Author: Muriel P. Engelman, WWII Army Nurse, retired R.N.
ISBN 978-0-595-48110-1
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.

Click Here To Purchase Mission Accomplished: Stop The Clock: A Personal Memoir

Muriel Engelman’s fascination with human detail has spanned eight decades. The American octogenarian’s memoir, “Mission Accomplished: Stop the Clock” is filled with remarkably recalled details, humorous and heartbreaking stories, all focusing on what seems to be her favorite pastime: the wry, humorous but ultimately affectionate observation of people.  The wide array of fascinating characters in her winning memoir – from a student nurse superintendent and a polio victim under her care, to a superb dancer (who, as Muriel discovered later, had been courting her after the war in part to cover his true sexual identity) and a maid who tried to woo a rich man by wearing three different colored wigs each week – each is made extremely compelling under her humorous eye and talented pen.

For WWII history buffs, the obvious lure of “Mission Accomplished” are the vivid strokes with which Ms Engelman paints her part in the European theater of war as an army nurse. She nursed the general illnesses of U.S. troops stationed in North Wales before crossing the channel (a trip which took four days because of the debris left from the invasion).

She was then stationed in Liege, Belgium, for the rest of the war, where she and her fellow nurses did their best under nigh-impossible circumstances, nursing wounded GI’s in tent hospitals where frequent rain turned the “floors” to mud and where “buzz bombs” were a constant danger (her tent hospital was actually hit three times, killing and wounding patients and personnel). Especially riveting is a 12-page chapter entitled “Letters Home” which is comprised of many highly descriptive letters she wrote to her mother and which date from December 31, 1943 through October 31, 1945.  These letters are a fascinating “oral” history describing of a branch of military service which is often overlooked in a general study of American contributions to WWII.

The phrase, “Stop the Clock,” in Ms. Engelman’s title refers to a phrase often uttered by her mother when she was repeatedly asked, “if it was in your power would you like to go back in time and not get any older?” Ms. Engelman’s mother would always reply: “No, I would not go back one single year but I’d just like to stop the clock. It’s going too fast.”

Ms. Engelman might not be able to stop the clock from ticking, but she has done a great service in writing this memoir, not only for the obvious pleasure it will bring to WWII aficionados, but for anyone who is interested in a wide variety of human characters, painted in vivid and humorous detail.

Click Here To Purchase Mission Accomplished: Stop The Clock: A Personal Memoir