England, 1914. Poppy is fifteen, beautiful and clever, but society has already carved out her destiny. There's no question of her attending the grammar school - it's too expensive and unsuitable for a girl. Instead, Poppy will become a servant at the big house. And she'll 'keep out of trouble'. But Poppy's life is about to be thrown dramatically off course. The first reason is love - with someone forbidden, who could never, ever marry a girl like her. The second reason is war. Nothing could have prepared her for that. As she experiences what people are capable of - the best of humanity and the very worst - Poppy will find an unexpected freedom and discover how to be truly her own person
I have really mixed feelings about this book.
The history teacher in me loved it entirely for how it focuses on women in World War One and their role as VADs. For this reason alone I cannot wait for the sequel. It covers the role of the women working as nurses, the stress men faced fighting at the front and the awful reception they faced if that stress got too much. It looked at early plastic surgery, looked at the class system pre war and the hopes for a new more equal society for women after the war. For that I loved it. I will be buying copies and shoving them in the hands of children for the foreseeable future. I love that you can always rely on Mary Hooper to pull an awesome and authentic historical fiction novel out of the bag which I can use in the classroom without the fear it'll have historical inaccuracies which will confuse children.
However I have mixed feeling because the end is a cliff hanger and those of you who follow my reviews will be aware of my huge issue with them and series in general because I read far too much and can never remember book one in enough detail when I come back to it. That said I am hoping that it'll be one I can just pick up and run with as it is the start of a new part in Poppy's role in the war and change for her.
So all in so definitely a book I enjoyed and have been screaming out to be written for a good long while so I am so pleased to finally have it to use to compliment work I do in the classroom about World War One.