Wednesday, January 1, 2014

G248 Book Review of Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson

Name of Book: Somewhere in France

Author: Jennifer Robson

ISBN: 978-0-06-227345-1

Publisher: William Morrow

Type of book: 1914-1919, WWI, Great Britain, France, war doctors, drivers, battles, dance, aristocracy, disobedience, women taking over men's jobs

Year it was published: 2014


Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford wants to travel the world, pursue a career, and marry for love. But in 1914, the stifling restrictions of aristocratic British society and her mother’s rigid expectations forbid Lily from following her heart. When war breaks out, the spirited young woman seizes her chance for independence. Defying her parents, she moves to London and eventually becomes an ambulance driver in the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps—an exciting and treacherous job that takes her close to the Western Front.

Assigned to a field hospital in France, Lily is reunited with Robert Fraser, her dear brother Edward’s best friend. The handsome Scottish surgeon has always encouraged Lily’s dreams. She doesn’t care that Robbie grew up in poverty—she yearns for their friendly affection to become something more. Lily is the most beautiful—and forbidden—woman Robbie has ever known. Fearful for her life, he’s determined to keep her safe, even if it means breaking her heart.

In a world divided by class, filled with uncertainty and death, can their hope for love survive. . . or will it become another casualty of this tragic war?


I have to admit that Lilly was definitely a favorite character of mine from this book. Lilly isn't afraid of hardship, and although she is aristocratic she knows and understands cars as well as not wanting anyone finding out about her background. At the same time she's realistically naive when it comes to sexual matters and she is bold from time to time when it comes to Robert. Robert is a doctor who comes from a poor family and he is also trying to do what's right. He cares a lot for Lilly and for his friend who happens to be Lilly's elder brother. Unfortunately beyond that I don't know much about Robert. Edward is Lilly's brother who describes himself as a shallow bastard and again its unfortunate that I didn't get a chance to spend more time with him. There are of course Lilly's friends such as her former governess or the nurses she befriends such as Constance and its not a full romance novel.


Fight for what you believe in


Its written in third person narrative from Elizabeth a.k.a Lilly's point of view as well as Robert's point of view. While the book did take place from 1914-1919, it didn't seem to focus a lot on battles or anything of the kind except the medical parts. Perhaps the author is attempting to focus more on the general picture instead of the bigger picture, although its odd that victories by allies or Germans weren't mentioned. I also would have loved if the book could have stretched to 1920s or 1930s so I can see what should happen to the characters.

Author Information:
(from TLC)

Jennifer Robson first learned about the Great War from her father, acclaimed historian Stuart Robson, and later served as an official guide at the Canadian National War Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France. A former copy editor, she holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from the University of Oxford. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and young children. This is her first novel.
Connect with Jennifer on Facebook.


In my opinion this book seems to balance very well with good writing, interesting and memorable characters as well as the time frame its set in. I also liked that the heroine was realistically naive when it came to intimate details, as was expected during that time period, yet at the same time there was nothing to cause this book to stand out or grab my attention, which is why I gave it four stars instead of five. The pacing of the story seemed a little odd because while I did hope it would focus more on WWI or Great War information, at least mention what exactly has happened to one of the characters instead of leaving it blank, it felt somewhat casual for a WWI book. The author did do research and she is comfortable talking and describing this particular time period, and a number of things has surprised me about it, such as discounts and respect for the military personnel. I guess I also wanted it to go further in describing how they deal with the aftereffects of WWI. By the way, my mom loved the book cover, and I also liked that a glossary of terms was included for those unfamiliar with acronyms.

This is for TLC Book Tour

Jennifer’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, December 31st: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, January 1st: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Thursday, January 2nd: Kritters Ramblings
Friday, January 3rd: Book Addict Katie
Monday, January 6th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, January 7th: From L.A. to LA
Wednesday, January 8th: Cold Read
Thursday, January 9th: Savvy Verse & Wit
Friday, January 10th: Doing Dewey
Monday, January 13th: Reflections of a Bookaholic
Tuesday, January 14th: A Reader of Fictions
Wednesday, January 15th: Literary Feline
Thursday, January 16th: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, January 22nd: Diary of an Eccentric
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

1 comment:

  1. I love the fact that there is a glossary - I'm a stickler for reading every page of a book, and I enjoy reading definitions. (I know, I'm a bit weird!)

    Thank for being on the tour, and happy new year!


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