World War I was supposed to be the last, the “Great War” that wrought havoc throughout Europe, and was soon overshadowed by the next great conflict. A collection of short stories with contributions from Hazel Gaynor, Beatriz Williams, Jennifer Robson, Jessica Brockmole, Kate Kerrigan, Evangeline Holland, Lauren Willig, Marci Jefferson, and Heather Webb, the stories mix heart, hope and history. Please read on for my review and an excerpt, check out the tour stops to see what other readers thought of the title, and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win one of Three (3) Print copies of FALL OF POPPIES. But first
Fall of Poppies
Over the years I’ve had many chances to read collections, but fewer are available in Historical Romance, fewer still that have a focus of the years surrounding World War 1. Nine authors have come together to produce short stories that deal with love, loss and moving on after a world-shaking event.
Each story arrives and is completely engrossing: drawing you into the world and the struggles: a mixed group with perspectives from a single mother, an artist, the soldiers, a woman recounting her story from long ago, old photographs, domestic strife in Ireland. Cleverly mixing depressing and disturbing with notes of hopefulness and the sense of impending change as the world moves into the Roaring 20’s, as the characters work to accept the past and find a reason to move forward.
While some stories are notable for a hopeful nature, others present facts and tidbits of information that readers may not have known: each brings the story to completion in ways that may seem improbable or far-fetched, yet completely fitting to the characters involved. Moments run the range of emotion: and I was pulled in to see and understand choices, struggles and options for each. Overall this was a sold collection that introduced some new to me authors and presented others who have long been favorites. Favorites included The Record Set Straight by Lauren Willig for the depth of emotion and looking back on opportunities lost and gained. Something Worth Landing For by Jennifer Brockmole mixed a marriage of convenience, a secondary family struggle and the gradual transition of a relationship to one of need.
Alternating between hopeful and melancholy, never glossing over the struggles that each character has faced, and a wonderful story in All For the Love of You by Jennifer Robson, where soldiers with facial injuries from the war find some relief and healing in prosthetic masks. Something I didn’t have knowledge of before, yet presented in such a way that I could see and understand the soldier’s transformations.
If you appreciate a wide range of stories and characters all set in a similar time, one that highlights the resilience of the human spirit, this is the collection for you. With the ability to sample several different authors, and find a wide range of emotionally present stories, there is something for every reader.
Title: Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War
Author: Heather Webb, Hazel Gaynor, Beatriz Williams, Jennifer Robson, Jessica Brockmole, Kate Kerrigan, Evangeline Holland, Lauren Willig, Marci Jefferson
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: William Morrow
Published on: 1 March 2016
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
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On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month . . .
November 11, 1918. After four long, dark years of fighting, the Great War ends at last, and the world is forever changed. For soldiers, loved ones, and survivors, the years ahead stretch with new promise, even as their hearts are marked by all those who have been lost.
As families come back together, lovers reunite, and strangers take solace in each other, everyone has a story to tell.
In this moving, unforgettable collection, nine top historical fiction authors share stories of love, strength, and renewal as hope takes root in a fall of poppies.
Featuring: Jessica Brockmole, Hazel Gaynor. Evangeline Holland, Marci Jefferson. Kate Kerrigan. Jennifer Robson, Heather Webb,Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.