65 pages 2 hours read

Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2003

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Part 2, Chapters 17-20Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2: “Spring 1910-Spring 1917”

Part 2, Chapter 17 Summary

Maisie pauses outside one of London’s major hospitals, asking where to sign up as a nurse. Maisie recalls lying about her age and forging a recommendation from Lord Julian using stationary she found at Chelstone. Frankie was dismayed and fearful for her safety. Maisie has officially deferred her studies, and “with the same resolve that had taken her to university, she vowed to bring comfort to the men coming home from France” (161).

Maisie’s life comes to resemble her servant days, as she spends many hours on grueling tasks, including cleaning and changing linens. She is soon summoned by the senior matron, who informs her she is being promoted and trained with the expectation she will be sent overseas to France in a year. Maisie wishes she could seek comfort in Maurice as she faces the real consequences of her deception. She asks herself, “Could she do what was required of her? Could she live up to Enid’s memory?” (162).

Part 2, Chapter 18 Summary

The chapter opens with Maisie sailing to France in July 1916 in the grip of horrific seasickness. She receives regular letters from Priscilla, who is now an ambulance driver. Priscilla describes the grim conditions, with men as young or younger than herself dying in her care.