"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

09 February 2018

2018 Book Review #6: After the War is Over

Historical fiction.

Set just after WWI.


What's not to love?

This author is new to me although several authors I like and read recommended her books.


Charlotte Brown, single and in her early 30's, spent 4 years as a military nurse during WWI.  She is the daughter of a vicar and has always wanted to be a person who helps others.

She moves to Liverpool and puts all of her energy into her job with Miss Rathbone and several other girls.  She helps displaced families get their needs met.

When she isn't at work, she reads books and writes for the Herald newspaper, run by John Ellis. John is a good friend who is considered somewhat radical.  He allows Charlotte to write about women's rights and the plight of the poor.

She lives in a boardinghouse with several other women, all of whom she considers friends.  Her very good friend is Lilly Cumberland of whom she used to tutor as a governess when Lilly was a teenager.  Lilly is now engaged to Robbie and Lilly's older brother Edward, is still in touch with Charlotte whom he hired before the war broke out.  He has always really liked Charlotte and she has always admired him, yet knows that he is out of her league as he is already engaged to be married to the very pretty Helena....a result of an arranged marriage due to money.

Now that the war is over, however, Edward, now known as the Earl of Cumberland, is just a shadow of his former self.  He now drinks too much, smokes too much, and is depressed.  He also had one leg amputated from a war injury and wears a prosthetic.  This does not bother Charlotte in the slightest but he feels "less of a man".

Can Charlotte find her true voice and help change the course of women's rights as well as help change her own life?  and what about Edward??  Will he discover his true path in life?


This book was pretty good but not outstanding.

I've read much better historical fiction. (Pam Jenoff, Tatiana de Rosney (my absolute fave!!), Anthony Doerr, Kirstin Hannah, Dan Brown)

The characters are well developed as is the setting but the overall plot is just ok.

It is predictable, and doesn't move forward fast enough for me.

Something that bugged me was that it starts out in the present, then shifts to the past, then present, then past, etc. and sometimes this was a bother and too abrupt. The author did put the setting and time at the beginning of each chapter but I found with this type of story, I prefer either a Part One all in the present, with a Part 2 in the past, or vice versa.

Also, I found that the story was just a bit too smug.  Everything worked out so perfectly for Miss Charlotte.  I thought it was a bit sappy. There was a section where Charlotte is caring for Edward, alone in a cottage, and they end up in bed together so he can feel comforted and sleep. Well, in the time frame that this was set, I don't think that really would have happened especially with such a proper lady as Charlotte!  Nothing "happened" and the point was to show that she could comfort him like no one else and that they really did love each other.  However, I just found the next scene to be way too overdone: they end up kissing and fondling and then....stopped.  Again, unrealistic!!  It just bugged me.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 14 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 7.


Susanne said...

I don't read a lot of WWII books but the last I read, "Night Song by Tricia Goyer" was excellent.

Faith said...

this one is set just after World War One.