Wednesday, January 23, 2019
World at War: Love to Everyone
First sentence: More than one hundred years ago, in the time of gas lamps and candlelight, when shops had wooden counters and the streets were full of horses, a baby girl was born.
Premise/plot: Clarissa "Clarry" Penrose is the star of this LOVELY historical novel set in turn of the century England. It follows her from birth (c. 1900) through the first World War I (1918) and a teeny bit beyond. Clarry has a brother, Peter, and a cousin, Rupert. Her favorite, favorite, favorite time of year are the summer holidays when she and Peter go to visit their grandparents in Cornwall. While she loves seeing her grandparents well enough it is seeing Rupert again that thrills her. But life isn't all that easy--Clarry and Peter's father is a GRUMP to say the least. He never, ever wanted kids and he has them all on his own since his wife died. (Clarry was just three days old when her mother died.) Clarry will have to fight for an education if she's to have one since her father does not think it's necessary--or even proper--for women.
Soon their little circle has expanded to include new friends...but war threatens everything Clarry holds dear.
My thoughts: I really LOVED this one. I love character-driven, relationship-driven novels. I love books that are more about the journey than the destination. I love spending time in the heads of characters I consider friends. It helps that this one is historical fiction set in England right around the first world war. (The novel breezes over her life until about the age of twelve or so and really dwells on those turbulent, topsy-turvy war years.) I would definitely recommend this one.
© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews