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- Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War by Jennifer Robson
- Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War
The characters were figments of the imagination but the setting was real. The ending was perfect, and left me wanting more, which is why I went out and picked up the sequel After The War Is Over. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a great piece of fiction that is steeped in the truth. Truly an author after my own heart.
Read it, and prepare to have your heart stolen. I agree! I look forward to discover After the War is Over. I live near Verdun, a great place during WW1! Your email address will not be published. The cover art is absolutely gorgeous. We soon meet Lady Elizabeth and her aristocratic family, and see that this is a young woman suffocated by her station in life. From learning to drive and working in London, to becoming an ambulance driver for the WAAC, Lily wins over men and women alike, and demonstrates that in spite of her sheltered upbringing, she is strong and capable. Fans of the popular television series and historical fiction will devour this book.
Aug 21, MAP rated it liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , fiction. If I had to sum up this book in one word, it would be "predictable. Let me put it this way: Warhorse was less sugary-sweet and more raw and stomach-churning than this book.
I dare an author to wri If I had to sum up this book in one word, it would be "predictable. I dare an author to write a piece of historical fiction with a female protagonist where the driving plot ISN'T romance.
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I DARE you. View all 5 comments. Dec 15, Les Romantiques rated it it was ok.
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She is the daughter of Stuart Robson, an historian. It was the historical background that piqued my interest: the First World War, which we will probably see more of in the years to come, due to the centenary commemorations. Somewhere in France is a pleasant enough read, the beginning is promising, but sadly it never rises above an honest story. I had a rather good time but thought all the way : what a pity, it could have been so much better!
My first problem is that the author never really chose a genre. One would think that, considering the very extreme situation created by war, that rather uninteresting stage of their relationship would quickly be dealt with and forgotten. But it drags on until the very end. It seems to me that cataclysmic events such as the First World War changed far more radically the men and women who were dragged into their maelstrom. My second problem is the lack of realism and emotion. The heroes work in a field hospital, we see terrible wounds and deaths, but in a detached way.
Nobody dies who is close to our heroes, not even a small secondary character the reader came to know. Then there is the field hospital where the heroes work, it remains in the exact same place for more than a year. So does the Casualty clearing station. The brother of the heroine, an officer who serves in the tranches, is also posted at the same spot during this long period of time. As for the field hospitals, I think they followed the offensives too. Descriptions which, in the end, grow a bit tedious of what they eat, what they wear, an improvised dance gathering, the daily care for the ambulances, a day off in Paris.
All things that, given the dramatic context, should be of no importance to the characters… or should they? In the wonderful novel All quiet on the west front by Erich Maria Remarque, the author shows us how soldiers in the tranches clung to this kind of small things to avoid losing their minds. I remember crying over a scene where the hero receives biscuits from his mother and remembers how they tasted before the horror.
The comparison is not in favor of Somewhere in France. Compared to these two novels, Somewhere in France reminds me of these old Hollywood movies where the actors played in front of a screen with a flick behind them. Then there are French sentences… French readers know what I mean… they are of course a little bit off.
View 1 comment. Jun 27, Jaclyn rated it it was amazing Shelves: arc , edelweiss , favourites , canadian-author , historical-romance , world-war-one , historical. Giving away a 1 copy to the luck winner on my blog. Contest runs until January 21st, Super excited to hear that the author is writing a follow up. Robson captures the realities of war, while balancing that out with a lovely romance. Absolutely loved it! Full review closer to pub date Edit - Dec 29th, Somewhere in France is a historical novel set during the turbulent times of the First World War.
While romance was a significant part in the nov Giving away a 1 copy to the luck winner on my blog. While romance was a significant part in the novel, the historical detail and realities of daily life during wartime made this far more than a romance. Somewhere in France was lovely, harsh and optimist all at once, and I recommend it to historical fiction fans that are interested in this period in history.
I cannot express how much I loved Somewhere in France! I was initially intrigued because of the romance aspect to the novel, but there was some much more to this story than an unlikely romance between the social classes. The historical details were fantastic.
She was confronted with the effects of war, the destroyed bodies of the soldiers that she transported to the hospital. She also had to deal with the everyday hardships of no rest, no bathing, catching lice, and living without the luxuries that she used to. I felt that we really got a picture of what life was like for those supporting the soldiers on the front lines, and it was completely fascinating. I also liked the fact that Lily was an ambulance driver rather than a nurse, which is what you might expect to see. Even being an ambulance driver meant that Lily had to learn to drive, something she had never done before.
Lily was really a fascinating character in the novel. She had a luxurious upbringing and gave it all up to follow her dreams. I think the author handled this transformation within Lily well, and I believed that someone as sheltered as Lily had been could become the competent and confident young woman that she was by the end of the novel.
As for the romance between Lily and Robbie, it really was swoon worthy in a sweet sort of way. I liked the fact that Lilly and Robbie had already known one another as children, otherwise I would have been tempted to believe that they were swept away in a romance that was started by the wartime atmosphere, but would ultimately not have had much substance. To sum it up, historical fiction fans need to read Somewhere in France. It was a fantastic read and anyone who enjoys a highly atmospheric setting with a good helping of romance will love this one. I feel like Somewhere in France was hinting at this relationship, and I would like to be proven correct.
For full review and read-alikes, see The Book Adventures. View all 4 comments. Mar 12, Celli rated it it was ok. This book started out as a very sweet love story. I anticipated that it would be a contrived sweet little love story but it turned out to be a pretty lame one. A very typical story but not at all realistic. Lilly is sweet and naive and a little pathetic. The ending is quite abrupt and left me with some questions. This was extremely frustrating when everything else in the book was OVER explained. I don't read romance novels but I imagine this is how a romance novel of the early 's would read In the end, it wasn't worth it.
Don't waste your time. Nov 14, Christina A Reader of Fictions rated it really liked it Shelves: finishedreviewcopy , series-graveyard. Though I was interested when I signed up for the tour, by the time the book arrived, I was not in the mood. I say this to explain that the cards were stacked against this book, but it charmed me utterly, despite me not being in the mood for WWI fiction or adult fiction in general when I picked it up.
Read the full review at A Reader of Fictions. View 2 comments. Jan 04, KOMET rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: anyone who loves a well-written story brimming with suspense, danger, and romance. Shelves: world-war-i-novels , jennifer-robson. This novel has a certain Downton Abbeyesque quality to it, beginning in July as Europe stood poised on the precipice of no-return, pending the resolution of "that damn fool thing in the Balkans.
She had last seen him 7 years earlier, when she was a freckled-faced year old. Edward had brought Robert Fraser "Robbie" home to meet the family during Easter weekend. Lilly's parents had not found favor with him. They were "appalled that Edward would choose to associate with the son of a Glaswegian dustman. But Edward had insisted on bringing his friend to Cumbermere Hall for the holiday, and what her brother wanted he very nearly always got.
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She extended a hand in greeting him. At first, he didn't recognize Lilly straightaway.
But soon enough, the dim light of recognition lit up in Robbie's mind after Lilly told him that she was Edward's youngest sister. Not wanting to be too conspicuous and to escape her mother's scrutiny and determination to use this event for a proper matchmaking for her, Lilly guided Robbie to a quiet corner of a drawing room where they could talk without being observed. They had a pleasant, engaging conversation in which Robbie told Lilly about his work in the hospital. She in turn, confided in Robbie about her desire to lead a more independent life for herself, travel the world, pursue a career, and marry for love.
Robbie seemed different than most men she knew, for he listened patiently and sympathetically to her. Not in a patronizing way as most men of her class would in indulging themselves in what they regarded as the foolish whims of a woman. After all, a woman's lot was to marry well and have a family. Alas, Lilly and Robbie were found out by her mother, who had a prospective fiance in tow, a rather boorish fellow named Fitzallen-Carr. Lilly was thus led away to the dance, while her mother had it out with Robbie, who soon left.
A short time later, war erupts in Europe and men rush off to join the ranks. Edward, not to be outdone, is elevated to officer status and is soon training with a unit made up men and boys from various social strata he has known all his life. Lilly is restless, wanting to be useful to the war effort, but not knowing what she can do, for she lacks qualifications, having been taught at home by a governess. Through her brother Edward, she obtains Robbie's address, and thus begins a correspondence with him that lasts for 2 years.
In that time, in a bid to be independent, Lilly secretly learns to drive, strip gears and fix motors, and provide maintenance for trucks. In the process, her correspondence with Robbie is found out by her mother. Lilly has a row with her parents - who cut her off completely - and goes off to live with her friend Charlotte in another part of the city. She eventually finds work in local transport and manages to meet Robbie in a small restaurant when he's able to take leave. This was in October Through fits and starts, a romance slowly begins to blossom, by degrees, between them.
A real slow burner, for both outwardly assert themselves to each other as no more than the best of friends. Deep down inside, the attraction grows between them. Over Christmas, Lilly and Charlotte have lunch with Edward, who is on leave, at a swanky London restaurant. Lilly tells Edward of her desire to want to be more directly involved in the war effort. This is when he discloses to Lilly that, in the New Year, the Army would be establishing a Woman's Army Auxiliary Corps WAACs in which women once properly trained would drive and maintain ambulance trucks near the Front, assisting in bringing back wounded soldiers to casualty clearing stations CCS - like the one where Robbie was now serving - where they could receive prompt, life-saving treatment.
By the following spring, Lilly manages to gain acceptance into the WAACs, receives 3 months of training in the UK, and in July , in response to an urgent need for ambulance drivers near the Front, volunteers with a number of her friends for duty in France. Here is where the suspense value, hints, intimations and stirrings of romance in the novel blaze forth. I won't say anything more because that would be throwing in a lot of spoilers.
Not only does it give the reader a tangible feel of what it was like to maintain and drive ambulance trucks to and from the Front, sometimes risking destruction from distant shell fire, it also gave me a deep appreciation for the work carried out under the most dire of conditions for the surgeons and nurses who sought to patch up and save as many of the wounded as they could.
The first in a trilogy. Mar 16, Katherine rated it really liked it Shelves: adult , book-boyfriends , coverly-love , historical-fiction , jolly-old-england , kick-ass-mc , romance , world-war-i. They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress. They made their debut, they married, they had children, and that was more or less it. This book perfectly blends war and romance to create the almost perfect concoction.m-asia.ru/includes/102.php
Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War by Jennifer Robson
Never like this. Never as a woman grown, a woman so beautiful she stole the breath from his lungs. Their romance was sweet, tender, and everything I expected it to be. Oh, my sweet baby Jesus it was awkward. Despite that moment of awkwardness, this book is the perfect antidote for those who want to have a WWI book filled with action, adventure, and romance. Pretty please? Dec 30, Debra rated it it was amazing. I've had good luck these past few months with some wonderful debut novels by some very promising authors.
Jennifer Robson's first novel, Somewhere in France, keeps that streak alive and well. It is being touted in the promotional material as a book fans of Downton Abbey will love. I find that characterization a bit limiting. If you like good historical fiction with strong, able characters and an exciting, perilous setting with a believable love story thrown in for good measure, you will love Som I've had good luck these past few months with some wonderful debut novels by some very promising authors.
If you like good historical fiction with strong, able characters and an exciting, perilous setting with a believable love story thrown in for good measure, you will love Somewhere in France, even if you have yet to watch an episode of Downton. The only similarities between this novel and that series are the general time period, the Great War which lasted less than a season in Downton time , and one character from an aristocratic background who yearns to make a contribution and decides to move beyond the role to which society has assigned her.
That would be about it. Yes, the Downton allure may be a strong one, but this novel can stand and sell all on its own. Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford has always felt like there should be more to her life than a debutante season and marriage shortly thereafter.
Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War
As a young girl, she meets her brother Edward's school friend, Robbie Fraser, and she first reveals to him her desire for a stronger education. Robbie encourages her to pursue her dream. Years later, as war bears down on them, they meet again at a ton ball. Attracted to the woman Lilly has become, Robbie, now an accomplished surgeon, once again encourages her to follow her aspirations to do something worthwhile with her life. What Robbie doesn't expect is for Lilly to volunteer as an ambulance driver and plunge herself into the turmoil and peril that is France and the Western Front during the Great War.
Finding themselves in close proximity at the same Casualty Clearing Station, Robbie, now a field surgeon, must set aside his feelings and fear for Lilly if he is to do his job without distraction. Lilly, angry and confused, and constrained by the strict rules against fraternization, has no choice but to try to forget Robbie; ignore him as he has chosen to ignore her.
Until the horrors of war touch them both, and everything changes. Somewhere in France is a story as much or more about relationships and loyalty as it is about the changing mores of the time period in which it is written; Lilly and Edward; Edward and Robbie, Robbie and Lilly, their lives all circle around each other, against the ever present backdrop and horrors of war. Robson's secondary characters add a dimension to the story that reveals just how far Lilly has traveled from the persona of an earl's cossetted daughter. It's quite a transformation, and it's only one facet of the novel that grabs the reader's interest and doesn't let go.
I really hope the wait will not be long until Ms. Robson's second effort. Intelligently written, beautifully descriptive and fast-paced, Somewhere in France will appeal to Downton fans, but everyone who reads it, Downton fan or not, will love it. Highly recommend. A review copy was supplied by the publisher. Dec 26, Shoshanah rated it it was amazing. I'm almost afraid to start this review because it's another that I can't imagine I'll do justice to.
Reading this book, I couldn't put it down. I stayed up late to read it, but even more impressive since I can't ever remember doing this! I woke up early to keep reading it.
That night I dreamed of the book, and that day I couldn't help but relive specific scenes over and over in my head. And don't ask my husband about the lunch we had together where I ignored him because I HAD to keep reading. As soon as I finished it, I was ready to turn it over and start from page 1. Her mother wants nothing more than for her to be settled and married, but when war breaks out Lily feels a call to do something more. She leaves her home, family, and all she knows and winds up in France to serving as an ambulance driver for the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps.
This is also the story of Robert Fraser, the son of a dustman and a laundress, who goes on scholarship to Oxford and works hard to become a surgeon. While most of the story is told from Lily's point of view, they are a few chapters where we hear from Robbie and those were my favorite. I feel like I haven't read a lot of books that take place during WWI.
But this is the first one I remember reading as a "grown-up," and one where it's a single book instead of the end of a series. In case you couldn't already tell, I absolutely loved this book, and have a feeling it will be one that stays with me for a while. I did read that the author is planning a follow-up to this for , and while this book doesn't need a sequel and I'd be more than happy with just this single book, I can't wait to be able to check in on Lily and Robbie.
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