AMONG THE POPPIES
RANDOM RETRO READ DAY!
The ideal lady wears lace, speaks quietly, and never under any circumstances fixes her own automobiles. But Gwyn Ruthers has never cared two snaps for the ideal lady. With the war to end all wars exploding across the Channel, she leaves behind her restrictive life as a chauffeur's daughter to serve in an all-female ambulance unit in France. Rambling over bomb blasted roads is far from the exotic travel she had in mind, but not even a handsome captain can distract her from the purposes at hand. Most of the time.
Slogging through mud and a despair that no man should have to witness, Captain William Crawford stumbles over a woman -- quite literally -- who has the ridiculous notion to enter a man's fight along the Front. Why can she not sit patiently at home like all the other complacent women?
Bound together by circumstances beyond their control, Gwyn and William must fight to survive the battle raging all around them. Can their love survive or will it become another casualty of war?
published in 2018
Downton Abbey on the battlefront. Gripping and gritty and gobsmackingly good!
What an amazing introduction to J'Nell Ciesielski's gifted storytelling! I'd seen her name popping up in connection with her soon-to-be released book and was intrigued enough to do a little digging online. Emerged triumphant with an audible version of Among the Poppies
-- which, as far as I can tell, is her debut. It's brilliantly narrated by Gwyn Olson who brings this story to life with passion and flare and added so much to my listening enjoyment.
What a moving story! An insider's look at all the aspects of war -- including battle and hospital scenes. Those are heart-wrenchingly accurate but not gruesomely detailed, so faint-of-heart readers needn't worry. Be prepared to be emotionally affected though. This is the kind of book that has the power to transform.
Love Gwyn's scrappy determination and ambitious dreams. But she's rooted in reality too. Not that she could ever be truly prepared for the horrors and challenges she meets as an ambulance driver in France, but she's much more grounded than her upper class friend who views it as more of a romantic adventure. Such a contrast between these best friends -- Gwyn, the chauffeur's daughter and Cecilia, daughter of the manor.
In fact, this whole story is about contrasts -- the sweet, yearning sense of wonder that comes from new love versus the stark, despairing brutality of war. The differences between class expectations. The disparity between male and female roles. Friendship versus foes. Moments of gaiety and laughter amidst the bleak backdrop of battle. Such a merciless emotional onslaught that left my readerly senses reeling.
An utterly captivating inspirational romance with heart and hope.
If you would like a chance to win a copy of Among the Poppies, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday November 23 2019. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!