Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War

Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great WarThis is an anthology about love and war, just as the title suggests, but it's not the sappy, tear-your-clothes-away kind of love. It's all kinds of love. Not just the man-woman love but also the mother-son love.

The first story, The Daughter of Belgium, focuses on a young woman in occupied Belgium who has been hiding her daughter from the invading soldiers. Her life has been pretty much destroyed. When charged with caring for a German soldier, she's rather conflicted.

I didn't like this story. I gave it two stars on Goodreads. The love was instant, came out of nowhere, and the story seemed pointless. I took nothing away from it.

The Record Set Right by Lauren Willig was terrific. It's about love...gone wrong...when misunderstandings get in the way. What I liked about this tale is that in the end, the woman ended up on top. She dodged a bullet, perhaps. She's not bitter or even remorseful, but a bit self satisfied. She did well for herself and success is the sweetest revenge. I felt this had a strong feminist tone.

All for the Love of You was unique as it showed us the intricacies of facial masks for those wounded. I loved this, the story of the shop, the people running it, the way the soldiers are respectfully treated. Interesting things came up, such as training your face not to react in a manner that makes these men feel worse than they already do. I enjoyed this. Can't say I cared for the romance though. I wasn't "feeling" it.

I enjoyed Something Worth Landing For by Jessica Brockmole so much I immediately set out to obtain her novel. The hero tells the tale, and he's such a likable guy. And the woman involved is so sassy even in her grief. They made me chuckle and root for them. This was a unique and very quick romance yet I "felt" it along with them.

An American Airman in Paris...did not do much for me. It felt weird--both the hero's obsession with the girl who'd lived in his house and his sexual stuff. I didn't finish it. After You've Gone...I found the narrative unengaging and did not finish that one either.

The Photograph was also a good tale. I could feel the love between the characters, however fleeting. The story was probably the most unique as it involved a British soldier not on the frontlines but in Ireland fighting in a conflict the rest of the book doesn't explore and also touching on the hostilities between the Irish and British. It's a tale of forbidden love.

In both Hour of Bells and Hush, the love of a mother for her children is explored. I enjoyed the former as the mother sought revenge and instead received a surprise.

Overall, the book is worth the time and read. You may find an author you've never read before and as a result, get more books on your to read, as was the case with myself and Jessica Brockmole. I can't wait to get my hands on her novel now.

I received this through LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program.

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