Thursday, September 28, 2017

#BookReview: The Way to London: A Novel of World War II by Alix Rickloff

═══════════════════════════ ❧  ═══════════════════════════
From the author of Secrets of Nanreath Hall comes this gripping, beautifully written historical fiction novel set during World War II—the unforgettable story of a young woman who must leave Singapore and forge a new life in England.

On the eve of Pearl Harbor, impetuous and overindulged, Lucy Stanhope, the granddaughter of an earl, is living a life of pampered luxury in Singapore until one reckless act will change her life forever.

Exiled to England to stay with an aunt she barely remembers, Lucy never dreamed that she would be one of the last people to escape Singapore before war engulfs the entire island, and that her parents would disappear in the devastating aftermath. Now grief stricken and all alone, she must cope with the realities of a grim, battle-weary England.

Then she meets Bill, a young evacuee sent to the country to escape the Blitz, and in a moment of weakness, Lucy agrees to help him find his mother in London. The unlikely runaways take off on a seemingly simple journey across the country, but her world becomes even more complicated when she is reunited with an invalided soldier she knew in Singapore.

Now Lucy will be forced to finally confront the choices she has made if she ever hopes to have the future she yearns for. 
═══════════════════════════ ❧  ═══════════════════════════
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆   |   Obtained from: Edelweiss   |   Read: September 21, 2017
═══════════════════════════ ❧  ═══════════════════════════

Alix Rickloff’s Secrets of Nanreath Hall made a fabulous impression on several of my friends, but The Way to London: A Novel of World War II marks my first experience with her work. I’m not entirely sure what I expected going in, but I was generally optimistic and am pleased to report my confidence was not entirely misplaced.

Spoiled socialite, Lucy Stanhope, reminded me quite strongly of Naomi Watts’ Kitty Fane, but that’s not entirely surprising when one considers the nature and scope of the story. There is an oft ridiculous immaturity in her make-up and while I respect the opinions of those who struggled to appreciate her personality, I’d like to point out how difficult it’d be to recognize her emotional transformation if the author had centered the novel on a universally likable protagonist.

The story itself is chock-full of wit, but the novel is character driven and those looking for a hard hitting historical are destined for disappointment. Rickoff’s is human story that wastes little time on the politics or cultural impact of the war which is where I struggled to appreciate the narrative. It’s fun and engaging, but it was light and leaves little for the reader to sink their teeth into.

═══════════════════════════ ❧  ═══════════════════════════
She was sweating. Please be there. Please want him back. Please love him.
═══════════════════════════ ❧  ═══════════════════════════

1 comment:

Lit.Wit.Wine.Dine. said...

Great review! While I rated the book a little higher, I agree with your comments. This was a very light read considering it took place in the middle of WWII.