war, and harbouring a secret passion, and the third, Mariella, her cousin and childhood friend, who must now uncover the truth about what has happened to the missing nurse.Mariella's epic journey takes her from the domestic quiet of London to the foothills of Italy, and on to the ravaged Russian landscape of the Crimea, where she must discover what has happened to her captivating and mysterious cousin and uncover the secrets of those who loved her.. "