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Monday 3 March 2014


Posting the 4th book review in this March series for 
Women's History Month -
For this story, we enter the era leading up to, 
then WWI itself.  
author Dilly Court paints main character,
Daisy Lennox,  as a strong willed young woman 
unwilling to settle for the status quo.
Her interest in the suffragettes is just the first of
unusual involvements Daisy pursues. Her sense of justice
informs her life decisions and path she chooses.
Well drawn and well researched,
Dilly Court, reveals unique moments in
Women's History.

Published: March 18.13
Pages: 448
Publisher: RandomHouse UK-North America
Despite her privileged upbringing, Daisy Lennox has always longed 
to make something of her life. 
She is drawn to the suffragette movement, but when her father faces ruin they are forced to move to the country and Daisy's first duty is to her family. 
Here she becomes engaged to her childhood friend - a union both families have dreamed of.
But, on the eve of their wedding, war is declared, 
and Daisy knows her life will never be the same again.
My Thoughts?

Likeability of our MC, Daisy Lennox, is established early on in this story.
Her attitudes and actions to those less fortunate are skillfully contrasted with the stiffly ruled
and regulated uppercrust of her mother's society.  Daisy's adventurous spirit in
willingly assisting a young suffragette ends in a misadventure that entwines the two
for the rest of the novel. 
A saga covering a lengthy time span from 1912 to 1917. 

Daisy's discontent with the status quo leads her to pursue involvement, first with the 
suffragette movement - highly criticized for their use of vandalism - followed by
introduction to the FANYS.  Organized for women to train as nurses for the
unwanted yet inevitable WWI, Daisy finds purpose beyond the expected round of socializing,
 partying, and entertaining of a woman of her societal class.

When it is realized her father's business partner has absconded with the profits,
the family is reduced to selling their London property, liquidating assets,
and relocating to their rural summer home.  Which just happens to neighbour lifelong
family friend's property.  An advantageous move for the family finances in general,
for Daisy in particular.  And for Daisy's young suffragette friend, who is hired as maid of all work.

For Daisy it's a direct connection with her childhood friend who wants more than friendship.
The rest of the story unfolds beautifully for the remainder of the novel.
Court has a particular warmth in her writing style - a caring for the characters - that kept me involved through tragedy and triumph.  War descriptions preceding, during, and following, are authentic and emotionally involving.
Particulars of this period of history are well researched.  As is the wealth of
information on the FANYS written into the story without any sense of documentary.

It is an excellent story of love's endurance and  redemption.
Important topics of marriage, class distinctions, romantic and familial relationships,
pregnancy, wartime, and personal values, are written with serious consideration.
My appreciation to Dilly Court for sharing her creation of Daisy's story with us.
About this author: 
Dilly Court grew up in North-east London and began her career in television, writing scripts for commercials. She is married with two grown-up children and four grandchildren, and now lives in Dorset on the beautiful Jurassic Coast with her husband. She is the author of eighteen novels and also writes under the name of Lily Baxter.
Dilly says, "Pacy stories, full of nostalgia and great plucky heroines set in turn-of-the-twentieth century London.  I spend a long time researching my novels and fully enter the world when I am writing ... "
Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author in the UK, Dilly has sold over a million books to date. 
Find Dilly on twitter: DillyCourt   Online at DillyCourt and at GreatBritishReads
Ms Court is one of several British authors whose ebooks were made available in the US, with pb available as well in Canada and AU for the first time in 2013 as part of Random House UK's international marketing.

*Appreciation to RandomHouse UK-North America for providing an ecopy for reading and reviews without compensation or obligation.

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