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About the book
  • Published: 24 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9780143565710
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $38.00

Lives We Leave Behind




In 1915, Addie Harrington and Meg Dutton travel to the field hospitals of the First World War as nurses with the New Zealand army.

A powerful story of friendship, love and the legacies of war.

In July 1915 the hospital ship Maheno leaves Wellington with seventy New Zealand nurses on board.

Addie Harrington and Meg Dutton are assigned to the same cabin. Quiet and cautious, Addie is taken aback by her impetuous, fun-loving roommate. The two women seem to have little in common other than a desire to serve their country. But as they care for injured and dying soldiers in Egypt and France, they discover that deep connections can develop under unusual circumstances.

When Meg meets British surgeon Wallace Madison, she falls for him immediately and amidst the chaos of overloaded military hospitals they embark on an intense love affair. Addie suspects Wallace has much to hide and fears the relationship will destroy her friend.

'Maxine Alterio brings a novelist's eye to the startling story of New Zealand's World War I nurses. I was enthralled and moved by the lives of these women and their experiences of war.' Laurence Fearnley, award-winning novelist

  • Pub date: 24 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9780143565710
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $38.00

About the Author

Maxine Alterio

Maxine Alterio is a novelist, short story writer and academic mentor. She graduated from the University of Otago with a Master of Arts in Education and from Victoria University of Wellington with a PhD in Creative Writing. In 2010 she received an Ako Aotearoa Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching award. Her first novel, Ribbons of Grace, shortlisted for the 2008 Nielsen BookData New Zealand Booksellers’ Choice Award, topped the national bestsellers list for several months. Maxine won the Seresin Landfall/Otago University Press Residency in 2013.

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