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We That are Left Kindle Edition
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Elin, her cousin Alice, and new friend Mouse are strong females in a time when women's lives are controlled and dominated by men. Each will support the war effort in her own way, and each will be transformed by her experiences. These women have the inner strength of a Scarlett O'Hara, but are far more likable.
Greenwood's greatest strength is her ability to set the scene. We see, hear, smell, and taste the environments, including the devastation of war, with the tragic loss of life, and the deep traumas that scar the survivors. The garden and food, Elin's great passions, grow increasingly important in both her life and the story itself, and Greenwood includes a variety of recipes at the end of the book for us foodies to try.
The only reason I give this book four stars instead of five is, I think it could have used one more round of edits. This is not a negative reflection on Greenwood's fine writing or the story itself, both of which are excellent. There is the occasional odd transition and other minor problems, most of which won't be noticed by readers.
Readers who haven't had the treat of reading Eden's Garden, Greenwood's debut novel, would do well to check out both of these books.
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.