Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War

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Elizabeth – “Lillie” to her aristocratic family – feels like a hothouse flower, doomed to marry into a stifling life. Her brother Edward’s university friend, Robert, is a Scottish surgeon from a poor background. Seeing their chemistry at a ball, Lillie’s mother sends “Robbie” on his way, suggesting that Lillie is engaged to a son of friends.

When war breaks out, Edward and Robbie both sign up. Edward tells Lillie Robbie would probably enjoy her cheery letters in Versailles, where he is working in a hospital. The ensuing correspondence makes Lillie take her own goals seriously. When her secret driving lessons get the chauffeur fired, she leaves home, rooming with her former governess, getting work as a conductress on a motor bus. A brief tea with Robbie, home on leave, inspires Lillie to sign up for driving an ambulance in France.

As Robbie and Lillie cross and re-cross paths, eventually working in the same unit, their love blossoms. Both romance and historical novel, the writing nudges this story to the level of literary fiction. Robson doesn’t flinch at showing horrors of war, including the effects on those who witnessed them. And it’s hard to close the book on such memorable characters.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 400 pages
Publisher William Morrow Paperbacks
Publish Date 2013-Dec-31
ISBN 9780062273451 Buy this Book
Issue February 2014
Category Historical Fiction


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