Purposes of Love by Mary Renault
Vivian, a student nurse, chose her profession as a challenge, both to her spirit and to her permanently exhausted body; Mic immerses himself in his work at the hospital to ward off the emotional wounds of an unhappy childhood. Through Jan, Viv's beloved older brother, they meet, and their friendship turns into a secret romance. Secret because, if discovered, it would cost them their jobs.
Despite the discipline and rigid hierarchy imposed by the hospital, their passion takes root, but between them hangs the tantalising and enigmatic shadow of Jan.
Paperback / 400 pages