I recently finished a book that was set around World War II mostly in Scotland and my were there a lot of emotions to sort through! I would like to thank Avia Publishing for reaching out to me, this review is taking place because I’d like to share what I think and all opinions are my own.
This book is now available for purchase and can most likely be found at your local bookstore. Two places that I usually go to find books are:
I am also very lucky to be a part of the Blog Tour and here’s a list of those who are a part of it!
This is a story about love, friendship, war, wilds of Scotland, and the consequences of actions.
Ellen has grown up as fairly sheltered as the only daughter of a Scottish sheep farmer named Duncan in the early 1900s. She is a sweet young girl who is close to her Dad, enjoys life on the farm and isn’t in a hurry to see what’s out in the world. Her mother died giving birth to her and she took over the domestic duties as soon as she was old enough to. Though aware of life on the farm and accustomed to working hard, she’s never traveled much further than Glasgow and her closest friend is on a neighboring farm some distance away. At the tender age of sixteen, Ellen has no inkling of what the world is like nor a very good understanding of being on the brink of adulthood and certainly little understanding of what it’s like to attract the notice of a guy.
Tom Fairclough is a young Yorkshire man who has grown up being surrounded by sheep and seeks to gain a better understanding of life as a shepherd. He happens upon a need for help in Scotland so answers the call and immediately falls in love with the countryside near Duncan’s area. He is also drawn to Ellen though has set his sights on a childhood friend whom he hopes to one day marry once he’s become more settled as a shepherd.
Life seems to be going well for both of these people from different countries and though the work is hard, it’s very satisfying for them and things seem to be slowly falling into place for Tom. As sometimes happens though, life enjoys throwing curveballs into the mix and decides to take a different approach on these two vastly different people. Tom’s hopes of his childhood friend Clara returning his affections doesn’t turn out at all and the actions he does in a fit of temper will have some serious consequences including sleeping with innocent Ellen and having a child with her.
Tom is not a very likable character to me. In the beginning he seemed like an okay person and I felt bad when he was rejected by Clara. It’s perfectly understandable to be upset by that rejection but it doesn’t excuse choosing to roll in the hay with a young impressionable girl who also happens to be the Boss’s daughter. He later thinks that Ellen trapped him into a marriage which was a cage of his own making because laying when laying with a young girl who had no inkling about birth control has a very likely chance of producing a baby. His fits of temper, physically lashing out at Ellen and later bouts of taking off without saying anything also showed what an over all jerk Tom was and this was before being sent off to fight in France during World War I.
In the midst of the turmoil that Ellen found herself going through with being a Mother and trying be a good wife to Tom, there were many changes about to happen nearby as well as being on the brink of World War I. There is talk of a reservoir being built nearby to be able to make ammunition for soldiers off fighting in France, the railroad being expanded and all able bodied men are being sent off to help fight the enemy including Tom.
Ellen finds herself trying to balance being a young Mom, life on the farm, worried about her husband who leaves on bad terms before being shipped off to France and finds herself being the unlikely nurse to a young German prisoner of war named Josef. At first she is very reluctant to help the enemy but finds herself drawn to the young man who speaks little English but is kind and tries to help out once he slowly starts feeling better. Ellen is drawn to Josef through his kindness and wishes her husband would be half as considerate. Once he’s well, Ellen can’t seem to stop herself from developing an unlikely friendship with Josef who she helps teach him English and those feelings turn into so much more particularly as the few letters her husband sends aren’t very affectionate nor does Tom send many letters.
Over the next three years there will come many changes between Ellen and Tom who become more distant as time goes on, Tom’s temper gets even worse and life becomes more complicated. As Tom pushes away Ellen with his moodiness and mixed affections, Ellen is drawn more towards Josef and realizing that sometimes the person you were meant to be with isn’t always the first person you meet.
This book kept my attention from beginning to end and I could almost picture the beautiful landscape of Scotland in the early 1900s and the terrible conditions men were facing while fighting abroad. Josef is one of my favorite characters who is such a precious, talented young man with a very generous heart. He’s just one of many people that really weren’t made to be forced to be in the military.
This story also shows how complicated things can be when two people are forced into a marriage and how unsuited married life can be especially when stuck in such a rural area. Full of beautiful scenery, the back breaking work of shepherds in Scotland in the 1900s, a dash of unrequited love and the importance of thinking before acting, it was a novel I found myself fully immersed in. I’m looking forward to reading more book by Dee!
I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I have and also want to give a good kick in the butt to Tom as much as I do.
Well that wraps up my bookish ramblings for this evening. I hope you have enjoyed them, that it’s made sense and been fairly entertaining. It’s always fun to write reviews, particularly when there’s a character or two who have really bugged me.
Until next time, happy reading!
Curious to see where I post bookish things? Feel free to click below:
Would you like me to read your book? Contact me here: Email