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The White Road by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
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Although I love how this series takes in so many different bits and pieces of British history, I think Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is at her best when she focuses on just one or two things in each book. The war provides that kind of focus in this book, as it involves almost every character in some way. She doesn’t have to leave anyone out (although the London Morlands don’t get much attention), but the narrative doesn’t feel at all scattered. A good addition to the series.

See my complete review at Shelf Love. ( )
  teresakayep | Mar 30, 2011 |
At first I thought this book would be nothing but a blow by blow account of fighting by the English army (not my favourite thing to read about). But after the first hundred pages, this really heats up- an incredibly fascinating look at the first year of World War I. Highly enjoyable. ( )
  birdsam0307 | Mar 14, 2009 |
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Epigraph
BOOK ONE
Exhilaration

Laughing by and chaffing by, frolic in the smiles of them,
On the road, the white road, all the afternoon,
Strangers in a strange land, miles and miles and miles of them.

Battle-bound and heart-high...

Robert Service: Tipperary Days
Dedication
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3rd August 1914
Jessie moved restlessly to the morning-room window and stared at the bright August day outside.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
1914, In England, the outbreak of war is greeted with euphoria. The nation is inflamed with a desire to 'teach Germany a lesson', and thousands flock to volunteer. Everyone believes the war will be over by Christmas, so there's no time to waste...

Teddy Morland is proud to see his nephews in the forefront. Jack, designer and tester with the Sopworth Aviation Company and one of Britain's earliest flyers, is invited to join the fledgling Royal Flying Corps, launching into battle in the skies. Bertie, a reservist, is in the first wave of British soldiers into France. Ned joins one of the new 'Pals' units, while Ned's wife Jessie takes up Red Cross work.

The family seat, Morland Place - untouched by the conflict since Cromwell's time - feels the breath of war as its horses are requisitioned, servants volunteer, and Teddy plans a fierce defence against possible invasion. For his wife and daughter the upheaval has a positive side. The house hasn't been so lively for years, and the war provides an opportunity to restore Teddy's public profile as head of the oldest family in Yorkshire.

But brutal reality sobers national high spirits as the death toll in France rises. And the war suddenly comes closer to home for the Morlands when Jessie's Red Cross work brings her unexpectedly into mortal danger.

As the war drags toward the bloody battlefield of Ypres, Jack's daily brushes with death bring regret about his postponed wedding to Helen. Will they ever have a future together? Yet for Bertie, any future with the woman he loves seems completely impossible. She is in Yorkshire, separated from him by war, geography - and her husband.

The White Road continues the great saga of the Morland dynasty, ushering its members into conflicts that will alter their lives forever.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0751533459, Paperback)

In the Morland Dynasty series, the majestic sweep of English history is richly and movingly portrayed through the fictional lives of the Morland family. It is 1914, and the outbreak of war is greeted with euphoria. Thousands flock to volunteer. Everyone believes the war will be over by Christmas, so there’s no time to waste. Bertie, a reservist, is one of the first to go to France; Jack is invited to join the Royal Flying Corps, and Ned joins one of the new "Pals" units. The brutal reality of Ypres dispels illusion, but only fuels determination, as the war comes home to everyone, in ways they have not expected.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The British Force goes off to France to defend gallant Belgium, and thousands more young men rush to volunteer, hoping to see action before the war ends at Christmas. At home, everyone competes for the war effort. But when Christmas comes, the war is far from over, and nine in ten of the men who marched, down the white road to Mons have fallen.… (more)

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