This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Young nurse, Gemma, is struggling with the traumas she has witnessed through her job in the NHS. Needing to escape from it all, Gemma agrees to help renovate a rundown farmhouse in Doullens, France, a town near the Somme. There, in a boarded-up cupboard, wrapped in old newspapers, is a tin that reveals the secret letters and heartache of Alice Le Breton, a young volunteer nurse who worked in a casualty clearing station near the front line.
Set in the present day and during the horrifying years of the war, both woman discover deep down the strength and courage to carry on in even the most difficult of times. Through Alice’s words and her unfailing love for her sweetheart at the front, Gemma learns to truly live again.
This is a beautifully written epic historical novel that will take your breath away.
Available to buy here on eBook on 12th October and Paperback 27th December 2018 published by HarperImpulse
This book is a blend of historical & contemporary romantic fiction. I’ve recently read a couple of books that follow the formula of simultaneously telling stories based in the present and the past; The Poppy Field is an exquisite example of how this can be blended in to a wonderful story involving two brave and strong females, 100 years apart.
The story of Alice Le Breton, a young nurse with little experience in some of the worst WW1 battlefields in France was heartbreaking as you acknowledge what so many young men and women experienced during this war. With the upcoming Armistice centenary, it is especially poignant to remember the horrors of war. My great-grandfather was injured in a gas attack in France, he was cared for in a hospital there for some months after before returning home and he suffered many long term effects throughout his life, yet he was seen as one of the lucky ones. To read in this story the gruelling experiences of both the nurses and the soldiers who experienced mustard gas attacks (as well as other injuries from explosions) was particularly touching because of my great-grandfather.
The modern day story of nurse Gemma who is doing up a dilapidated farm cottage in France was more subtle, but equally a powerful story of a woman following her own path and dreams. As the story unfolds and you see how the two women are interlinked, a century apart, you get a feeling of how history sets us all on a path and that even from the most devastating of situations we can find our true purpose.
Ever since I watched the film adaptation of The Railway Children as a kid I have always had a bit of a dream about arriving at a run down country cottage and doing it up, which seeing as I hate being cold would probably end up a complete nightmare; however, this book connected with that childhood fairytale of mine and the cottage itself is steeped in history so I could picture its charm.
I am honest and I did drop a star in rating this due to a few occasions it needed, in my opinion, tighter sequence editing and correction. The odd typo or word missing usually doesn’t bother me but a few really jarred my reading flow, and a couple of the past-present sequences were a bit misaligned which I felt could have been written in a way to blend more. Hopefully these things will be tweaked with final edits because it is a wonderful story that leaves you uplifted and thinking about it after the final page.
Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and the publisher for inviting me on the blog tour and provided a free copy of this book in order for me to give my unedited review.
About The Author:
Deborah Carr lives on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands with her husband, two children and three rescue dogs. She became interested in books set in WW1 when researching her great-grandfather’s time as a cavalryman in the 17th 21st Lancers.
She is part of ‘The Blonde Plotters’ writing group and was Deputy Editor on the online review site, Novelicious.com for seven years. Her debut historical romance, Broken Faces, is set in WW1 and was runner-up in the 2012 Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition and given a ‘special commendation’ in the Harry Bowling Prize that year. The Poppy Field is her second historical novel.
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Please view other reviews on the blog tour stops below