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The Walnut Tree by Charles Todd
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The Walnut Tree

by Charles Todd

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Title:The Walnut Tree
Authors:Charles Todd
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The Walnut Tree by Charles Todd

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
About a 3.5. Well written but not very deep story of a woman conflicted been puppy love and true love of two soldiers during WWI. Class is an issue, and the hint of a mystery, but which I suspect is another book. Good reader (audio). ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
This was a interesting piece of writing set during WW I. Lady Elspeth Chatham is Scottish woman currently in France to visit a friend when the war takes a turn for the worse. She's instructed to return home to England immediately, but is caught in the chaos as the oncoming German troops slowly close ranks on the Allied troops. It's in this desperate situation that she learns she is capable of so much more than she once thought and begins to help by nursing the injured and dying while she awaits a ticket home. Things look very bleak until a handsome officer, Peter Gilchrist, arrives to evacuate them all to safety. Once they reach the extraction point, they are separated and she is unable to thank him or even say goodbye. She arrives in London a new woman, determined to do her part for the war effort by serving as a nurse for Queen Alexandra's Imperial Nursing Service...whether her overbearing Guardian, Cousin Kenneth (BOO!!! I despised him) approves or not.

I really enjoyed following Elspeth's story, especially once she became a nurse. I loved her courage and ability to stay calm under extreme circumstances. She wasn't perfect (which made her even more realistic to me) as was shown by a rather impulsive decision early in the book, but she grew tremendously by her experiences. As for Peter, I liked him, too, but would've liked to have known more about him. Since the story is all from Elspeth's point of view, tt's understandable, but I guess I just wanted a little "more" from his camp.

I believe I've found a new author to follow and will definitely check out the Bess Crawford series! ( )
  Becky_McKenna | Mar 10, 2016 |
At the request of her school friend Madeleine, Lady Elspeth Douglas travels to France in the summer of 1914 to await the birth of Madeleine's first child. War breaks out while she is there. Before he leaves for his service, Madeleine's brother, Alain, declares his intention to ask Elspeth's guardian for her hand in marriage at the conclusion of the war. As Elspeth makes her way back to England, she runs into an old acquaintance, Captain Peter Gilchrist. Elspeth fights her growing love for Peter since she feels herself promised to Alain. Without the knowledge of her guardian, Elspeth trains for nursing service. By nursing in France, Elspeth will be closer to both the man she loves and the man to whom she is promised.

Readers who can suspend disbelief in the coincidences that drive much of the plot will enjoy this war-themed holiday novella. Mother/son writing duo “Charles Todd” is known more for mystery than for romance. Elspeth does help to solve a mystery in this story, but it's so slight and underdeveloped that the story would have been better off without it. Bess Crawford makes a few brief appearances as one of Elspeth's London flatmates. This story will appeal to fans of Anne Perry's Christmas novellas as well as to fans of Charles Todd's Bess Crawford series. ( )
  cbl_tn | Dec 21, 2015 |
Well done. Charles Todd draws very real characters and situations. I liked this a lot. Not a mystery this time, but good historical fiction. I'll be glad to have this to suggest to some of the high school students that are looking for historical fiction for an assignment. I'm not sure what makes this a holiday tale, but good nonetheless. ( )
  njcur | Apr 7, 2014 |
“The Walnut Tree” by Charles Todd is one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. It is published by William Morrow an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. The story begins in France, in July, 1914. The Germans are poised to enter France through Belgium. The British have issued an ultimatum that if the Germans invade Belgium then England will declare war on Germany. It is the start of World War I. Lady Elspeth Douglas of Scotland is visiting her friend Madeleine and her husband Henri. Madeleine is expecting and wants to travel to her home of Villard, France to await the birth of her baby. Because the threat of German invasion is so great, her husband wants her to stay in Paris with Lady Elspeth. Lady Elspeth fancies herself in love with Madeleine’s brother Alain Montigny.

Unfortunately, the Germans overrun the new, small country of Belgium and any British citizen who is still in Paris is trying to get home to England. Lady Elspeth wants to go home and see about her uncle and cousins and to try to do something for the war effort. Before she is able to leave, Alain comes home to say goodbye to his sister and Lady Elspeth and asks for Elspeth’s hand in a marriage to take place after the war is over. Both he and Henri are called to the front and are in the thick of the fighting. Elspeth accepts Alain’s ring with the understanding that he will approach her uncle and ask for her hand. Until then, the arrangement is to be kept secret.

As Lady Elspeth is trying to get to Calais to board a ship for Dover she was caught up in the exodus of the wounded from the front. She tried to help nurse those who were injured and subsequently found herself close to the battlefield and ran into an friend of her cousin’s Peter Gilchrist. He took her under his wing and helped her get back to Calais. In helping nurse the soldiers in the field, she decided that she would try to join Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. As a member of the peerage, Elspeth should have had the permission of her guardian, her uncle. However, knowing that he would refuse her she let it be known that she was alone in the world and did not refer to herself as Her Ladyship.

Lady Elspeth successfully completed her Sister’s training and then was sent to France to help tend the wounded. She would then make return trips to care for troops who were being transported back to England to recuperate. Along the way, she met up with Peter Gilchrist again and fell in love. The rest of the story has to be experienced as you read this book. Believe me you will not be sorry that you have this book in your library. I fell in love with the characters in this book and the time period. I truly felt as though I was there with Lady Elspeth as she and her countrymen came to grips with the war and their part in it.

I received a free Kindle copy of this book from Harper Collins in return for my honest review.

You can read this review on my blog at http://wp.me/p2pjIt-4M ( )
  SilverShrew | Feb 20, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Toddprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
O'Meara, JoyDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuck, MaryCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062236997, Hardcover)

"I was in Paris the day the French Army was mobilized."

In 1914, while visiting her friend Madeleine, Lady Elspeth Douglas's life is thrown into chaos when war breaks out and the Germans quickly overrun Belgium, threatening France. Having just agreed to marry Alain, Madeleine's dashing brother, Lady Elspeth watches him leave to join his unit, and then she sets out for England, only to find herself trapped on the French coast.

Caught amid a sea of stranded travelers, terrified refugees, and wounded men overflowing the port of Calais, the restless Elspeth—daughter of a Highland aristocrat whose distinguished family can trace its roots back to the court of Mary, Queen of Scots—decides to make herself useful, carrying water to weary soldiers near the Front. It is an act of charity that almost gets her killed when enemy shells begin to explode around her.

To her rescue comes Captain Peter Gilchrist, who pulls her away from the battle and leads her to safety. But before they can properly say good-bye, Elspeth and Peter are separated.

Back in London, surrounded by familiar comforts, Elspeth is haunted by the horrors she witnessed in France. She also cannot forget the gallant Peter Gilchrist, even though she has promised herself to Alain.

Transformed by her experience, Elspeth goes to London and enrolls in a nursing course, where she meets a fellow nurse in training, Bess Crawford. It is a daring move, made without the consent of Elspeth's guardian, her cousin Kenneth, a high-handed man with rigid notions of class and femininity.

Yet Elspeth Douglas is a woman with a mind of her own, which—as she herself says—is a blessing and a curse. She is determined to return to the battlefields of France to do her part . . . and to find the man she has no right to love, no matter how far Cousin Kenneth may go to stop her. But before she can set things right with Alain, he goes missing and then Peter is gravely wounded. In a world full of terror and uncertainty, can the sweetness of love survive or will Elspeth's troubled heart become another casualty of this terrible war?

A poignant, compelling tale brimming with adventure, danger, and love, The Walnut Tree is an enchanting holiday gift and a wonderful companion to Charles Todd's acclaimed Bess Crawford series.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:26 -0400)

Haunted by the horrors she witnessed in France during the enemy invasion of 1914, Lady Elspeth Douglas, a titled young Englishwoman, is transformed by her experience and leaves her sheltered life behind to become a nurse and return to the battlefields of France to do her part.… (more)

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