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Daffodils (The Katherine Wheel Saga Book 1) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Find out more about her writing projects at intheplottingshed.com/
- Publication Date : January 14, 2014
- File Size : 2430 KB
- Print Length : 384 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- ASIN : B00BPUQAY4
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,028 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Rarely do I read a book this good. Told from the point of view of Katy, a young English woman of working class roots, who moves from service as a maid in a manor house to marriage to working as a mechanic in France during WW1. The world changes incredibly during those years and this is an excellent recounting of those changes from a woman's point of view. Primary in the story is the love and marriage of Katy and Jem with strong secondary characters being brought in throughout the story. I bought the next book in the series within 5 minutes of finishing this one. The writing is excellent, emotional and descriptive, with well developed characters. It is well edited, with no profanity or descriptive sexual scenes.
Young people from small, poor bucolic British families all dreamed of new possibilities and better lives if they signed up for the war. Most of them, in counties such as Wiltshire, had never been in London, many had never seen the sea. They eked out a living working for the gentry on their big estates with poverty standing like invisible perennial guards at their doors. There was hardly any escape possible until the war came.
Katy Beagle worked in the manor house as a personal maid when the son of the manor needed a little bit of fun before he departed for London to join the war effort.
Young and inexperienced as she was, and bored to death with the prospect of being rooted to her situation for the rest of her life, Katy jumped at the opportunity to have some fun. It resulted in a huff and a lot of puff with a cloud of scandal threatening her good name and honor. Good, rock-solid Jem, the gardener, proposed again, and this time she had no other choice but accept. And so begins the story of a young couple within the village dynamics of Wiltshire with the assortment of lovable, despicable, and delightful characters who share their lives for ages. But after the young vicar announced them husband and wife, the village openly released a sigh of relief. The scandal was short-lived and the couple could live happily ever after.
But that was not to be. Katy and Jem's paths through the deeply moving narrative exposes the highs and lows of two young people's inner turmoil with life and love, their first encounters in the adult world with heartbreak and hardship. The tale winds through a volatile time in world history and how it personally effected two young people but also their community.
The horror of the First World War is portrayed with accuracy and emotion. The deprivations and devastation of the war is creatively and convincingly conveyed. All the elements to make this a great book is present: loyalty, weakness, betrayal, guilt, lies, sex, secrets, violence, an attempted suicide, heroism and finally love coupled with justice. All the people are real. So much so that the reader becomes emotionally attached to them and become emotionally invested in the turns and twists of the plot. Throughout the harsh reality of the war, there is still an almost ironic wholesomeness present in the young people's optimism and hope for a better future. Despite all the obstacles, the daffodils never seized to bloom among the privation and suffering of the war.
Daffodils is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope which teaches us the power of resilience, integrity and true honor.
This book was a deeply emotional experience that managed to reach the inner core of my being. This is such a powerful story!
Top reviews from other countries
It is the story of two working class British citizens - Katy and Jem, whose story will take you through hardships that are personal at first, but then that will see the First World War. We see a joining of two hearts - reluctant as it was on Katy's part- but that blossomed into love. They fare through a loss so great, it divides them, and this is what makes Jem sign up to serve his country. He leaves frail Katy behind, and she battles each day without her love. She is alone, and confused of what could have been of their marriage. She questions her behaviour, could she have done more to make him stay?
On the news of Jem's possible death at the front line in France, and a marriage proposal on the same day, Katy is more confused than ever. She knows she has one choice - finding Jem. She decides to go and find her husband.
From a working class girl to a person who acquires great prestige, Katy makes sure she works hard. She becomes friends with two unlikely girls had the war not have happened, and she witnesses things too terrible to withhold! Jem's story is just as enlightening and horrendous as Katy's, when he joins the army. He makes many friends but loses that many too, as bombs and bullets spare only a minimal. My heart goes out to Jem but I also feel proud of him.
Alex Martin has dedicated a lot of love, care, and attention whilst writing this splendid book and we learn a lot about WW1 on a personal level, rather than a textbook read. Daffodils has opened my eyes on many aspects of that period that is lost on many of us, such as women driving ambulances, women nursing injured men, women fixing vehicles and attending clerical work whilst the war rages on.
I enjoyed reading about the interaction between fellow war comrades no matter what rank they were. The detail of this part of history is vastly relevant to the story, and a delight to digest. I couldn't stop and the story had me turning the pages - I needed to know what happened next!
I salute Alex Martin for bringing a great book to us to commemorate the First World War!
Alex Martin has a marvellous way with words. My favourite passage in the book was: Leaves dripped noiselessly from the trees with no wind to swirl them into eddying flight. Silently their autumn colours drooped towards the hungry ground in a vertical, suicidal suck of gravity and lay there, curling up in their death throes, submitting to the crush of oblivious feet.
This book is a thoroughly good read that you will find hard to put down. I look forward to reading more of Alex Martin's work.
This book is such an interesting read. Its broad themes are made personal through the experiences of Katy and Jem: the power of the rigid Edwardian class structure, the morality of the times, the lack of healthcare, the devastation wrought by the First World War and the freedoms it brought for some women.
I tend to read more contemporary novels than historical, but there was something about the writing that drew me in to this book. Each time I returned to the story I was transported back to the early twentieth century, and each time I left, I carried the hopes and the woes of Katy and Jem with me.
After far too many disappointing sequels I’d become rather averse to reading any books that form part of a series. However, the blurb and the free offer encouraged me to try this first book in the Katherine Wheel series, and I shall be buying the second and third.