In this unforgettable debut novel, Caroline Scott has gifted us with an immensely powerful tale, highlighting the anguish of broken families left behind in the wake of World War I.
In this lasting story, we meet three different brothers who all went off to war together. Unfortunately, Harry is the only brother who survived and because of that, he struggles with the same affliction that most solders do; survivor’s guilt. He is endlessly tormented by being the only sibling to make it home. To complicate matters, he finds himself falling in love with his late brother’s wife, Edie. On top of that, his troubled life takes an unexpected turn when a photo of his presumed dead brother arrives by mail. Obviously, this causes both Harry and Edie to start questioning everything they once believed to be true. Is Francis still alive? Are they being pranked or trolled? Does someone have hidden information about what really happened to his brother Francis? To solve this mystery, the two set out traveling from town to town on a quest for the truth while trying to temper their collective hopes over possibly finding a lost husband and brother.
For me, the impeccable and extensive research the author must have done to complete this historical fiction novel is monumental. Her beautiful writing abilities combined with accurate historical descriptions allows the reader to fully understand how much devastation the war brought to both the people and to the land. I am sure you’ll quickly become immersed into this story and feel as though you are one of the characters dealing with every one of their trials be it the weather, muddy trenches or forbidden love.
In the end, The Poppy Wife is a novel that does a spectacular job in following along in the footsteps of those in the past who tried to locate missing or dead victims of war, while serving as a meaningful reminder of how our ancestors fought for the freedom we now enjoy.