Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Review: After the War is Over by Jennifer Robson

The internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France returns with her sweeping second novel—a tale of class, love, and freedom—in which a young woman must fnd her place in a world forever changed

After four years as a military nurse, Charlotte Brown is ready to leave behind the devastation of the Great War. The daughter of a vicar, she has always been determined to dedicate her life to helping others. Moving to busy Liverpool, she throws herself into her work with those most in need, only tearing herself away for the lively dinners she enjoys with the women at her boardinghouse.

Just as Charlotte begins to settle into her new circumstances, two messages arrive that will change her life. One is from a radical young newspaper editor who offers her a chance to speak out for those who cannot. The other pulls her back to her past, and to a man she has tried, and failed, to forget.

Edward Neville-Ashford, her former employer and the brother of Charlotte's dearest friend, is now the new Earl of Cumberland—and a shadow of the man he once was. Yet under his battle wounds and haunted eyes Charlotte sees glimpses of the charming boy who long ago claimed her foolish heart. She wants to help him, but dare she risk her future for a man who can never be hers?

As Britain seethes with unrest and postwar euphoria fattens into bitter disappointment, Charlotte must confront long-held insecurities to find her true voice . . . and the courage to decide if the life she has created is the one she truly wants.

ebook, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 6th 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks

Terri's Thoughts

I received a copy of this book from the publisher William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  It was just released yesterday.

I will start out by saying that this is a story for true fans of historical fiction.  Readers who do not favour this genre may not enjoy this story as it is not a fast moving one where a lot occurs.  Those who enjoy reading about the hardships of post WWI England will on the other hand appreciate this novel.

This book features a character who while somewhat stiff and boring holds strong convictions of how she thinks things should be.  Be it the place and rights woman have or should have in society to the treatment (or lack thereof) of war veterans and their families.  Her position in her workplace and her articles in the local newspaper serve as an outlet for her concerns with the direction of post war England.

Also included in the story is a love story.  A very understated one.  At first I wasn't sure if there was one but it eventually played out for the reader.  This is where I return to my comment that this is a read for the true historical fiction fan.  Some may find the love story too understated however I would disagree.  I found it a little bit refreshing that it did not overwhelm the story or Charlottes journey.  While a sucker for a good romance I thought the subtly was well written and appropriate for the story.

I am going to hold back on too much detail about this book.  I will just say that I truly enjoyed it and will be seeking other works by Robson.  I thought I had read that there was a first book to this one somewhere.  If that is the case I will be seeking it out.  Also if it is true it in no way impedes the enjoyment of this one.

About the Author

Jennifer Robson first learned about the Great War from her father, acclaimed historian Stuart Robson, and later served as an official guide at the Canadian National War Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France. A former copy editor, she holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from the University of Oxford. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and young children.
Twitter:  AuthorJenniferR

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