Book Review: A Rose in Flanders Fields by Terri Nixon

Title: A Rose in Flanders Fields
Author: Terri Nixon
Publication Date: July 17, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Carina UK (Harlequin Digital)

Blurb:

Driving an ambulance through the mud in Flanders, aristocrat Evie Creswell is a long way from home. At Oaklands Manor all she had been expected to do was to look pretty and make a good marriage. But with the arrival of World War One everything changed.

And Evie, to the horror of her family, does not choose a husband from her blue-blooded set; instead she weds artist Will Davies, who works as a butcher’s apprentice. Soon she is struggling nightly to transport the wounded to hospital, avoiding the shells and gas attacks – her privileged home life, and her family’s disappointment at her marriage, a lifetime away.

And while Evie drives an ambulance in Belgium, Will is in the trenches in France. He withdraws from her, the trauma of his experience taking hold. Evie has the courage to deal with her war work, but it breaks her heart to think she is losing Will’s love. Can their marriage survive this terrible war? That is, if they both get out alive…

Kayla's Thoughts:

War changes people in ways you never thought possible. It can make even the strongest of men weep, and the bravest of men run away. It takes pieces of yourself and, if allowed, will turn you into a shell of your former self. None of the characters in this book were spared any of this. They all had their trials and tribulations. But they also had laughs and good times. They dealt with the hand they were given, and it was an absolute privilege to read about them.

The two main characters of this book, Evie and Will, experience so much throughout the pages of this story. In the beginning, they are separated by rank and social status, Evie being "better off" than Will in that regard. But they feel this connection. One that thrives and grows in those peaceful times. But once the war starts, and they become separated by more than just who their family is, that very connection is tested. And as the years go by, it gets weaker and weaker to the point where it seems as if almost breakable. The true indication of their devotion for one another will be if they can prevent their love from doing just that...breaking. But if it does, can they ever get it back again? Or will it be lost forever.

Because this book is pretty well written in Evie's point of view, we see very little of Will once the war starts. Except for the occasional visit between the two, of course, and some letters. We do, however, get to learn Evie's contribution to the war, and we meet so many wonderful people because of that. So many other people who are just as important to the story as Evie herself.

There is death and destruction, and also pain. But there is also a plethora of happiness and love to counteract that. At some point near the middle of this book, I had the sudden thought that I loved it. It surprised me, because it wasn't a booming realization, but a whisper, and I don't think I have ever had a book do that to me before.

Verdict:

This is a wonderful, wonderful read. It sucked me in from the very beginning and just made me one with the story. In fact, I was quite excited to find out that Lizzy's story is also available. And I am definitely going to be reading that in future.

Links for Book:

Author's Bio:

Terri was born in Plymouth, England, in 1965. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to a small village on the edge of Bodmin Moor, where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one's ever offered to pay her for doing those. 

Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection, Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press. As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice (a digital-first imprint of Little, Brown,) and it was shortlisted in the "Best Historical Read" category at the Festival of Romance 2013.

Terri's self-published Mythic Fiction series The Lynher Mill Chronicles has now been launched, the first title of which is The Dust of Ancients and is available in e-book and paperback. The second, The Lightning and the Blade, is also now on sale.

Terri now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts at Plymouth University where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don't possess pens. 

Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon.


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