In the Shadow of the Lamp by Susanne Dunlap (Published by Bloomsbury, April 12, 2011)
When sixteen-year-old Molly Fraser loses her job as a maid in 1854 London due to being falsely accused of stealing from her employers, she doesn't know what to do. She will not be able to find another job as a maid without a reference, and she is desperate to avoid working in a factory. Then she learns that Florence Nightingale in looking for nurses to care for the soldiers injured fighting in the Crimean War. When she is rejected due to her lack of experience as a nurse, Molly decides that she will not give up, and decides to sneak onto the ship in hopes she will be given a chance instead of being sent back home.
Molly is not quite prepared for the reality of war when they arrive in Turkey. She is saddened and horrified by the conditions there and the terrible injuries of the soldiers, but she soon finds she has a natural talent for nursing. She also finds her heart torn between two men - the handsome and exciting Dr. Maclean, a young doctor at the hospital, and kind, dependable Will, who worked with Molly in London, helped her when she lost her job, and who has joined the army to be near her. Molly is confused by her feelings and must decide which of the two men she loves while caring for the wounded soldiers and hoping and praying that no harm comes to Will.
In the Shadow of the Lamp is a novel sure to be enjoyed by readers who love history and romance. The historical setting is unique and well-written and brings the setting of the Crimean War to life. The main character of Molly was very believable and likeable, I found myself turning the pages eager to find out what would happen to her next. I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoyed Susanne Dunlap's previous novels or who enjoy young adult historical romance.