Wednesday, June 26, 2019

World at War: The Victory Garden

The Victory Garden. Rhys Bowen. 2019. 368 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: My dear Clarissa, Thank you very much for your long letter.

Premise/plot: The Victory Garden is set in England during the last year of the first world war--1918. Emily Bryce, our heroine, has wanted to do something for the war effort; however, her parents would not allow it. After her twenty-first birthday, Emily volunteers for the Women's Land Army. She has a slight ulterior motive: her secret boyfriend--an Australian pilot--is recuperating near where she'll be training. Her parents disapprove of him as a companion let alone as a boyfriend!

A romantic weekend with her boyfriend, Robbie Kerr, leads to the unexpected--a marriage proposal and a baby out of wedlock. Will Emily be brave enough to let her parents know? Or will she try things her own way?

My thoughts: I liked this one. I didn't love, love, love it. Emily must be one of the most likeable human beings in the world because she was able to charm just about anybody she met. Well, perhaps with the exception of one or two people. This works out nicely since she's soon to be a single mother on her own.

I was interested in Emily's story--for the most part. But I didn't care for the subplot concerning the herb garden and the hidden journals. I think the part that irritated me the most was Emily's "saving" the "entire village" from the great influenza because of her herbal potions. I cringed when Emily was congratulating herself on doing that. It just didn't seem realistic.

Several potentially big plot twists were thrown in towards the last bit of the novel. It seemed odd to wait until the last twenty or so pages to try to add some drama and mystery. Like the book was trying to throw off the romance novel vibe at the last second. This one is clearly a romance--though perhaps not a straightforward one. 

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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