TOMTom is bored all the time. When he's given a homework assignment to write The Most Exciting Thing That Ever Happened to Me, Tom realizes that not one exciting thing has happened to him in his entire life. Then Tom makes a deal to trade places with The schoolmaster says nine-year-old Benjamin is the finest student he's ever seen-fit for more than farming; destined for great things someday But his father's grave illness brings Ben home,from school and compels him to strive forsomething great rig You're going to get yourself killed!
Bootleggers have taken over his island home, using it as a base from which to run their illegal operations. The community cooperates bec A fast-paced, madcap adventure--with a fresh new cover treatment--from the always surprising raconteur, Avi It's the spring of in Brooklyn, and while WWII rages in Europe, sixth grader Frankie Wattleson--inspired by the heroics of The Lone Range What is magic really for? As Maggie approaches her thirteenth birthday, she wants to believe that some kind of magic can stop the changes all around her. Her visit with her father and his new family at a lakeside cabin makes her wonder.
Will he st Patriotism or practical joke? Harrison, NH -- Ninth-grade student Philip Malloy was suspended from school for singing along to The Star-Spangled Banner in his homeroom, causing what his teacher, Margaret Narwin, called "a disturbance. Tony can hardly believe it. He's sailing with the wind, maneuvering through the narrow channels between the offshore islands with amazing skill.
And he's just learned to sail! But suddenly Tony is confused. Which way had he come? Which way is he head The Seahawk looms against a darkening sky, black and sinister. Manned by an angry, motley crew at the mercy of a ruthless captain, the rat-infested ship reeks of squalor, despair It is no place for the lone passenger, thirteen-year-old It is night.
And Edmund is alone. His mother is gone. His aunt, who went in search of her, is dead. His sister has disappeared. Edmund has no one. Except for a stranger of the night. A dark, mysterious stranger who f Pete Saltz, the pudgy poet from S. Losers, has fallen hard for Anabell Stackpoole, and she likes him, too. But both are much too shy to do anything about it. It's Pete's friend Ed Sitrow to the rescue, as he and other eighth-graders at South None of the things which Kenny called his own remained. Even the painted walls and skylight were gone.
Baffled, he wondered if other things -- even outside -- had changed. Sixteen-year-old John Proud discovers his family's dark secret in an ancestral namesake confessed to being a demon. Now John finds himself battling his ancestor who is trying to use John for an evil purpose. Mounting suspense plus the sure draw The phone rang three times before Andy picked it up.
A voice replied, "I just killed someone. But no one else will listen; not the police, not his friends, not even hi In one day, Morwenna has gone from being the lowliest servant in the king's castle to the most powerful person in the land, for she has become the wizard, the bearer of the last five wishes in the kingdom.
But with her new gift come rules: She cannot He can handle a gun. He yearns to battle for glory, just like his brother and cousin. So when Jonathan hears the tavern bell toll, calling me The South Orange River S. School is famous for its winning sports teams--until the special 7th grade soccer team comes along.
Led by the amazingly inept Ed Sitrow, this non-jock Becky is furious! The Checkertown librarian has accused her of stealing a rare children's book, and she's determined to prove her innocence by tracking down the real culprit. With the help of her twin brother Toby, Becky investigates a rash o There'sno reasoning with Owen. The island cottage where he and his family have spent the last ten summers must be preserved. And he's going to do it. Never mind that bulldozer stands outside, ready to move in and level the place for a modern hotel.
Will someone believe Jamie--before it's too late? Everyone knows that Jamie is a dreamer. When he looks up at the sky, instead of clouds he sees knights and dragons from centuries past and fabulous creatures from far-off lands. But one day he look Will Robert and Elizabeth find in Easton the life they want so desperately? The year is In eight years, the American Revolution will begin.
Two indentured servants, little more than children, escape first from their master and then from a search Eleven-year-old Harry's adventures, involving lies, attempted robbery, and the possibility of murder, begin when his parents go away for a few days and he is left in the care of the young Miss Trowbridge The year is , and newly-orphaned teenager Peter York has been adopted by a deeply religious Quaker farmer.
Peter chafes at his new guardian's strict and unyielding ways and vows to break away. When a pair of runaway indentured servants are report Emily Upham's father is ruined, finished, all his money gone. One night, he disappears, vowing never to return until he can pay his debts. Distraught, Emily's mother sends her daughter from their home in Boston to a small count Young Kevin Cartwright is the prisoner of a pirate king. You can forget about your father and your sister, or anybody else you may have known. You belong to no nati Curiouser and curiouser.
Acting Out. The End of Time. Crispin - 3. Murder At Midnight. Midnight - 1. Poppy and Ereth. Poppy - 6. The Seer of Shadows. Iron Thunder. The Traitors' Gate. The Book Without Words. Poppy's Return. Poppy - 5. The End of the Beginning. Midnight Magic. Midnight - 2. The Mayor of Central Park. Silent Movie. Crispin: The Cross of Lead. Crispin - 1. Ereth's Birthday. Poppy - 4. The Secret School. Who Stole Wizard? The Christmas Rat.
Poppy - 1. Perloo the Bold. Poppy and Rye. Poppy - 3. The Escape From Home. Beyond the Western Sea - 1. Poppy - 2. City of Light, City of Dark. What comes next? What do we do now? What was it all for? How do we go on as before when none of us will ever be the same? The stories are wonderfully varied, giving the reader a glimpse into different aspects of the war and life on the home front in Britain, Belgium, and France. Most of the characters in these stories are fictional, but I was introduced to two amazing women I'd not heard of before: Edith Cavell, a British nurse who helped hundreds of Allied soldiers escape German-occupied Brussels and was executed for it, and Anna Coleman Ladd, an artist who used her talents to create lifelike masks for soldiers disfigured in the war.
And I was reminded that Ireland was in rebellion during the war, sending boys to fight Germany while those that stayed home fought against British rule. That's something we don't tend to hear much about when discussing the Great War, and that story, "The Photograph" by Kate Kerrigan, added another layer of depth and emotion to the collection. All nine stories are good. There's not a weak offering among them, though some did resonate with me more than others.
The first two mainly because I am a hopeless romantic, and the latter because it is such a haunting, beautiful, bittersweet ending to the war and the collection. Birth, death, and the circle of life; the stillness of peace sweeping across the land was palpable, coming just in time for some, and too late for others. It will never be over for some of us. These stories of love and war are beautifully written, encompassing the entire range of emotions and shades of humanity, and will stay with you long after you've finished reading them.
View all 10 comments. Dec 23, Pam Jenoff rated it it was amazing. I'm a huge fan of all things World War I and I loved this anthology by some of my favorite writers, all set in the immediate aftermath of the war. This real and heartbreaking kaleidoscope of stories of men and women trying to reconstruct their lives provides an unforgettable picture of an imortant moment in history. Jun 15, Jessica rated it really liked it Shelves: won-on-bookstr-aka-the-reading-room , historical-fiction , romance , short-stories.
Cross and Poppy: A Village Tale (Village Tales) [G MW Wemyss] on rapyzure.tk . *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Trollopean clerics, comic peers with. Compartir. Anuncio de app de Kindle. Mirar en el interior de este libro . Cross and Poppy: a village tale (Village Tales Book 1) (English Edition.
Like most short story collections, I liked some stories more than others. The Daughter of Belgium: I thought this was a solid first story. I had a hard time figuring out how everyone was related and what happened in the past. But once I got to the end, I understood it. All for the Love of You: This was my favorite story. It was so romantic. Plus I learned a lot of about the masks that were made for soldiers with damaged faces. I read her book Letters from Skye and loved it. This story also features letters.
Overall, this was another solid story. Hour of the Bells: This story was different because it was about love between a mother and her son. It felt a bit out of place in the collection.
Both that book and this story talk about sex frequently. This story by far had the most frank discussions about sex out of all the stories. The Photograph: I really liked this one. Hush: I also really liked this one. The author Hazel Gaynor did an amazing job. It was so beautiful to read. Overall, I liked how these stories showed what it was like living through WWI. It highlighted the fears that young men had when they went off to war, as well as the struggles civilians had to go through. May 31, Davida Chazan rated it it was amazing Shelves: women , fiction , , historical , romance , short-stories , multiple-authors.
In honor of the th anniversary of the end of the first World War, I wanted to remind my readers of this book. Nine amazing historical fiction writers contributed to this beautiful collection of short stories about the end of World War I. Dec 11, Stephanie Anze rated it liked it Shelves: historical-fiction. November 11, marked the end of WWI. Known as Armistice Day, weapons were put down signaling the end of the fighting. In this collection of short stories, nine authors provide their take on love in the midst of war as the fighting ends.
So this was quite a nice collection of short stories. All dealing with love and war, though not all romatic in essence, this book explores the different relationships between people amid war. Dealing with loss, defeat, despair and ultimately hope, these narrat November 11, marked the end of WWI.
Dealing with loss, defeat, despair and ultimately hope, these narratives are well written. Taking place in different countries, with female and male POV's, ultimately all these stories were heartfelt. I will say, however, that many stories did feel quite predictable. I appreciate the effort of the authors and like the overall tone of the book but after a while it did feel like a lot of the same. Hush by Hazel Gaynor would be my standout story in this collection.
I just love all the emotion this particular story evoked. Overall, this was a pleasent and nice read. Each story is a standalone from each other and other than the theme are not connected. For me, some stories were a bit stronger than others - writing and interesting wise. While almost every author is on my TBR list, I have not yet read anything by these authors. This is a perfect collection for those who are interested in historical fiction, light on romance war tales, of women during World War I.
These women write primarily historical fiction so if you are interested in the genre this is one way to see how the authors write. Fall of Poppies is also a great book to keep nearby when you only a moment to read. Shelves: novellas-shorts-collections , ww1-ish. The daffodils danced in the breeze in Annie's garden, and the poppies grew once more in the fields of France. I have only read Lauren Willig before, but the others were a surprise.
The most complex story was "Hush" by Hazel Gaynor which mostly took place in the space of a few minutes but it captured the charged emotional atmosphere in an Englis "Life, and time, marched on as the soldiers marched home that spring. The most complex story was "Hush" by Hazel Gaynor which mostly took place in the space of a few minutes but it captured the charged emotional atmosphere in an English village during the birth of a child juxtaposed to a young soldier's struggle to survive on the final day of the war.
View all 5 comments. Feb 20, Susan Gorman rated it it was amazing. Each of these compelling short stories provided insight into the emotional and physical effects of war. The authors present characters who struggle with their feelings and their actions during a difficult and trying time in history. I enjoyed each story and felt several of them could have been expanded into full length novels.
The Daughter of Belgium—Marci Jefferson I enjoyed this suspense filled, well-paced short story set in the days leading up to the armistice. Both Amelie and Lars must find co Each of these compelling short stories provided insight into the emotional and physical effects of war.
Both Amelie and Lars must find courage from within to outwit the soldiers in German-occupied Belgium in order to make their way to freedom. Can they work together and escape in time? Superb ending to this short story—Ms. Willig stays true to her characters and surprises the reader at the same time! Seven years later, Daisy finds a letter which leads her on a search for her true love. How does one deal with the loss of a husband, friends, job and find their way during a time of tumultuous change?
Can one make peace with the past and love again? In the letters, she eloquently writes to him about her childhood, expresses her fears, desires and her wish that he return to her. German born Beatrix married a French clockmaker and moved to France. The war between France and Germany takes on new meaning when her son enters the war against Germany. When she learns that her son has been killed, Beatrix is overcome by grief. Her actions drive the last part of this suspense -filled story.
He has remained in Paris for two years even though he has healed from his physical wounds. This story provides a glimpse into the life of the American airman and their emotional struggles before and after the war. Bridie and her family are about to attend a ceremony for the Uprising. The backing falls apart revealing a photo of a handsome British officer. Bridie is unsettled to think that her activist aunt was in love with a British soldier. Loved the characters and I cried as their heartfelt story unfolded. She has just delivered a child and he is not responding and time is running out.
As Annie is trying to save the child her other son is struggling to survive in the trenches in France. This story is superbly written and I enjoyed how the author had several connected story lines within her main narrative. Loved the ending. Jan 03, Alexandra rated it liked it. I didn't really know how to review or rate a book that is a collection of short stories by different authors. So I rated each story, wrote a few notes about each one, then averaged my rating. The average came to 2. I received this book in a First Reads Giveaway.
I was not family or with any of these authors, but I plan on looking into the writings of the authors I enjoyed. It was abrupt and was not believable, which made me like the story less. The story jumped between the past and what would be the present in the story At times, it was confusing when the story was in present time and the narrator, Camilla, would reminisce about the past and there was no indication the story was reverting back to the present once the reminiscing was done.
It would take me a few sentences to realize the time period had changed. Despite this, the story was interesting and I liked the twist at the end. I liked the characters and their background. While the ending may not be completely believable, I still really enjoyed it. I liked that it touched on a subject I wasn't familiar with: mask making for soldiers whose faces had been disfigured during the war. It was really interesting.
I found the story extremely boring. I didn't like the main character at all. I stopped a little over half-way through because I just couldn't get into it. I like that it touched on racism during the war, but it wasn't enough to make this story interesting for me. I wish it had been longer. I would have read an entire book about Wes and Victoire. I loved both of them and I loved their story. Wes seemed like such a great guy and I was worried about him the whole time.
This story was great and I loved the way it ended. It was rather depressing, but beautifully written. I felt I could feel Beatrix's pain. The ending was unrealistic though. I made it almost halfway through and gave up. I didn't like the way this was written and I didn't enjoy the story. I loved reading about Clive and Eileen. I wanted to hear more and I wanted to know what happened to them after. I liked seeing a story about the fighting in Ireland, with the World War raging in the background.
It was slow and depressing. I liked that it showed more of the depressing side of the war. However, the story didn't grab me and I kept losing interest. Jun 29, Kristin Lambert rated it it was amazing. One thing I love about historical fiction is learning about bits of the past you never hear about in school, the history that has fallen through the cracks.
This anthology delivers the goods with lots of fascinating historical details, paired with those other essential ingredients for fantastic historical fiction in my opinion anyway - deep emotional impact and characters who seem whole and real. Of the nine stories, a few made me cry, one made me smile all the way through, and two had my hear One thing I love about historical fiction is learning about bits of the past you never hear about in school, the history that has fallen through the cracks. Of the nine stories, a few made me cry, one made me smile all the way through, and two had my heart beating faster like I was watching an action flick.
The anthology contains a good balance of stories from the points of view of soldiers and civilians, mothers, widows, young lovers and old, showing many facets of the War and its aftermath though I did keep waiting in vain for a story told from the German side of things. I suppose I will have to content myself with reading more of the anthology authors' other works - immediately after reading, I came here to Goodreads to add many of the authors' novels to my queue!
There are some special stories included in this WWI anthology. I took my time with it and appreciated the effort of putting this collection together. My Rating: 3. Armistice Day Each touches on the havoc the Great War has wrecked on the world and the lives of people it forever changed. Some stories touched me more than others.
The loss of innocence, betrayal, love lost and found but most of all hope. Each person who reads this will be impacted differently. Jan 02, Angie rated it really liked it. Great collection of short stories that each include in some way Armistice Day: November 11, Every story was enjoyable and different and left me wanting more! I will definitely check out works by the authors I haven't previously read.
Mar 07, Jessie Ageless Pages Reviews rated it liked it Shelves: owned-copy , finished-review-copy , hfvbt , reads , reviews , historical-fiction , short-stories , anthology , received-for-review , arc-book-tour. Simple, ordinary things that punctuate the hour, the day, a year, a life. The problem was in four years of fighting, of death, of destruction, the world could never go back to the way it was.
Atrocities were perpetrated with lasting ramifications. Bodies forever disfigured from the brutality of battle. The earth and it's people, forever scarred. To survive women and men did things they want to leave in the shadows, in the dark garrets of Paris, and in the blood soaked trenches of France. With war over for the first time in a long time hope is once again possible. A future can be contemplated, planned, dreamed of.
Children will have a future. Love will have a chance to take root. From a hospital in Belgium to an artists studio in Paris, from the coffee fields of Kenya to the riotous streets of Dublin, the war hasn't just changed the world, but forever shaped the course of these peoples stories told by these different authors. The armistice has come and their voices will now be heard. I have many short story collections and anthologies just laying about neglected.
I feel really bad about this because years ago when I read Nick Hornby's selection of monologues, Speaking with the Angel, I found some amazing new voices in fiction whose books I then read and loved. But since then I've been very bad. I keep buying these books because there's one author I love and just have to read their story, so I get the book, I read the story, and then the book is relegated to my neglected, deprived, and languishing shelf. And yes, I do have such a shelf, peopled by many short story anthologies that feature Charlaine Harris and a lot of Dickens.
What compounds the problem is that if I've waited too long all the author's stories spread throughout all these books get republished in their own book, like Charlaine Harris's A Touch of Dead of Patricia Briggs's Shifting Shadows, which ironically is also on this shelf. Therefore I kind of felt it my duty that while I picked this book up for Lauren Willig, I knew the other authors names and felt that it was time to read something they'd written and actually finish a book by multiple authors.
While I feel somewhat biased saying Lauren's story, "The Record Set Right," was my favorite, I have a feeling this was more to do with the fact I'd read it out of context as a kindle release prior to reading it amongst the rest of the tales. Therefore it felt like I was revisiting an old friend. But there are quite a few authors I feel will be new friends, and a few I might be reluctant to read, but none I will outright avoid.
In fact I think many of these stories will work better taken out of context, because read all together the sameness of some of the writing techniques used makes them blend together into a confusing jumble. Fall of Poppies is definitely a book I'd encourage to read leisurely, a story every few days, to not only get the full impact of the narrative, but to clear your palate of the previous story. Because otherwise the structure of how so many of the first person narratives are weighted to the front of the book combined with all the HEAs and female narrators, it makes them all blend together into a jumpling mass where they all feel like they're telling the same story with the same trite ending.
Now I'm not a hater of first person narration like some people I know, in fact some dear friends I know, but it's hard to get first person right. The key is a very strong voice for the character. You've been living in one characters head and you've suddenly switched to another's and it's jarring. It's like you're seeing first hand what it would be like to live in someone's head who has a multiple personality disorder, and in this instance Lauren's character Camilla is the dominate personality, while Marci Jefferson's unnamed narrator, in the vein of Du Maurier's Rebecca, is the submissive personality.
In fact, so submissive she has no name! While as the book progresses there is only one more story written in first person, Jessica Brockmole's "Something Worth Landing For. The book starts out on such a wrong footing that it takes awhile to recover and actually become enjoyable. Then there's the gimmicky nature of every story having Armistice Day as it's focal point. Yes, the description of the book should have tipped me off with it's themes of "renewal" and "hope. It made any story with a little time before the bells pealing away at 11AM on the eleventh novel and far more interesting.
Yes, to an extent it's interesting to see how nine different authors tackle the inclusion of Armistice Day in their story, but please, think outside the box. Make it a jumping off point. True love doesn't have to magically be found in the last minutes of the war.
As for love at first sight? Every time it happened I kept thinking, what happens when they get home? What happens when the scales fall from their eyes and they really get to know this person they picked at random for their HEA? Some of the stories seriously need that something more. Which is why those with this "otherness" really stand out.
Those that are set apart just jump off the page. When a male narrator shows up it's like manna from heaven! But the ones that stood out most where those that looked at the diversity of people fighting in the war and where they were fighting. The story that stood out head and shoulders above the rest for me was "The Photograph" by Kate Kerrigan. See, I've already cast it, just make it now! What makes this story so unique is that it's set in Ireland. What's more it's about soldiers who were sent to quell the Irish Rebellion and their fight for freedom.
With the greater Great War, there was a clear villain with Germany, here it's Britain against Ireland and the justifications for fighting are murkier. The Irish deserve and eventually win their independence, but those English soilders fighting them are just doing their job. It's just dumb luck they weren't sent to France, like many Irish soldiers were. Also, when Armistace happens, it's not an end to the hostilities in Ireland, it's just the beginning. This one story brings all the rest into context. It's "otherness" shows all the stories in a clearer more brillant light and elevates the whole book.
So when am I getting my movie adaptation? I should have reviewed this as I went along and I meant to , but it just got away from me. This was just okay. The biggest problem with it as a satisfying anthology is that all of the entries were far too short, and that meant the stories themselves felt incomplete. I think it would have worked far better with fewer works of longer length. My other complaint, and this is entirely on me, is that I expected all of the stories to have a love story at their center and I suppose they did, but they ce I should have reviewed this as I went along and I meant to , but it just got away from me.
My other complaint, and this is entirely on me, is that I expected all of the stories to have a love story at their center and I suppose they did, but they certainly weren't all of romantic love. This was fine. I just wanted it to be great. Jan 01, Lacygnette rated it did not like it. I didn't actually read this entire book of stories. The first one was blah, but I tried again. The second and third were as bad - poor writing, simplistic solutions, banal plots. Very heavy on the happy endings, without much sense in getting there. Others might enjoy but it wasn't for me.
And apologies to the remainder of the writers whose stories I didn't read. Perhaps there is a gem, but I couldn't wade through any more Mar 17, Cait rated it it was ok Shelves: read-in This was all a very firm MEH. Jul 08, Andrea at Reading Lark rated it it was amazing Shelves: adult , favorites , read-in , anthology , historical-fiction , 5-stars , arc , kindle , edelweiss. I'm not always a huge fan of anthologies, but since I have enjoyed Hazel Gaynor and Lauren Willig's writing in the past, I decided to give this one a go.
Also, my knowledge of WWI is limited compared to other conflicts, so I'm always on the lookout for fiction that can provide perspective into The Great War. On the surface, the war seems so tedious to me as the men are mired down in the muck of trench warfare, but often their experiences are more complex than I originally thought. I also enjoyed that this anthology largely focuses on those on the home-front and their reaction to their loved ones being in the thick of the conflict. At its core, this is an anthology about love, but the forms of love vary between stories.
Some focus on romantic love, but there are also stories of plutonic love, unrequited love, and the deep and abiding love of a mother for her child. Love takes many forms and it was nice to see that reflected in this collection.
It won the Newberry Medal of Will the teacake Li-yan left with her baby be a pathway to reunion? Want to Read saving…. The Vampyre was highly successful and the most influential vampire work of the early 19th century. Murnau and featuring the first film portrayal of Dracula—although names and characters were intended to mimic Dracula ' s, Murnau could not obtain permission to do so from Stoker's widow, and had to alter many aspects of the film.
I highly recommend this one to WWI fans and those who love well written historical fiction. Her story begins on a bleak note as it soon becomes clear that her parents have been killed at the hands of German soldiers and she has been raped. Amelie finds herself pregnant and alone, but finds comfort in working at a nearby medical clinic. At the beginning of the story, her daughter, Hope, is three.
Amelie is plotting ways to find a better life for her and her child. When the rest of the clinic workers and patients are relocated, Amelie finds herself left in charge of caring for a recovering German soldier who never speaks.
She soon learns that everything is not as it seems and affection can blossom in the most unlikely of places. Belgium had been broken, but not defeated. Deep within still stirred the will to survive, and a hope for better days. It begins with Millie, an elderly woman living in Kenya in She has been summoned back to her former home in England that she fled soon after marrying her husband who was injured in WWI.
They flocked to Africa to grow coffee and make a new life for themselves.
Millie reminisces about her past in England and finds upon her return that some of her recollections are not completely accurate. This is certainly a story about the one who got away. In the beginning of the story, Daisy's father passes away. As she is going through his things, she finds a strange letter from a soldier she held a deep affection for, but has not spoken to in years. Her father informed the soldier that she had died from the Spanish flu. Daisy cannot believe that her father would go to such links and she is angry that she cannot ask for his explanation.
Daisy launches herself into a hunt for her soldier when she returns to America. The story also includes flashbacks to show how the relationship began. This was another favorite in the collection. I was fascinated by the masks that were made at Daisy's place of work. Masks were created to hide the facial wounds and scars of disfigured soldiers.
I had never heard of them before, but I am now intrigued enough to do some research. It's rather feeble of them, to be honest, but it won't be something you have to worry about for much longer. Morven moved to France to be a dancer at a young age and fell in love with her dance partner. The pair was married and blissfully happy until he joined up when the war broke out.
Her husband decides he needs to step up and fight for his adopted country, but as is the case with so many young husbands, he never returns from battle. Morven is forced to find a way to survive in a war torn country. When the war ends, she hopes to go to Mississippi to live with her husband's family, but finds out that she is not welcome. A chance meeting with a handsome stranger changes her fate in an unexpected way.
I liked that this was a diverse cast of characters. It made this story stand out. It was also interesting to see the experience of the war play out for a main character with a different ethnicity than my own. While Europe was far more accepting of other races during this time period than the United States, people still faced persecution and discrimination.
When he arrives in Europe, he is put to work fixing aircraft until its time for him to take to the skies. After a medical checkup, he meets a beautiful, tear stained girl named Victorie, who has found herself in quite the pickle. She is with child and has no husband.
Before Wes knows what he's truly doing, he offers to marry Victorie and help her raise the child. My heart swelled with true affection for Wes. He was such a genuine person and he truly wanted to be a great man. I loved watching the relationship between him and Victorie blossom through letters and mutual friendship.
Stranger things happened in the movies, but in real life, people didn't fall in love so quickly. It focuses on a widow, Beatrix, whose husband died in the war. Her son, Adrien, is still fighting the good fight and his continual absence fills her heart with dread and worry. Beatrix also has to deal with the fact that she is a native German who has been living in France since she married the handsome clock maker. Many in the town do not think of her as German, but as the war rages on, she finds that keeping her birth country a secret is crucial as people's fear and anger drives their decisions more than reason.
One fateful day, Beatrix receives a letter from a good friend of her son who states that after a brutal battle, Adrien was killed. The grief that descends upon Beatrix is unbearable and she begins to plot her revenge on the German troops who took her boy. The story focuses on the lengths a mother will go to for her child and the courage that lurks in the heart of every woman who has lost someone she deeply loves. The clocks made sure of it. There weren't enough minutes, enough hours, to erase her loss.
He is an American pilot in Paris at the end of the war. Through his eyes we can understand the tremendous amount of stress and grief that befell pilots during WWI. One thing that sets Octavian apart from his compatriots is his refusal to have random flings with women in France. He begins to regret this decision after the armistice and finds himself in the path of two very different women.
Overall, this was my least favorite story in the anthology. It's well written and has some compelling moments, but it was too crass for my tastes. Plenty of choice there, right? Except there isn't. It's all an illusion. A fellow's got to drink something, or he'll die. You can choose what to drink, but you can't choose whether to drink.
Yes, I had several in this lot. This one begins in modern day Dublin on as a family begins to honor ancestors who fought bravely for Irish nationalism. Bridie has both of her children home for the event, but things are in a tizzy due to her daughter, Sharon, bringing along her English beau who also happens to be a soldier. Sharon's brother, Frank, is livid that she would consider bringing an English soldier to an event to honor those who participated in Irish uprisings.
The siblings get into quite the row leaving their poor mother trapped in the middle. She ends up letting the two hammer it out while she goes upstairs for a bit of piece and quiet. While avoiding the maelstrom downstairs, Bridie is taken by a photograph of her Aunt Eileen. Eileen had always been a tempest who fought for equality and spoke her mind. She had never married; Bridie just figured she wasn't the marrying type, but when she discovers a photograph hidden behind Eileen's from a sweetheart who happens to be a WWI British soldier, Bridie is beyond shocked.
The story then shifts to a flashback to explain the connection between Eileen and Clive, the young man in the photograph. I loved seeing how the past was mirroring the present. I also adored the Irish setting of this one. I am fascinated by Ireland's tumultuous history. Everyone was on the same side. Although it was hard, the enemy was across the field, bombing and shooting at you. It was honest warfare. In Ireland you were in another man's country and on another man's soil.
You were living among them and yet you could never be quite certain who the enemy was. There is something beautiful and poignant about the writing of Hazel Gaynor. Her characters always compel me to feel and experience the story alongside them. The novel begins as midwife, Annie Rawlins, is helping to assist at an early birth that has been riddled with difficult moments.
As the narrative starts she is desperately trying to get the newly born infant to take a breath. Her fierce determination for the little one to live is symbolic of how her entire country feels as the days of the war continue to drag on and loved ones hope and pray that those dear to them will return from the front. Annie knows what it's like to lose a child as her eldest son died in the war. She does not want to have to tell the young mother before her that her child has passed. She continues to fight even when it seems the little one has no fight for life in him.
The story also provides the perspective of Annie's youngest son who is fighting on the western front, her husband who is waiting for her at home, and the father of the infant. All of these men are experiencing crucial moments as well. I loved watching all the strands of this story tie together in the end. On another note, there is a slight magical realism or paranormal moment that was brilliantly written in which Annie connects with her son during a pivotal moment.
That particular moment gave me the chills and again reinforced how powerful a mother's love for her son can be.