Friday 30 June 2017

Flowers of Flanders by Ros Rendle

Amazon UK £2.25
Amazon US $2.90
Amazon CA N/A

Fictional Saga
Manchester / Flanders

Book 1 'The Strong Sisters' trilogy

“Rose rivals her beautiful, mercurial sister for Michael’s love but calculated lies and misunderstandings alter the young peoples’ course. War breaks and Michael is as eager as the others to go. Maybe Rose will settle for second best with Thom even though she cannot get Michael out of her soul.
Does a man need the grace of serenity to rediscover his own or is it frivolity and seduction he craves when he has been through the darkest places of war? Michael’s experiences in the trenches gradually alter his perceptions.
This is a story about deceit and loyalties, complex relationships and loves developing from youth to adulthood during a cataclysmic time in history.”

An entrancing story about three sisters, Delphine, Rose and Iris Stone, and the changing of life, expectations, traditions and attitudes because of the event that was the Great War.

Set in Manchester and Flanders, perhaps a little Downton Abbey-esq (but so what!) in that this is the story of a well-to-do family and their lives, loves, disappointments, hopes and fears before and during  the years of WW I.

Typical of the era, and their class, they have little to do in the daily round of life. Their expectations are to marry well, apart from Rose, who wants to go to University. Then war comes. Their friend, Michael Redfern, enlists and along with the Manchester Pals is sent to the trenches.

Flowers of Flanders is well researched and is a nicely told tale, giving an absorbing view of both sides of life in the war period – the gentile well-off almost cushioned life of those at home, and the horror of the war and the trenches for those at the Front. It is a highly poignant tale of young people making their way through life, facing the pleasant and the unpleasant, from love to heartbreak with everything else that life chucks at you in between.

The novel sets the scene well as the first of what promises to be an enjoyable trilogy.

A good, enjoyable read

© Anne Holt

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