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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this
Interestingly this is not the kind of novel I usually read – but I'm so glad I did. While the men are off fighting in the Great War, the women are left behind and this is the catalyst for change. Elin, unable to have children, her husband battling the inner scars of fighting in the Boer War, her life so far is about making a good home. But when war breaks out all of...
Published 12 months ago by D. A. Hobbs-wyatt

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3.0 out of 5 stars How Life Was Changed by World War I
I found this to be a very readable World War I tale. It's tempting to think that some aspects of the plot are far-fetched against a more realistic storyline of the time, but that would fail to recognise the courage of many men and women during the conflict. It's a timely reminder of the suffering and loss of so many, especially young, lives during those years, and of how...
Published 14 days ago by Frances Maguire


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this, 4 May 2014
By 
D. A. Hobbs-wyatt "Debz" (North Wales UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: We That are Left (Kindle Edition)
Interestingly this is not the kind of novel I usually read – but I'm so glad I did. While the men are off fighting in the Great War, the women are left behind and this is the catalyst for change. Elin, unable to have children, her husband battling the inner scars of fighting in the Boer War, her life so far is about making a good home. But when war breaks out all of that is about to change. It's the change and Elin's journey (as well as the other strong women in her life) that I really connected to. While not a great fan of war books per se, the difference here is it still shows the brutalities of war but captures time and place for those left behind. Some strong feisty characters and a great sense of time and place. Also taught me a lot about what it must have felt like at that time. A great job! Recommended!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book - you have got to read this, 12 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: We That are Left (Kindle Edition)
I had loved Juliet Greenwood's previous book Eden's Garden and had looked forward to this book arriving - it was worth the wait.
I have really enjoyed this book - it is beautifully written (you never think "now what did that sentence mean") which means you become totally involved in the story - and the story is wonderful. I became completely entranced by Elin's life (and Mouse's) - it was fascinating to read about the way women lived their lives just before (and during) the First World War - but it's not all big adventures (though there are some great adventures) - some of the bits I enjoyed the most were about keeping a garden, preserving the produce, cooking on limited budgets (some lovely recipes included at the back of the book) and running a house. I also loved the way Juliet tied all the ends of the stories together at the end of the book - a sad/happy ending that made you sigh and smile.
I LOVED this book (and I had to ration myself to one chapter a night towards the end because I didn't want to finish it)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't want it to end, 23 Sept. 2014
This review is from: We That Are Left (Paperback)
We that Are Left is set around World War 1. It is the story of Elin, wife of Major Hugo Helstone, their home, Hiram Hall in Cornwall and the story of Elin's friends and family.

It begins in August 1914 a time of great anticipation and anxiety as rumours of war spread. Previously Hugo fought in the Boar war, far away but still with it's own nightmares which he has never shared with Elin. The war in Europe is much closer and everyone begins to consider the impact it may have on their lives.

When a bi-plane piloted by Lady Margaret Northolme lands unexpectedly near Hiram Hall, Elin and her cousin Alice meet "Mouse" as she affectionately known, someone who will come to play a major part in their future lives.

War against Prussia is declared and a monumental tide of men rush to sign up to fight thinking they are off on a huge adventure, while England is left to the women. Alice finds work in a hospital organising supplies, Elin makes plans to grow more foodstuffs from the gardens to feed the local community and Mouse heads off to France with a truck full of supplies.

No one is prepared for the horrors and losses that the war will bring. When the causalities start pouring in from France and Belgium, the madness of war is brought home, yet there is no end to the deaths and pain, while others show unending strength to carry on. News of Mousse's capture as a spy has Elin and Jack rushing to France on a daring rescue mission and Elin sees and experiences first hand the devastation caused.

This is such a moving story, one full of emotion and the author captures the atmosphere and adds details that make you feel as if you are there too with Elin. I loved the parts about Anglesey just as much as the being in the vehicles that Elin drove or helping make meals from scraps and the endless cups of tea. It really was a delight to read this book and I didn't want it to end at all.
This review is abased on a free copy of the book given to me by the author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and important novel, 16 Jun. 2014
This review is from: We That Are Left (Paperback)
This is a wonderfully involving novel which gives an account of the Great War from the perspective of women, of all classes. The first-person narrative of Elin, who is a winning mixture of modern independent thinking and repressed Victorian femininity, is beautifully done and gives a strong central focus for many other characters' stories which are all different and carefully constructed.
It was brave for author and publisher (although of course not as brave as the real women and men who lived through all this) to include an unpleasant storyline (I'm trying to avoid spoilers here) of the kind that romantic novels usually outlaw for fear of offending readers and the whole novel had a tough realism next to the softer, more heartening relationships between characters.
I am always looking for novels that give full acknowledgement to the importance and centrality of women's friendships and this succeeds brilliantly in constructing a story in which the lovers' tale is more than equalled by the sustaining love and support of friends, and comrades of both sexes.
The style is very credibly of the period and there's scarcely a wrong note (apart from one phrase on p. 5!).
In short, then: fantastic characters, believable scenarios, well-researched history all coming together to make a gripping must-read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review: 'We That Are Left' by Juliet Greenwood, 27 Oct. 2014
This review is from: We That Are Left (Paperback)
It’s 1914 and Elin is married to Hugo, with whom she lives a comfortable but lonesome life at Hiram Hall. Hugo fought in the Boer War, something he doesn’t talk about but has influenced his life for the long run. Elin has a feeling her marriage isn’t going anywhere, but she doesn’t dare to do anything about it. Then World War I suddenly takes over everyone’s lives and Hugo leaves Elin behind to run the estate. While Elin’s cousin Alice and good friend Margaret work for the war effort, Elin is discovering a new side to herself and she realises there is so much more to life than being the obedient wife. But the war is unpredictable, and Elin finds herself thrown in different directions with no idea what her life will look like as soon as things will calm down again...

‘We That Are Left’ is Juliet Greenwood’s third novel and I can’t believe it took me this long to discover her work! I was completely enthralled by this book from start to finish and it’s one of the best wartime books I’ve read over the past couple of years. The main protagonist, Elin, is a fascinating heroine whose story I really enjoyed. Elin is struggling to find her own identity as a woman; before the war she is trying her best to be a good and obedient wife, but the outbreak of World War I changes everything and she discovers there’s much more and she can’t go back to her old life. Next to Elin, there’s a wonderful cast of well-drawn characters, who each bring their own unique something to the story. I particularly loved Lady Margaret Northolme, known as Mouse to her friends, who becomes Elin’s close friend, and Elin’s cousin Alice.

The story is mainly set in Cornwall, Anglesey and France, and the descriptions blew me away. Juliet Greenwood’s writing is really descriptive and almost enchanting; it made it so easy to imagine everything in my head, it was almost like a film. It is obvious the author did a lot of research and this definitely shows and makes the story even stronger. I already look forward to reading some of her other work in the future, with the hope of it being just as good as this particular book. ‘We That Are Left’ is an engrossing and moving novel with at its core a woman’s search for her own identity in the time of World War I; an absolute pleasure to read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A ripping yarn with wonderful women at the fore.., 5 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: We That are Left (Kindle Edition)
This came up on a 'you may enjoy' link and I wasn't expecting much for 99p. How wrong was I? This is such a great yarn and it was nice to see the women as the stronger mainframe of the story. Elin is so likeable and Mouse breezes into her stale life with such charm that you warm to her instantly.
I would love to see this on TV it would make fantastic viewing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really lovely read, 5 Sept. 2014
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Welsh Annie (Wetherby) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: We That are Left (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book from its very first pages - as Elin returns to her vividly described former home in Port Helen - to its thoroughly satisfying conclusion. The narrator, Elin, is a wonderfully drawn and fascinating focus for the story - treated like a child in her loveless marriage to the cold and troubled Hugo, her life is changed both by the onset of the First World War and by the arrival of Mouse (Lady Margaret Northcote), who crashes in her biplane in a nearby field. Her introduction to the Northcotes and the immense changes to her life through the impact of war make for thoroughly fascinating reading. Elin finds personal resources she never knew she had, running the house and its food production with the support of conscientious objector Treeve, and even embarking on a harrowing rescue mission in war-torn France.

As well as the wonderful love story at its heart, this was a well researched and thoroughly engrossing look at the manners and life expectations of women of the time, the effects of the war, and the passing of a way of life, with female frendship and support central to the story. There's a wealth of domestic detail that brings life on the home front vividly to life - the cultivation of the kitchen garden, the preserving of the produce and the devising of meals with very little in the way of ingredients (with some lovely recipes included). It's a thoroughly engrossing read - sad, exciting, infuriating, heart-warming - and quite beautifully written, in a simple flowing style that immediately draws you in and keeps you turning the pages. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed the writing of Katherine Webb or Kate Morton, but Juliet Greenwood has a lovely style all of her own - a really lovely read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, 9 Jun. 2014
By 
A. Forrest (Conwy, North Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: We That are Left (Kindle Edition)
I've just finished reading We That Are Left by Juliet Greenwood and really thought it was super. Very, very well written, it held me to the end and I've recommended it to friends. It's evident that you must have 'lived, slept, eaten' in WW1 for months and months and months, Juliet! Well done Honno, too
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartwarming story well told., 15 Jun. 2014
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I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The characters were believable and the subject matter covered was interesting. I look forward to reading further books by Juliet Greenwood.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, moving story, 14 Jun. 2014
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I really enjoyed this First World War saga. It was so fascinating to see things through a woman's eyes! Beautifully written - it kept me gripped right until the end.
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We That are Left
We That are Left by Juliet Greenwood
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