on 5 May 2015
This is a classic from WW1 in which the author himself served from 1914-19, and published this book in 1924. It is the first (and I suspect the most substantial) part of a trilogy. I have yet to read parts 2, and 3.
The Book Description tells you all you need to know about the Farm, located in Flanders, but set someway back from the horror of the trenches and barbed wire. The Farm is effectively leased by the Vanderlinden family (from the local Baron) and now run by the farmer's very capable daughter Madelaine. The Baron's son, Georges, is Madelaine's lover.
In addition to being a working farm, it has also become a temporary resting place for English troops moving up to, and back from the front line. The farmer would appear to be fairly well paid for these services. Madelaine can, and often does provide meals for the officers. However there is much, much more to the story ...
There is a Preface by John Galswothy, Nobel prizewinner for Literature (1932) and author of the Forsyte Saga.
on 25 June 2014
An extremely well-written book that can enjoyed for the detailed civilian perspective it provides on World War One, with an array of character types that are all very believable and well thought out. The plot contains subtle, subdued romantic elements and the complicated love story is particularly engaging when compared with Skene’s view in Part II, which throws the relationship into a different light. The author’s portrayal of the war through Madeleine’s eyes is certainly thought-provoking.
on 25 June 2014
The Spanish Farm is a true depiction of a wartime romance, with all the difficulties the separation of war presents.
The character of Madeleine is extremely well developed and the slight distance that remains between the reader and Madeleine only reiterates further how none of the other characters really know Madeleine, as complex as she is. This is a great war story told from behind the front, and gives the reader a lot to think about.