After reading Robson’s Somewhere in France, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to check out her latest offering – After the War is Over is very newly released!After the War Is Over by Jennifer Robson
Published by HarperCollins on January 6th 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction
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After four years as a military nurse, Charlotte Brown is ready to leave behind the devastation of the Great War. The daughter of a vicar, she has always been determined to dedicate her life to helping others. Moving to busy Liverpool, she throws herself into her work with those most in need, only tearing herself away for the lively dinners she enjoys with the women at her boardinghouse.
Just as Charlotte begins to settle into her new circumstances, two messages arrive that will change her life. One is from a radical young newspaper editor who offers her a chance to speak out for those who cannot. The other pulls her back to her past, and to a man she has tried, and failed, to forget.
Edward Neville-Ashford, her former employer and the brother of Charlotte's dearest friend, is now the new Earl of Cumberland—and a shadow of the man he once was. Yet under his battle wounds and haunted eyes Charlotte sees glimpses of the charming boy who long ago claimed her foolish heart. She wants to help him, but dare she risk her future for a man who can never be hers?
As Britain seethes with unrest and postwar euphoria fattens into bitter disappointment, Charlotte must confront long-held insecurities to fnd her true voice... and the courage to decide if the life she has created is the one she truly wants.
Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
If you’ve read Somewhere in France and admired Lilly Ashford’s pluck, then you’ll want to pick up After the War is Over to meet Charlotte Brown, Lilly’s governess and mentor. We catch up with Charlotte after the war, when she’s returned to Liverpool and her job from before the war, where she tries to help those who’ve fallen on hard times – not that they’re always appreciative or willing to ask for said assistance. Pride and all that, y’know…
Charlotte quickly realizes the effects of war on those left behind, even though – especially? – it’s now over. Women who’ve held jobs now lose them to returning soldiers, and it probably wouldn’t be so bad except that a lot of those women are now also widows with families to support because their men aren’t coming home. Those lucky enough to get their men back may still be on the verge of disaster as a lot of those returned are unable to work due to injuries sustained. Their plight weighs heavily on Charlotte, and it doesn’t take long for her to make her opinions known, whether they’re welcomed or not.
Now, lest you think After the War is Over is all about Charlotte’s journey to outspoken feminism (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), Robson also shares with us Charlotte’s education at Oxford (though women weren’t allowed to matriculate, then) and how she got the job as Lilly’s governess, as well as Charlotte’s heart’s desire.
I really enjoyed After the War is Over for its portrayal of a young woman who’s almost resigned to her station in life, but who just can’t help but want to do something to help those who’re worse off than she is. Charlotte’s optimism and glass-half-full outlook is a charming treat in what would have otherwise been a pretty bleak time. Definitely add this to your winter reading! (And if you haven’t checked out Somewhere in France yet, I’d recommend doing so, though it really isn’t necessary to enjoy After the War is Over…)
drey’s rating: Excellent!
Have you read After the War is Over? What did you think? And if you haven’t, read on to win your own copy!
Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I have one copy of After the War is Over for you. This one’s open to US residents only; no PO Boxes please. To enter, fill out the form below before January 22nd. Good luck!