Verity wanted to flee her small town and go to Oxford, go and discover more of the world than her family farm can offer. Arthur has returned from National Service with little experience of actual war but wants to expose the threat to his home. Peter wants nothing more than for the family farm to succeed but he and Verity's hot-headed father will not see sense. Jack appears as if from no where and threatens to pull apart the family bonds cemented in this town - will he succeed?
A big thank you to Head of Zeus and Zoe Somerville for letting me take part in this blog tour and for providing me with a gorgeous proof to read! My dalliances with historical fiction are few and far between but this was a great addition to my portfolio. There are some other wonderful bloggers taking part, see below:
I was more tempted by the thriller aspect of this novel than anything else and I was a little disheartened to see that this wasn't a strong theme whilst romance soared above all else. There is some mystery surrounding the foursome and Jack's intentions with not only Verity but the town itself and his connection with the US Air Force but I definitely wanted something stronger than that. Whilst the slow burn romance builds throughout this book there is no doubt a fire throughout. Somerville beautifully executes hidden feelings, blatant crushes and burning passion all at once, crossing a barrier into authorship I've rarely seen. It was thoroughly enjoyable seeing the relationships develop further into the novel.
My main fear with historical fiction is that I won't usually understand the reference points that add some depth to the story. It turns out I had no reason to be afraid! References are made and a running story is Jack's US connections and spying on the Soviet Union but it doesn't play majorly into the narrative, you definitely do not need the background to be able to enjoy this. Another point I would make is that the 'historical' part of this fiction reads so easily that as a reader you do not need to struggle to create the image in your mind of fair ladies in their gowns and manor houses, Somerville lays it out clear and simple without dressing it up.
Somerville has a way of capturing the reader from page one, I love to see this, especially after a series of reading the same thriller story over and over. I had forgotten how different thrillers could be and whilst this wasn't a "shock, wow, ka-blam" thriller, it was subtle and sneaky throughout and made you doubt who you trusted, fear for the characters and beg for their well-being.
A truly wonderful read front to back, definitely deserves it's place on my bookshelf forevermore.