Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Book review of A Kiss from France by Susan Hughes


Today I am taking part in a Brook Cottage Books virtual book promotion event for A Kiss from France by Susan Hughes, published in July by Silverwood books.

French Village Diaries book review A Kiss from France Susan Hughes Brook Cottage Books
A Kiss from France by Susan Hughes
Synopsis provided.
London, 1917. Lizzie Fenwick is young, ambitious, and in love. At least, she thinks she's in love with the soldier who answered the note she concealed in a box of ammunition shells. She spends her days filling shells with TNT, and her nights dreaming of the mysterious Harry Slater.

Eunice Wilson knows the exact moment her marriage to Jack began to fracture. He refused to enlist, and their patriotic neighbours never let her live it down. Now he's been conscripted and she can't help but feel regret for shunning Jack before his departure.

As separate tragedies cause Lizzie to make hard choices and Eunice to cope with loss, the two women are unsure how to adjust when peace finally returns. Little do they know that an earlier war-time betrayal will force Lizzie and Eunice to confront everything they knew about friendship, loyalty, and love.

A Kiss From France is a historical fiction romance novel set in London's East End during World War I. If you like compelling human stories, believable female protagonists, and the suspense and intrigue of war-time London, then you'll love this heartfelt tale of two women who yearn to feel alive in a broken world. 

My review.
I really enjoy historical fiction set during the First World War and the title of this one grabbed my attention. A note posted in a box of ammunition shells, wishing luck to a soldier on the front line, gets a reply and life in the East End of London changes forever. The war had already forced change on the role of women; girls free from a life in service were now working in the munitions factories, living with more freedom and money than they ever had before, but life was far from easy. Lizzie is a strong and independent woman who may not always make the best choices, but certainly has great passion for life and wasn’t afraid to make decisions that some might have felt inappropriate for her position. Eunice initially came across as cold, hard and in control, but as the story unfolds and we learn of her pain and suffering, my feelings towards her softened.

There were quite a few twists in the plot and plenty of story lines to keep me page turning, but some things that were hinted at in later parts of the novel seemed to fizzle out unexpectedly. It may be that I am a bit of a drama queen, but I was expecting more drama from the end of the book, although it did reach a satisfactory conclusion. It is certainly an emotional novel with passion, compassion, deceit, loss and grief, which seemed to me to be a realistic portrayal of life during the First World War, mainly from the point of view of the women left behind, but not forgetting the horror of life in the trenches. This would be a great read for lovers of historical fiction.

French Village Diaries book review A Kiss from France Susan Hughes Brook Cottage Books
Susan Hughes
About the author.
Susan Hughes grew up near a small mining village in Northumberland, England. When she didn’t have her nose in a book and, careless of the class and gender expectations of her upbringing, she was climbing trees, catching water boatmen in a jar from a nearby burn or go-karting round country lanes with the kids next door before taking herself off to University.

A career in the City of London during the frenetic ‘Big Bang’ boom of financial de-regulation was followed by marriage, children and a desire for a change of gear. A move to the rural West Country enabled her to raise her sons near the coast and indulge her penchant for visiting stately piles while finding time to keep up her reading habit.

After she found a handful of WW1 silk postcards among her grandmother’s possessions, the romantic greeting on one of them inspired her to weave a story around its imagined sender and recipient. It became her first novel, A Kiss from France. She is now working on her second book set in inter-war London. You can follow Susan here:





French Village Diaries book review A Kiss from France Susan Hughes Brook Cottage Books
Brook Cottage Books A Kiss from France Susan Hughes

Brook Cottage Books is holding a giveaway to win a paperback copy of this book. To enter, use the Rafflecopter link below. This giveaway is open internationally, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Kiss from France is available in paperback and ebook format and links to Amazon can be found below.