Yes, when I was in the doldrums reading Doctor Zhivago,
I caved in and read Cherry Ames Department Store Nurse
by Helen Wells.
Who could resist a cover like this? (click to enlarge)
There is a lot of information on the cover. Notice how carefully
the illustrator (nameless) showed us Cherry’s left hand—no
wedding band. And there is a handsome man talking to her–
I wonder if there could be romance ahead? All are smiling,
even the elevator man. The “elevator man”? Yes, in 1956,
date of publication, there were people operating department
What is a department store? Or MORE to the point —were
there actually NURSES employed by department stores? Well,
in this book there really seems to be a need—the salesgirls often
have headaches–customers faint–and even Santa Claus needs
attention almost daily during the Christmas season.
Well, just sit back and enjoy the fantasy.
I wonder if I ever read this book when I was young. I know I
did read some Cherry Ames books, but I was fonder of Nancy
Drew and Judy Bolton.
In this book Cherry has the chance to fill in for someone and
lands the job at Thomas and Parke’s in New York City. And
I’m happy to tell you that right off the bat there is something
stolen from the antiques department. (huh? the antiques
Poor, dear Mrs. Julian is suspected
and Cherry vows to help free her from suspicion.
The plot goes on pretty predictably–but remember, the
alternative is Doctor Zhivago, so I plow on. I can’t tell
you that Cherry gets too far with handsome Tom Reese. He
keeps his weekends pretty well tied up by going to New Haven
with his old buddies and staying at one of the parents’ houses.
Doesn’t sound too promising to me!
Actually my favorite part of the whole book is when Cherry is
invited to stay at one of her nursing friends’ aunt’s house out
on Long Island. That’s “Aunt Kathy” and she wants some
company while her husband is on a business trip for a couple
When they arrive at the house Aunt Kathy greets them and says
that they won’t bother with cooking while her husband is away–
there are plenty of good restaurants around! What a gal!
Kind of fun reading if you’re desperate.