398 pages / 4369 KB
Legalities first: I received this as a Kindle First book in February.
WARNING: Do NOT start this book until you have time to sit and read! Actually, I suggest you check into a nice hotel with room service, and turn the phone off so you won't be disturbed. Oh, and ignore the daunting list of characters at the front. You won't need them. Honest. Trust me.
War novels are not books I normally pick up; this one, once started, I could not put down. Had I started reading in the morning, I would have read straight through.
We are quickly introduced to Lord Westerham and his 5 daughters, who live at Farleigh Field. Well, most of the daughters--Margot lives in Paris, and can't get home because the Nazi's have taken over France and her lover is a member of the Resistance.
Pamela Westerham, Ben Cresswell, the Vicar's son and not a Lord, and Jeremy Prescott, the son of Sir William and Lady Prescott, are good friends and have known each other all their lives. Jeremy is a fighter pilot, shot down over Germany and captured. Ben would have been one but for an accident. He serves at MI5. Pamela loves Jeremy and is a code breaker at Bletchley, Ben loves Pamela, and Jeremy manages to escape the stalag in which he was being held to return home.
A body drops from the sky. No one knows who he is, or where he's from. He's in military uniform. An AWOL soldier out for a bit of fun with a parachute that didn't open? A German spy? The body is found by Phoebe Westerham (aged 12) and a young lad, Alfie, who lives with the Gamekeeper. There is nothing on the body to tell who he was, where he was from, or where he was going.
An interesting look into aristocratic life in England, especially during WWII. A friend of mine is from near where much of this story takes place (DO read the Historical Note at the end!) and said it made her homesick.
A terrific read. I look forward to reading her other books.