I was looking forward to this book. It follows Lily's strong-minded "bluestocking" former governess after WWI.
I like Charlotte, I do, but honestly, the book is really really boring. There seems to be no plot, no real goal beyond getting her in some way or form with the man she loves, and yet I wouldn't call this a romance either. We merely follow Charlotte as she lives her life. Charlotte goes to work, is irritated by her coworker. Charlotte goes to a carnival-type thing and enjoys a fun weekend. Charlotte writes a series of articles for the paper--this was cool, but didn't go anywhere really. Through Charlotte, in a few pages, we learn of the Police strikes. And suddenly out of the blue, the man she loves declares he's willing to heal his war wounds but only if she'll nurse him in a cottage, just the two of them.
And then it just gets predictable. I made it to 70% and finally just stopped. I didn't care about Edward. His character was not bad, just not interesting, not appealing. I didn't feel connected. I wasn't feeling the romance here. I think I'd have preferred the romance to have been with the newspaper editor. If it had taken that route, I would have cared.
And as for the all the things that occur before that...if the stories go nowhere, what was the point to begin with? Take Norma's near rape for example. What's the lesson in that? Don't wear shorter dresses? The men can't control themselves?
Take it somewhere, make it important to the story somehow, or just leave it out, and if you don't have anything important, if you don't have a plot, well, don't write a story!
I see some reviewers saying they appreciate the suffragette storyline... Um, where is it? So she casts a college vote in the beginning... nothing else happens that screams suffrage. If it does, it's in the last 30% all at once.
Conclusion: This didn't feel like a solid story with a plot. It felt like tiny tales of what an average life was like after the war, with little bits of history thrown in--like the Police strike--to make it interesting.
I received this via Edelweiss.