Apr 17, 2015

Welsh Week: We That are Left by Juliet Greenwood - Review & Giveaway

August 4th, 1914: ‘It was the day of champagne and raspberries, the day the world changed.’ Juliet Greenwood’s moving, thrilling novel honours the sacrifice of soldiers and civilians in World War I and captures how lives were changed afterwards, some destroyed, but some, with love and courage, rebuilt anew. Elin lives a luxurious but lonely life at Hiram Hall. Her husband Hugo loves her but he has never recovered from the Boer War. Now another war threatens to destroy everything she knows. With Hugo at the front, and her cousin Alice and friend Mouse working for the war effort, Elin has to learn to run the estate in Cornwall, growing much needed food, sharing her mother’s recipes and making new friends – and enemies. But when Mouse is in danger, Elin must face up to the horrors in France herself. And when the Great War is finally over, Elin’s battles prove to have only just begun.

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Review

Elin lives a secluded and luxurious life at Hiram Hall. Her home is in a beautiful village by the sea and she never has to worry about money. She should be happy, but she isn't. Her husband Hugo loves her, but he doesn't really care about her. He returned from the Boer War, but hasn't been himself ever since. It's 1914 and the country is at the verge of war again. Just before Mouse literally flies into Elin's world. She's testing her plane and lands at the wrong place. The two women instantly connect. A few glorious times follow when Elin and her cousin Alice are spending time with Mouse. Mouse's family is rich and they want her to marry someone suitable, but Mouse isn't ready to be married. She wants to live and to be adventurous and she expects Elin to be a bit less tense and obedient.

When World War I starts the men have to go to the front again. Alice trains to become a nurse to help the wounded from the battlefields. Mouse is going to France to help people there. Hugo is back at the front as well. Elin is alone without her friends, but she has a lot of work to do, as she has to manage the estate. She has to hire people to help her and she needs her gardens to provide food for Hiram and people in the village or they will all go hungry. She loves creating new and easy recipes and she isn't afraid to get her hands dirty. 

When Mouse is in danger Elin doesn't hesitate and comes up with a plan to help her. That plan has more consequences than she could have ever imagined. Elin's life will never be the same. She's brave and she manages to survive the ordeals of the war. Only when the war is over and everyone who has survived can go back to their lives she realises that what is waiting for her is just as dangerous as being at war.

We That are Left is a beautiful story about a woman who fights for her own freedom and independence. Elin is a fantastic heroine. She's so strong and she deserves to live a full life. Unfortunately she has to live in the shadows and she can never be herself. Until she meets Mouse. Both her friend and the war change that and it was amazing to see the transformation. Juliet Greenwood is such a good writer, I loved every sentence. This book constantly kept me on the edge of my seat. It's gripping and adventurous. I liked it so much that it has definitely become one of my all time favorite books.


 Author information

uliet lives in a traditional Welsh cottage halfway between the romantic Isle of Anglesey and the beautiful mountains and ruined castles of Snowdonia. After studying English at Lancaster University and King's College, London, Juliet worked in a variety of jobs, from running a craft stall at Covent Garden Market to teaching English. Juliet began writing seriously about ten years ago, after a severe viral illness left her with debilitating ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for years.

She is now well and back to dog walking and working on her beloved garden. As well as novels under her own name, Juliet writes stories and serials for magazines as 'Heather Pardoe'. When not writing, Juliet works on local oral history projects, helping older people tell their stories before they are lost forever.

'Eden's Garden' was chosen as Welsh Book of the Month for May 2012 by the Welsh Books Council.
Website: www.julietgreenwood.co.uk


Giveaway

One very lucky reader of my blog will receive a signed copy of We That are Left. Good luck! 


I will contact the winner via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international.  

17 comments:

  1. Laurice McClung: I had trouble commenting on the blog. Kept giving me an error. My comment was: I would hope I would be brave enough to fight for my freedom. I was raised with s song sense of duty, honor and courage.

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  2. I guess I would have to be.

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  3. Thank you for that lovely review! I'm buzzing that you enjoyed it. :-) I hope I would be as brave as Elin - and it was humbling to read about so many brave women. They were amazing! (Despite not even having the vote!)

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    1. I can't even imagine not having the right to vote, a lot has changed for women in the past 100 years. Thank you again for the wonderful book, I'm happy you like my review :).

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  4. I'd be brave enough to fight if freedom means to be with my beloved ones.

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  5. I can not say for sure that I will do everything because I never saw myself in a situation that raw impllique my freedom.
    But what I see in me I think it would do anything, except that implied hurt who was innocent.

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  6. I guess I would have to be,because as humans we have a desire for freedom that we can't control!

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  7. I would say yes because I would not want to be imprisoned.

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  8. I would hope so, we all love our freedom

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  9. I would fight not only for my freedom but that of others :)

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  10. I would fight for freedom.

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  11. I would like to think I am. However I am more likely to be braver to fight for freedom of those I love.

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  12. I would, no question about it, whatever the obstacle x

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  13. I'd like to think I'm capable of it. I'm blessed never to have had to fight for my freedom.

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  14. Without a doubt! I would do anything in my power!

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