In Farleigh Field
Book Review - In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen
If you're a frequent reader of Hasty Book List, you've probably figured out by now that my favorite genre is historical fiction. But perhaps you didn't know that I have a PhD in Fashion History and I wrote my dissertation on WWII war brides. So I'm particularly fond of WWII novels, and this one did not disappoint!
Other WWII Books I've Reviewed:
- Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
- Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
The story is centered around the Sutton family, particularly the five daughters of Roderick Sutton, The Earl of Westerham. Phoebe is the youngest daughter. She discovered a dead body in British uniform, but there are some things that aren't quite right with the uniform and rumors spread quickly about him being a possible German spy. Didot is eighteen and her parents are forcing her to stay home despite her desire to somehow be of use to the war effort. She is also hung up on missing her "coming out" party and has a keen interest in the boys. Pamela is one of the key characters in the story, she is working at Bletchley Park in London translating and decoding German messages. Margot is in Paris with her French lover, a man active in the French resistance. She works for a fashion designer that seems inspired by Coco Chanel.
Interested in the real story of Coco Chanel? Check out these books:
- Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War by Hal Vaughan
- Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel by C. W. Gortner
Sample garments from The Met Museum dating during the years of WWII.
There are a TON of characters in this book. I couldn't possibly name all of the significant ones, much less all of them. The story is chock full of historical content, emphasis on the historical part of historical fiction. But the fictional story of the Sutton family and their friends kept it from being the dull recitation of facts you'd find in a high school text book. There was plenty of romance and betrayal to keep the reader intrigued about how the story would end.
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