For her sophomore novel, Breslin has chosen to immerse her readers into a story of romance and espionage. The year is 1917, London is in the midst of the Great War with many young men valiantly serving in the war effort. At home, women patriots are doing their part by serving in the Women’s Forage Corps and the Women’s Land Army. It’s grueling work, but they hope their service to king and country will hasten the end of the war. A few conscientious objector “conchies” remain, who refuse to heed the call to arms. For example, Jack Benningham becomes the target of Ms. Gracy Mabry, whose move to publicly shame Benningham by giving him a white feather of cowardice sets off a sequence of irreversible and life altering events.
I found the character Grace to have a luminescent inner beauty which radiated into the lives of others. As I learned more about Grace, a multitude of bible verses about women living out our Christian faith came to mind such as 1 Peter 3:3-4, John 13:35, and 1 John 3:18 to list a few. Like all believers, her faith does not preclude her from making mistakes. In fact, her naiveté was both her greatest strength and an unfortunate weakness.
Unlike For Such a Time, which gave readers a front row seat to wartime atrocities, this book follows the war from a much safer distance. I find that it rests more heavily on the interpersonal relationships of the characters and less on the historical intrigue that won me to the author initially. Regardless, the book possessed exquisite imagery as well as a precious cast of characters, making it delightfully entertaining selection.
Not by Sight proved to be another book club worthy title by Breslin. It’s sure to stir up plenty of group conversation about friendships, forgiveness, misperceptions and betrayal.
** I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.**
"Women who, despite their own difficulties, came to trust one another with their secrets, their dreams, and their friendship while helping their countrymen ."
I’ve been wanting to read this book by Breslin for a while now, but due to other deadlines this one just kept getting pushed back. Thanks to ARC April though, I had the perfect excuse for putting this one first for a change.
This story is told from two perspectives. Grace Mabry, A young woman who is into suffrage work, and helping the war effort which in turn she hopes get her twin brother home sooner.
Then we have Jack Benningham, to the world he is a playboy, gambler and conscientious objector to the war. But he isn’t what he seems and we learn exactly what he has been up to while the rest of his countrymen went off to war.
After Grace finally convinces her father to let her and her maid Agnes work for the WFC (precursor to Land Army Girls) where they will be away from the bombings and helping the war effort as well. While there Grace makes friends with the other girls Becky, Lucy Clare and Mrs. Vance. This is where I really started to love this story. While Grace isn’t very good at most of the farm work she tries, sadly though trying isn’t always enough and she almost gets kicked out, but Lord Roxwood steps in and makes her his driver.
This is when things start to getting interesting. Lord Roxwood is Blind and wears a Hat/Face covering to hide it. While this doesn’t seem to scare Grace at all it does all of the other townspeople making him become very lonely. As they both get to know each other and see each other for who they truly are. The romance starts to slowly build, and while you can tell earlier on that they should be together you don’t know if the will be able to make it due to secrets and lies they both have told.
I did figure out who the real spy was it didn’t end up ruining the story, because you don’t know if the person who is being held prisoner will ever get out or not.
Easy, enjoyable read where everything wraps up nicely in the end...enjoyed reading about the suffrage movement and the variety of ways women helped in the war, as well as the use of spies. Collin's journey seemed quite realistic as well. Overall, good read.
Heartwarming intriguing story!!! Loved Grace and Collin's journey!!
Clean, enjoyable read by a talented author. Enjoyed the details about WW1.
I thought a three week romance was a bit short, and wished the author had done more to SHOW them having a reason to fall in love besides just feeling their hearts go pitter-patter, but overall I enjoyed it.
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