I don't know about you, but sometimes I need drama and a powerful love story to get me through my week and I've found that in Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson.
It tells the story of Lily, who is part of the aristocracy, but has a falling out with her family. She becomes an ambulance driver during WW I and is sent to France. Of course at the medical hospital she is at there is a childhood friend of her brother's, Robert, and what can you guess happens?
I really loved this book. The writing draws you in and when I pause in reading to get a drink, or let the dog out, or face the world again I am amazed that I am in not in war torn France surrounded by men who are dying and medical tents. Instead I find that I am in my apartment in northwestern PA. It comes as quite a shock. That's the great thing about Jennifer's writing. (I hope authors don't mind that I refer to them by their first names. I feel like I get to know them personally by reading their books, so I refer to them by their first names.) She totally transports you to World War I France.
The love story is also sweet and believable. You want to root for this couple even though there are some odds stacked against them because they are both good people. I don't know about you, but one of my problems with Downton Abbey, even though I watched all six seasons and own all of them on DVD, was at first most of the characters didn't have a lot of redeeming qualities. It was hard to like Mary at first although she did open up later in the season. There is none of that here. You like Lily and Robbie right off and continue for the book. Although at times I did want to hit Robbie, but I think part of that is my 21st century sensibility with the idea that woman can face danger just as much as men. One of my biggest pet peeves is when we try to place 21st century values on historic figures.
Jennifer's research is good too. I love historical fiction with lots of facts. It's one of the reasons I love Sharon Kay Penman so much. A good story with good historical detail is a winner for me! As a side note, Jennifer is a lovely person and I have contacted her on Facebook to get signed bookplates and she gladly sent them.
After reading Somewhere in France I felt that there was room left for a sequel and lucky for us, there is one! I read The Intelligencer by Leslie Silbert years ago, which also screams for a sequel and sadly there was none.
Jennifer's books gets it's sequel After the War Is Over and I'll talk more about it in a later post, but if you want a good historical fiction book you can melt into for a while I highly recommend anything Jennifer does. She has three books out so far and I loved all of them.
Also it looks like After the War Is Over is on kindle sale right now at $6.99. Somewhere in France is $8.99
For the next post this week I'll take questions from readers. Tell me what kind of mood you want a book to put you in and I'll see if I can make a good recommendation.