Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Walnut Tree by Charles Todd

A unique holiday tale...of heartache, unrequited love, despair and hope both, and a woman who does what she feels is right and follows what she feels is her path.

The Walnut TreeWWII. Elspeth is in France when all hell breaks loose. In the excitement of the moment, she agrees to marry Alain, her best friend's brother, even though she really only feels for him the way she does her fondest cousin.  But she doesn't know or understand this at the time...some things come with maturity and war makes one grow up fast.

He's gone. Something calls her back to her native England, a desire, a feeling. On the way there, she meets a soldier and finds love as well as a calling...nursing.

There's much ado about her being a nurse as she's also a lady. Her cousin/guardian doesn't approve. But as morbid as this will sound, the ravages of the battlefield, the wounds she tends, the trials she faces in the war zone were the best parts of the book. I liked how she stood by the wounded and defied orders to do otherwise. She is fearless.

What I did not like: Everywhere she goes, she conveniently runs into someone she knows. In the middle of war, the hospital, etc. The world is not that small a place. I also didn't buy into the instant love. She and Peter spend one day in each other's company, and that day is constantly interrupted by him tending his troops, by mortar, by danger... For him to declare his undying love for her the next time he sees her? No. I also grew weary of hearing how pampered her previousl life was, how large the rooms, how much of a "step down" she had taken.

Lots of suspense leading up to an ending one can't really predict. Both sad and happy.

Four bikes. I was given this by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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