August 1914, London.
Britain has just declared war on Germany, and the whole country seems to be in uproar. Flora, Hilda and Will, who grew up together in St Boniface orphanage sit in the sunshine in Hyde Park on a rare day off, discussing the impending war and the changes it will bring to their lives. Will means to go off to fight, Hilda hopes to better her current lot in life as a maid at the charitable institute, Hailing House, but Flora is content with her job as assistant to the Isle of Dogs' kindly Doctor Tapper. Taking a vow, they pledge to always be there for each other, come what may.
It soon becomes clear that the war will not be over by Christmas, as so many thought, and the first zeppelin raids bring casualties flooding into the surgery where Flora works.
Hilda has taken herself away from London to work as a maid at the sumptuous house of Adelphi. But it is not long before she finds herself out of her depth. And the consequences of her choices will lead to a shocking discovery that will change the course of the three orphans lives forever.
I finished this one really quickly, it was sweet and even tad suspenseful at the end. Just a tiny bit ;) I just wanted to know what would happen to them all, if they would be ok.
Hilda, Flora and Will are best friends as they grew up at the same orphanage. Flora is the responsible one (I liked her), and she works as a nurse, without the degree. Will wants to join the army as this is 1914. And Flora wants a new position, she wants to become something more than a lowly maid. Will we do not see much of as he is at war and sends letters. Flora is the main character and I wanted the best for her. While Flora, oh she was a silly girl, you know she is gonna get into trouble somehow. We get to follow her road too.
The book takes place during the war, years go by, they grow up, get intro trouble, fall in love and there is happiness at the end. I liked that. Even if I also knew that their children, if they have any, will end up fighting in a war too.
Like I said, the last 200 pages just flew by cos I could not put it down. I needed to know that everyone would ...well survive the war of course! And that someone would at least find some sort of happiness.
Sweet, without any silly drama. A tale of friendship in the shadow of war.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 23rd 2014 by Simon & Schuster Ltd