Gone to War is a concisely written historical novel with a slice of romance about army nurse Emma who, after battling anti-German American prejudice, is among the first group sent to France in 1917. Surviving the periscope pond, she arrives in France. Briefly, shes reunited with her fianc, Wolfe, an army doctor whos also part of an advanced party in Paris. Assigned to a forward aid station, Emma grapples with the wounded, knee-deep mud, biting-cold conditions, medical shortages, and unfamiliar food. Emotionally, she faces the death and disturbing mutilation of young boys crying for their mothers.
A close Latino friend, Juan, visits often, bringing news of Wolfe and raising her spirits. One night, Juan brings news that Wolfe, while visiting the Allied trenches, disappeared during an enemy raid. Wolfe is rescued but suffers from shell shock. Hed been taken prisoner by a Texan German American who was forced to join the German Army. Emmas love and a rocking chair regimen helps Wolfe regain his interest in medicine.
Emma returns to her duties near the front as a ward and surgical nurse. She contracts the Spanish flu spreading all over Europe and the United States with no known cure. Emma recovers, but with a persistence sore throat, shes discharged from the army.