Sunday, April 13, 2014

Review: Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson

Description (from cover):

'In the dark and dangerous days of World War I, a daring young woman will risk her life to find her destiny.

Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford wants to travel the world, pursue a career, and marry for love. But in 1914, the stifling restrictions of aristocratic British society and her mother's rigid expectations forbid Lilly from following her heart. When war breaks out, the spirited young woman seizes her chance for independence. Defying her parents, she moves to London and eventually becomes an ambulance driver in the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps--an exciting and treacherous job that takes her close to the Western Front. 

Assigned to a field hospital in France, Lilly is reunited with Robert Fraser, her dear brother Edward's best friend. The handsome Scottish surgeon has always encouraged Lilly's dreams. She doesn't care that Robbie grew up in poverty--she yearns for their friendly affection to become something more. Lilly is the most beautiful--and forbidden--woman Robbie has ever known. Fearful for her life, he's determined to keep her safe, even if it means breaking her heart.

In a world divided by class and filled with uncertainty and death, can their hope for love survive...or will it become another casualty of this tragic war?'

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book until it got about three-fourths of the way through. The ending seemed rushed, a little too rosy and unbelievable. This book started off telling the story of Lilly Ashford, an aristocratic socialite right at the beginning of World War I. Lilly is tired of the life she lives and all the restraints that are placed on her. She has a crush on her brother's best friend, but her mother considers him to be completely unsuitable for her and she is warned off chasing that romance. Then war breaks out on the European continent and Lilly cannot stand to be idle and not do her part. She has a fight with her family and soon becomes a member of the WAAC and is shipped to the front lines of the war.

This book was a little too convenient for my tastes. It is war, yet everything is rosy in a sense and Lilly just so happens to "accidentally" end up at the same station as Robbie. That would never happen in the chaotic madness that is war. I was even fine with that to a certain extent, until the very ending and I was shocked at how the author ended the story. It was the most unbelievable ending ever. I mean, it could have happened, but the likelihood was very slim and I prefer my books a little more believable and a little more realistic to the actual events of that time period. The author does do a fantastic job of creating characters that have to face war and face their own flaws. I will give her that. 

If you like Downton Abbey, this more than likely is something that you will like. I will point out that if you want an honest-to-goodness realistic war novel, then this is not the book for you. I loved the story of Lilly and Robby and thought the author did a fantastic job on that level, I just can't get past the fact that the plot was a little farfetched at times. Perhaps you as a reader can see past this, but I just couldn't and it really effected the way I looked at this novel. I am curious to see what this author can do in the future and will be keeping my eye on her.

Overall Rating: 3

Title:  Somewhere in France
Author:  Jennifer Robson
Series:  N/A
Publisher:  William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date:  December 31, 2013
Pages:  400
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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