Review: The Fire By Night

by Amber
Published: Last Updated on
The Fire By Night Cover
About The Fire By Night

A powerful and evocative debut novel about two American military nurses during World War II that illuminates the unsung heroism of women who risked their lives in the fight—a riveting saga of friendship, valor, sacrifice, and survival combining the grit and selflessness of Band of Brothers with the emotional resonance of The Nightingale.

In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school.

Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can . . . and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more.

When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place—and the hope of love—in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.

My Review:

I found this novel to be fascinating, learning the struggles and expectations of two military nurses during World War II. Throughout the book, we move between a chapter from Jo’s perspective and a chapter from Kay’s life. They share their experiences, but they also reference back to the days that they were working together in the states.

I would highly recommend this story to fans of historical fiction, specifically on the topic of World War II.  Throughout the story, you’ll find yourself rooting for the two of them to survive and reunite.

This book was previously reviewed by LQ Becky and she mentions the journaling prompts found in the back of the book. Read the review here »

About the author:


Teresa Messineo spent seven years researching the history behind The Fire by Night, her first novel. She is a graduate of DeSales University, and her varied interests include homeschooling her four children, volunteering with the underprivileged, medicine, swing dancing, and competitive athletics. She lives in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Connect with Teresa on Facebook.



Where to pick up your copy: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


I received a copy from TLC Book Tours to share an honest review.

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Teresa Messineo, author of The Fire By Night, on tour October 2017 | TLC Book Tours October 13, 2017 - 11:24 am

[…] Friday, October 13th: Literary Quicksand […]

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours October 13, 2017 - 11:29 am

I’m glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Patti Smith October 13, 2017 - 11:46 am

This one really grabbed me and reminded me why I love historical fiction so much!


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