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Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson
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Somewhere in France (2013)

by Jennifer Robson

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3311751,889 (3.68)27
"Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford, has struggled against both her mother's expectations and the restrictions early 20th-century British society imposes upon women of "gentle breeding". Lilly longs to make a difference, to have a life of substance and meaning. Only one person other than her beloved brother Edward ever listened to what she really wanted-Robert Fraser, Edward's best friend. But that was many years ago when he was visiting and Lilly was young, and she is certain Robbie has long forgotten her. Robbie Fraser knows he shouldn't have come to the lavish ball given by Edward's parents, the Earl and Countess of Cumberland. This world is far removed from the hospital in Whitechapel where he works as a surgeon. In his work, he is fêted and admired by his colleagues and friends, yet his accomplishments count for nothing to the privileged few attending the Neville-Ashford gala. As he plots his quiet escape, he is stopped by a vision of loveliness-Lilly. He finds her utterly captivating. She believes he is the man of her dreams. In a few short weeks, the world is engulfed by war. As the lights go out across Europe, Robbie becomes a trauma surgeon in a field hospital on the Western Front, while Lilly breaks free of convention, as well as from her disapproving parents, leaving home and eventually becoming an ambulance driver with the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. When she is transferred to the same field hospital where Robbie works, she hopes to strengthen the growing bond between them. Yet how can love survive the class restrictions that separate them and the horrors and suffering of the Great War?" --… (more)

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» See also 27 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford longs have a life of substance and meaning, so when WW1 breaks out she breaks free of convention and becomes and ambulance driver. When she is transferred to the same field hospital where Robbie, her brother’s best friend, works, she hopes to strengthen the growing bond between them.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Jun 11, 2019 |
3.5
I hesitate calling this a "lovely" story because it is set during WW1 with the majority of of the plot taking place close to the front in France, but it's gently told, and a happy ending and that made it a joy to read. ( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
We meet Lady Elizabeth (Lily) Ashford as she is about to attend a ball with her parents and brother Edward. Lily is not a traditional upper class young woman and has no real interest in the men her parents are trying to have her marry. She meets her brother's best friend, Robert Fraser and has a short but interesting conversation with him. Robbie attended university with Edward no is now a practising surgeon. Their backgrounds could not be more different. As WWI begins, Lily wants to participate and when her parents refuse to let her volunteer, she leaves home and begins her life as a clippie on the London trams and then is accepted as a volunteer as an ambulance driver with the WACC. She is transferred to the battlefields of France and encounters the reality of the war and Robbie, a war surgeon.
The descriptions of life in the trenches and in the army hospital tents are very realistic and well done. The story is engrossing and as expected, there is a romance between Lily and Robbie. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Nov 14, 2016 |
Look forward to reading the rest of the series! ( )
  Kimmyd76 | Oct 23, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this novel. I'm read the sequel first but in no way did that diminish my enjoyment if this work. ,I very much like the style of the author. I will look for my novels by Ms Robson. ( )
  SharonRILINK | Mar 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
The lamps are going out all across Europe;
we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.
--Sir Edward Grey, foreign secretary of Great Britain (1905-1916)
Dedication
This book is dedicated to my father, Stuart Robson. You are the finest historian and the best teacher I will ever know.
First words
It was past nine, past time, for the sun had set, the orchestra had begun to play, and hundreds of guests were streaming up the grand central staircase, their voices rising in an ebullient, ever-swelling chorus to the floors above.
Quotations
She knew that Edward could hear them, too.  Not as a distant roar, but as a deafening curtain of falling, endlessly falling shells that exterminated every living thing in their path.  And nothing, no shelter, no armor, could protect her brother, or any other man on the front lines, from the remorseless anger of those guns.  Only fate.
His imaginings, at length suppressed, had been as nothing compared to the reality of the woman who had eventually joined him in the sitting room.  She'd abandoned her uniform for a simple dress that buttoned up the front.  The color suited her, some pretty shade of blue, that women likely had a name for, but men simply admired.  Azure?  Cornflower?
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