Somewhere in France is an excellent novel for those of you who enjoy a good periodical story.
The story starts in England and the year is 1914. Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford has her life plan mapped out according to society’s expectations. Sadly, it is not a road that she wishes to travel. Trapped by the restraints placed on her by her parents she is drowning with frustrated boredom, in her sheltered life where a governess delivered her education within the seclusion of the family home.
When war breaks out, she persuades her parent to let her move from London to one of their country estates, where she secretly learns to drive. It is an act that brings about dismissal for one family and provides Lady Elizabeth with the determination to right the wrong and to stand up to her parent’s rigid disapproval.
She secures a job as a ticket collector on the buses and a room in a London boarding house. Eventually, she is accepted into the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps where she is known simply as Lilly Parr. Treated as an equal, she spends her waking hours transporting wounded soldiers from the French battlefield to the field hospital where her brother, Edward’s, unlikely best school friend, Robbie is stationed.
Robbie is the son of a common dustman from the rough neighbourhood of Glasgow. He met Edward when he won a scholarship to Edward's elite boarding school. His sharp brain enabled him to progress into his career as a much-respected surgeon.
Robbie's achievements do not make him a suitable candidate for marriage, in the eyes of Lily’s parents. He is and always will be a commoner.
What a pity it is that Lily has the unfortunate circumstance of worshipping the ground Robbie occupies.
Will the events of war and the changing world be enough to bridge the gap?
I loved this story of love, and courage and social boundaries just aching to be broken. I became immersed in the characters and the time period from the get-go and read this book in four days.