Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson sat in my Nook library for quite some time before I finally decided to read it. I bought it for under five dollars during one of the many Nook book sales. I’m a bit of a penny pincher when it comes to books. If a book interests me I will typically place it in my wishlist and simply check back every few days to see if it goes on sale. Paying over ten dollars for a book is highway robbery at its finest. I refuse to pay those exorbitant prices for a digital book. Now if we’re talking a leather bound hard cover then I’m in!
Rant over, getting back into my review, I was immediately intrigued after only a few pages. It captured my attention and kept my attention. I was disappointed to learn this concerns WWI rather than WWII. I’m not sure why the summary led me to believe this took place during the second world war because it clearly states the first world war in the description. The disappointment soon faded though! I couldn’t put this book down at all, it encapsulated my very being.
Set during Britain in 1914, the novel revolves around Lade Elizabeth Neville-Ashford or Lilly, a rebel who wants to live her life freely without interference from her mothers expectations. She defies her parents by moving to London and enlisting with the military, she eventually becoming an ambulance driver in warn torn France. She becomes reunited with the man she loves, Robert Fraser, a poor surgeon, at the field hospital she is stationed at, much to his dismay.
It is more than a love story, its about a young woman finding her voice, standing up for what she wants in life and protecting those she loves. It’s a coming of age story set during the worst of times.
Not many books make me anxious but this one made me seriously anxious to read a happy ending between Lilly and Robbie. Many historical fiction books taking place during the world wars don’t typically have happy endings. War times were tough, just because historical fiction is “fiction” doesn’t make them any less realistic to the time period.
Astonishingly, I did finish the novel in under 24 hours and I still cannot stop thinking about it. The writing was loose and fluid. I especially loved the character development of the stories heroin, Lilly. She knew what she wanted – no one could stop her since she found her voice among the naysayers. I love a strong woman who’s knows how to say no.
This happens to be the first historical fiction about the great war that I’ve read. I look forward to reading the pseudo sequel, After the War is Over.
Side note: The love for one another was reminiscent of the love Marcus felt for Celia in The Night Circus!