There is no great loss without some small gain …Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on The Prairie
MY DEAR, I WANTED TO TELL YOU ..by Louisa Young (The Borough Press, 2012). THE HEROES’ WELCOME….by Louisa Young (The Borough Press, 2014) These two novels introduce the stories of two very different couples during and after WWI ; we learn how they coped during the war and how they adapted after the war. (both couples are in both novels). These are well researched and informative books. The nature of war creates change, advancements and innovations in many areas including aviation, agriculture, armaments, food storage and medicine. I once read that we can thank the front line WWI nurses for our modern-day feminine napkins after they discovered that the absorbent bandages, distributed to the medical stations , were perfect for their needs. Another area that made huge advances during WWI was Plastic Surgery. The author of this book researched the hospitals and doctors that catered to facial injuries during and after WWI. She even had a relative who worked with these inventive doctors, by designing plaster casts of the faces. There was a duty to make injured soldiers as ready for the civilian world as possible. On a personal note, when I read I tend to binge-read but that’s probably not the best way to approach these books — they just spend so much time in the characters’ heads. These two novels leave the reader with plenty to think about and would work well in a book club.
SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE..by Jennifer Robson (William Morris Paperbacks, 2013) Romance …A titled young lady defies her parents and trains to be an ambulance driver during WWI . She also has an interest in a hunky young Scotsman, working on the front as a doctor. Decent romance.
THE WALNUT TREE…by Charles Todd (Avon, 2013) A holiday romance and mystery by the author responsible for the Bess Crawford series (and Bess even makes a appearance in this book). An aristocratic lady trains as a battlefield nurse and falls in love with a soldier. This is a short book but a rewarding read.
BEREFT…..by Chris Womersley (Scribe Publications, 2010) An Australian man returns to his home town, after serving in WWI , and 10 years after he left because he was accused of a terrible crime.
THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON…….by Kate Morton (Macmillion Pan Books, 2007) In the winter of 1999, Grace Bradley, a former maid at Riverton House, is sharing her memories of working in an English Estate. At 98 years of age, Grace has much to share and she knows all the secrets. WWI figures prominently in this novel. I like all Kate Morton’s work.
These are just a handful of fiction novels set during or after The Great War.