Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cherry Ames Student Nurse and Senior Nurse

Cherry Ames is another series that I have ignored for many years.  The books have never appealed to me, because I have not the slightest interest in nursing.  Furthermore, I have had an aversion to the idea of reading books set in the hospital setting.  After a second failed attempt in reading Biff Brewster, I decided to read the Cherry Ames series.

In Cherry Ames #1, Cherry Ames, Student Nurse, Cherry begins her probationary year of nursing school.  Cherry makes a few mistakes along the way and worries that she won't measure up.  She becomes good friends with several other nursing students.  Soon, Cherry becomes aware of a secret patient and is faced with a dilemma when the patient faces an emergency.

I noticed how Wells uses ethnicity to point out the differences between people.  On pages 60 and 61, "Cherry looked down into the contrasting faces:  a plump Jewish grandmother, an Italian woman with a smile like a sunburst, a tiny little Irish girl not much older than herself, a Slavic woman who spoke no English.  What an assorted lot they were!"

On page 132, Cherry thinks of how two nurses are friends.  She thinks about how they are very different on the surface including of different nationalities but that they have similar personalities.  There again, Wells uses ethnicity to point out differences.

A hot water boiler explodes in a young boy's face, and he is badly burned.  On page 137, Cherry assures him that he "won't look a bit different."  The child needed to be reassured, but I didn't like Cherry assuring him that he wouldn't look different at all.  That bothered me.  

These books have lots of sentimentality in them.  Cherry feels homesick.  She worries about the future.  She worries about her patients.  I especially notice it because I have been reading boys' series books, which don't have the excessive amount of reflection in them.  I find the sentimentality to be excessive even for girls' books, and it is too much for me.  I skimmed some of it.

In Cherry Ames #2, Cherry Ames, Senior Nurse, 20-year-old Cherry Ames begins her senior year of nursing school.  Her first assignment gets off to a shaky start when the maid smuggles a rabbit into the children's ward, and Cherry plays along with the prank.  Later, Lex, a young doctor, pursues Cherry relentlessly, even to the point of becoming Dr. Joe's assistant.

On page 12, Cherry tells a girl, " 'I'll try to have your mother come, Mary Ruth, but I can't promise.' She knew she had to be scrupulously honest with children, to keep their trust."  Oh, really?  When I read this sentence, I thought of the burned boy and how Cherry promised him that he would look the same.

Just after Cherry's thinks about how she has to be honest with children, Cherry tells the girl that a teddy bear spoke to her that morning, wanting a playmate.  The girl tells Cherry that she knows that the teddy bear can't talk.  Ugh.  Cherry says that she needs to be honest, and then she tells an obvious fib in the next breath. 

I do not like Lex.  He reminds me of a stalker who would end up becoming an abusive spouse.  He is obsessed with Cherry and has abusive tendencies.  Helen Wells says it herself.  On page 144, Wells uses the word "violent" to describe Lex's reaction to a few questions. 

It's quite difficult to believe how quickly Cherry wins over Mildred after not getting along with her for months.

I enjoyed both books, although as expected, most of the details regarding nursing were of very little interest to me.  As I already mentioned, the sentimental details were not of great interest.  I also feel no connection to Midge and Dr. Fortune, so I find them uninteresting.

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