Monday, September 20, 2010
Alison Hughes, the central character of this love story set in Britain and France between 1916 and 1918, gaily and thankfully leaves her Canadian prairie town for England and the ‘great adventure’ of the First World War; having been recruited by the officious and irresponsible Aunt Madge to ‘do her bit’ to help the Mother Country. In the exhilerating atmosphere of the London of thès dansants, Campagne-done-up-as lemonade, and Zeppelin raids, she becomes the protégée of her older flat-mate, the beguiling, jealous and unscrupulous Lenore Trevelyan, who points out what fun war can be on the home front and what opportunities it offers young women like themselves. Lenore, a quasi-Suffragette, secretly plots with her cynical friend, Clive Wimbush, the loss of what she views as Alison’s antique and deplorable colonial innocence. Ulnderstanding of the implications of Lenore’s dictum of ‘entertaining the troops,’ and shock following forced proximity to the War, spark reflection and self-scrutiny: prompting Alison to train as a V.A.D. and undertake duties in a military hospital in France. She also comes to realise that Gavin Piers, of the Royal Flying Clorps, is not to be taken for granted simply because he is the childhood friend from the old home town.
Boulogne, the frenzied nerve centre and point of departure for Allied troops bound for the Front, is the setting for Alison’s ordeal of love and anguish in the second half of the novel.
Her passage from innocence to experience spans war’s brutal mix of glamour and excitement with suffering and death; and mirrors, to an extent, her nation’s baptism of fire.
Available from Trafford Publishing, email@example.com; or from Amazon, $19.69; or from the author.