The more I learn about WWI, the more I become fascinated by it; all of the first half of the 20th century really. I’m happy to see more historical fiction come about (or maybe I’m simply finally noticing), so I was excited when this one finally released.
With Britain caught up in WWI, Jack Benningham, heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, has declared himself a conscientious objector. Instead, he secretly works for the Crown by tracking down German spies on British soil, his wild reputation and society status serving as a foolproof cover.
Blinded by patriotism and concern for her brother on the front lines, wealthy suffragette Grace Mabry will do whatever it takes to assist her country’s cause. When she sneaks into a posh London masquerade ball to hand out white feathers of cowardice, she never imagines the chain of events she’ll set off when she hands a feather to Jack.
And neither of them could anticipate the extent of the danger and betrayal that follows them–or the faith they’ll need to maintain hope.
Overall I enjoyed this story. As I mentioned, the time period is one I’m always intrigued with and there were some unexpected plot lines early on and not the way I thought the novel was going to go, but in a good way. I thought it picked up quite a bit more in the second half of the book (as well as more mystery and intrigue) too.
“Fear tends to breed hatred and dissention, Miss Mabry. It can exacerbate the imagination to the point of becoming ludicrous.” A favorite quote
Some pieces in the end were convenient, but it by no means ruins the whole story. As far as war novels, this one wasn’t as gritty and intense – understandably since the focus was on the British home front and not, say trench warfare or in the middle of the Battle of Verdun.
I think I liked the women of the Women’s Forage Corps best – I loved the idea of people from all backgrounds coming together for the good of one cause.
If you enjoyed her debut, I think you’ll enjoy this one as well.
Have you read any of Kate’s books? What have you thought of them?