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A Kiss From France Paperback – 19 Jul 2015
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A Kiss from France is "a promising debut novel, showcasing a very good author to watch in future." Janey Hill, Historical Novel Society. Long listed for Historical Novel Society Annual Indie Award 2017.
About the Author
Susan Hughes grew up near a small mining village in Northumberland. For as long as she can remember books have been a part of her life. When she didn't have her nose in a book she was climbing trees, catching water boatmen from a nearby burn or go-carting in country lanes with the kids next door. After University she worked in the City of London during the frenetic 'Big Bang' boom of financial de-regulation, before marriage and family life led to a desire for a change of gear. A move to the rural West Country enabled her to raise her sons near the coast, encouraged her to indulge her penchant for visiting country piles, while also keeping up her reading habit by patronising the local bookstore. She became a writer almost by accident, after she found a handful of WWI silk postcards in a box of her grandmother's possessions. The romantic greeting on one of these inspired her to weave a story around its imagined sender and recipient. It became her first novel, ' A Kiss from France'. She is now working on her second book.
Top Customer Reviews
Lizzie puts a note in a munitions box and never for one moment suspected that a soldier on the front line would respond to it. And so begins a correspondence between them that seems to help them through the terrors of war. When the opportunity to meet arises, Lizzie finds herself falling hard for her soldier. Yet, all is not what it seems and Lizzie soon ends up with more than she bargains for. But there is more sadness and indeed a few twists and turns to come Lizzie's way and some of it did make me sit with my mouth open!
Whilst Lizzie is of course our main protagonist, her friends Eunice and Peggy each have their own stories throughout the book and I have to say, I found both quite tragic and profoundly sad. Eunice is a woman who has been through so much grief that it is difficult for the reader to comprehend the level of her heartache. Her coldness towards her husband who has been fighting on the front line is at first startling. However, all is not as it seems with Eunice and her story goes so much deeper. Peggy appears to be the cocky one out of the three of them.Read more ›
There were quite a few twists in the plot and plenty of story lines to keep me page turning, but some things that were hinted at in later parts of the novel seemed to fizzle out unexpectedly. It may be that I am a bit of a drama queen, but I was expecting more drama from the end of the book, although it did reach a satisfactory conclusion. It is certainly an emotional novel with passion, compassion, deceit, loss and grief, which seemed to me to be a realistic portrayal of life during the First World War, mainly from the point of view of the women left behind, but not forgetting the horror of life in the trenches. This would be a great read for lovers of historical fiction.
I was sent a copy of this book for an honest review.
Although the binding element in the novel is a love story between Lizzie and a soldier with whom she corresponds during the war, I wouldn’t consider this novel strictly speaking a romance. There are other major themes which surpass the love story, such as, loss, betrayal, post-traumatic stress disorder, prejudice, marriage and motherhood, all against a backdrop of the final months of WWI and the beginning of the post war economically deprived and emotionally battered England.
I was impressed by the way it deals with the trauma and desperation of those who return home from war, and the emptiness and pain of those who stayed behind and witnessed the return of men whose minds and lives were irrevocably broken. It’s about how exceptional and extreme situations, like wars, affect the lives of ordinary people in their daily lives, and influence their perception of life and love.
The author describes the toils and peculiarities of wartime England, pulling us into this powerful and moving story of unprecedented sacrifices and passion. The characters are authentically portrayed, in their despair, as well as their goodness, and struggle for survival in an unfair and cruel world. The outcome is surprising, yet unexpectedly realistic, rather than romantic.
A must read for lovers of intense novels set in wartime London.
The story is set during and after WWI and focuses on three women's lives during the war and how they copied with life while the men were away fighting for their country and then when the soldiers returned home and how they coped with "normal life".
Lizzie Fenwick works in a munitions factory along with Peggy. When Lizzie puts a note in a box full of ammunition to wish a soldier good luck she doesn't realise the consequences her actions will cause when the note is found by Harry Slater.
Meanwhile Eunice is married to Jack who is sent to the trenches in France after initially not enlisting quick enough for Eunice. She feels he is a bit of a coward at first and the story of their lives is just heart breaking and tragic and the author tells this beautifully.
The events in this book were obviously researched thoroughly and were very well described. How the different characters lives turned out and intertwined throughout their lives was just great.
The only negative thing I would say about this book was that I personally didn't want the ending to turn out as it did, but that is just a personal thing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A well-written story of how three women's lives are linked. Lizzie, Peggy and Eunice are three very different women all working in munitions during the first world war. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Highlander
'Full marks for this fabulous debut novel. Susan Hughes promises to be a talented author worth watching and looking out for - I hope she is going to write more books, and many of... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Helen Hollick
We are proud to announce that A KISS FROM FRANCE by Susan Hughes is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!Published 13 months ago by indieBRAG
For me this was a winner from the first page. A great story, well written with a true feeling for the period. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Taurus Girl
Firstly thanks to Brook Cottage Books & the author for allowing me to read this in return for my honest opinion. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Ali - The Dragon Slayer
From the start, this book conjures up an authentic picture of what life must have been like around the time of WW1. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Julie Ryan
I loved this book, it is such a compelling story that you just get swept away with the romance and the fact it is set in 1917. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Hannah ward
A view of the real problems that ordinary women had during the 1st World War with imaginitive twists and surprises. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Susan hunt