Friday, March 18, 2016

Book Review: Fall of Poppies

Fall of Poppies
Stories of Love and the Great War
Contributions by: 
Hazel Gaynor, Beatriz Williams, Jennifer Robson, 
Jessica Brockmole, Kate Kerrigan, Evangeline Holland, 
Lauren Willig, Marci Jefferson, edited by Heather Webb
Releasing March 1st, 2016 
William Morrow

Top voices in historical fiction deliver an intensely moving collection of short stories about loss, longing, and hope in the aftermath of World War I—featuring bestselling authors such as Hazel Gaynor, Jennifer Robson, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig and edited by Heather Webb.

A squadron commander searches for meaning in the tattered photo of a girl he’s never met…

A Belgian rebel hides from the world, only to find herself nursing the enemy…

A young airman marries a stranger to save her honor—and prays to survive long enough to love her…The peace treaty signed on November 11, 1918, may herald the end of the Great War but for its survivors, the smoke is only beginning to clear. Picking up the pieces of shattered lives will take courage, resilience, and trust.

Within crumbled city walls and scarred souls, war’s echoes linger. But when the fighting ceases, renewal begins…and hope takes root in a fall of poppies.

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Review:  I wish I would have read this book in print form because it was so many different stories and some by my favorite authors like Lauren Willig, Hazel Gaynor and Jennifer Robson. These authors and the rest managed to bring the period to life. 

I have always been intrigued by this time period and what makes this collection of stories such an incredible read is that none of the authors really sugar coated things.  There are love stories here and stories of love that didn't get a chance to happen.  There are happy endings as well.

All of the stories here are strong but some stand out more to me. My favorites are Jessica Brockmole's Something Worth Landing For. A young pilot wants to help a woman who is pregnant and alone and about to lose everything. The letters they exchange are wonderful. Jennifer Robson's All For The Love Of You is another stunning entry here. Daisy worked in France during the war helping to construct masks for disfigured soldiers. There she meets Daniel, but when the war ends, she falls ill and her father keeps them apart, this story is how they eventually find each other.

Quite possibly my favorite story here is by Lauren Willig, The Record Set Straight. It takes place in the present day with flashback. It is the story of Camilla Frobrisher and her love for two brothers. I wish this one could have been a full length novel. I would have loved to have learned what happened with the characters in the in between time in the story. If you like period drama, especially Downton Abbey, this will be a favorite for you.

The most unique of the stories here is Kate Kerrigan's The Photograph, which deals with the Irish uprising during The Great War. It deals with the love of a British soldier and an Irish girl. It was heart-breakingly beautiful.

I can't recommend this book enough. It wasn't an easy read by any means. The stories aren't light and fluffy, even though they are short. They will tug at your heartstrings, and I if you are the type to shed a tear while reading, it will happen here a few times.

Rating: 5 flowers

Jessica Brockmole is the author of the internationally bestselling Letters from Skye, an epistolary love story spanning an ocean and two wars. Named one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2013, Letters From Skye has been published in seventeen countries.

Hazel Gaynor is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home and A Memory of Violets. She writes regularly for the national press, magazines and websites in Ireland and the UK.

 Evangeline Holland is the founder and editor of Edwardian Promenade, the number one blog for lovers of World War I, the Gilded Age, and Belle Époque France with nearly forty thousand unique viewers a month. In addition, she blogs at Modern Belles of History. Her fiction includes An Ideal Duchess and its sequel, crafted in the tradition of Edith Warton.

Marci Jefferson is the author of Girl on the Golden Coin: A Novel of Frances Stuart, which Publisher’s Weekly called “intoxicating.” Her second novel, The Enchantress of Paris, will release in Spring 2015 from Thomas Dunne Books.

Kate Kerrigan is the New York Times bestselling author of The Ellis Island trilogy. In addition she has written for the Irish Tatler, a Dublin-based newspaper, as well as The Irish Mail and a RTE radio show, Sunday Miscellany.

Jennifer Robson is the USA Today and international bestselling author of Somewhere in France and After the War is Over. She holds a doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar and SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. Jennifer lives in Toronto with her husband and young children.

Heather Webb is an author, freelance editor, and blogger at award-winning writing sites and Heather is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and she may also be found teaching craft-based courses at a local college

Beatriz Williams is the New York TimesUSA Today, and international bestselling author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant and A Hundred Summers. A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a corporate and communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons. She now lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore, where she divides her time between writing and laundry. William Morrow will publish her forthcoming hardcover, A Certain Age, in the summer of 2016. 

Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven works of historical fiction. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages, awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards, and chosen for the American Library Association’s annual list of the best genre fiction. She lives in New York City, where she now writes full time.


Unknown said...

Why do you feel it would have been different reading paper than eBook? I'm curious for your reasoning. I would have bought as eBook and wonder if I should reconsider. Thanks

The Mistress of the Dark said...


It might be me but I always find anthologies easier to read in print format, because sometimes I go back and revisit things. I know you can do that with an ereader, but its always been easier for me with a print book.

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