Both Word War’s are an era that crops up quite a lot in the latest read of the book worms. It appears to hold our member’s interest and we can’t seem to get enough of it. This is another wonderful book dedicated to the memory of the ingenious medical advances made at the time through the eyes of three families affected by the brutalities of war.
The young McCosh sisters and their neighbours, the Pitt & Pendennis brothers rally together to help their stricken country in the grasp of war. Family feuds, love and the atrocities of war make this a humbling but wonderful read.
The book was just amazing in its portrayal of the trenches and also the changing role of men and women as a result of the war. The effect the war had on the lives of everyone in one way or t’other was well documented round the story.
However, and there is a big “however”, I did get thoroughly bored with the antics of Daniel, Fluke and his squadron playing their endless loop the loops even though I realise that was the way the author portrayed their being able to cope with and release from all the trauma of what they had taken part in and then the extended trauma of Rosie in Daniel’s frustrated life.
And to mention Rosie; she really was just too plastic for me. A bit of a self righteous prig to my mind and I kept wanting to give her a kick up the backside because, if she had gone through all the traumas of Netley, then she should have become a much more rational character rather than just remaining in the past and not moving on. She just didn’t ring true to me. We all knew that she was clinging to Ash as an excuse to remain “stuck in the mud” and we all knew that she was also using her Father as a further excuse, love him madly as she did. I actually loved his character and he made me laugh. I think that he and Daniel’s mother, who seemed eminently sensible to me, would have made a formidable pair!
But what of Ottilie? The little sister whose character was never really brought into the open. I felt I’d never really had a chance to get to know her. Why did we have a medium thrown in apart to maybe show that there was a point to life and an afterlife of some kind.
All that said, it was an enjoyable read if I skipped a few pages of loop the loops but for the reasons above, I only want to give this 2.5 marks, and those marks were for the descriptive nature of the book in relation to the trenches, the changing face of the social scene and the way in which women were suddenly “freed” and thrown into the deep end to work and undertake other tasks apart from taking tea with friends.
If the portrayal of the characters had matched up to the descriptions of their surroundings then it would be a fantastic book. 2.5/5
I skipped the jollification of the gentry. It really didn’t fit in with the rest of the story, I began to think it was a dream-like sequence and they were all going mad.
Rosie really didn’t come across well at all. I thought her religious calling was going to leave her an old maid, alone in the world. The whole story reeked of Jane Austin’s Pride & Prejudice, the eccentric mother, the loveable father and the personalities of the all the daughters.
It did fascinate me and the war effort really came to the fore, it’s just a pity it lost its way a bit. Very heavy to hold after a while too! 3/5
TOTAL SCORE: 25/45