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In 1867 London, England, Ann Russell, a nurse and a veteran of the Crimean War, deals with issues of euthanasia, medicine, war, sexual identity, and spirituality. In the Crimea, Ann worked with Florence Nightingale; back in England, she still consults her for advice and support. Ann struggles with the transition to civilian life while working at a charity hospital. She also commits acts of euthanasia, a practice she adopted when desperately wounded English soldiers begged her to kill them. Lyrical and questioning, this historical novel explores the timeless concerns of life, death, compassion, and personal growth as viewed through the prism of Victorian England.