I have been reading at full speed these past weeks, and have read the next two books in this series. As this book released yesterday, I will post my review.
Eve Brannon never had to bother planning out her future. In the Yorkshire dales where life is harder, it is also simpler. Next in line to inherit her family’s farm, she will raise another generation of children and sheep high in the uplands of England. Waiting until next year when she is 19 to marry her father’s handsome hired hand, Alan, is the detail she added herself.
But in 1939 even the most stalwart corners of the world are vibrating with the tremors of change. Eve’s long-anticipated proposal comes on the wings of losing Alan to the Royal Army and at the brink of the farm’s profitable war years the sheep herd is decimated by a mysterious illness. With her steady future suddenly in the clutches of a capricious fate, Eve is introduced to Jonathon Doran, a land manager anxious to prove himself in a crisis, and she discovers that the solid earth beneath her feet is moving after all.
This book was a very different read from the other books in series, from the completely different era set in the early dawn of WWII in the English hills on a sheep farm, to a personal journal style recounting of events.
Eve is what I would expect of her character, but the more you get a look into the inner workings of her rather complex mind, the more you discover there is so much more to her than just an English farm girl. She has this soft, yet very strong-willed personality, set in an era where woman don’t always have the luxury of having an own opinion and say in every matter. She is grown up in so many ways, taking care of the farm, and the men living on it, yet she is so young and inexperienced in matters of the heart. She longs to feel loved and wanted, but is so unfamiliar how to go about it all.
Then she is thrown in an engagement that she thought she always wanted, and feeling all kinds of feelings she’s not quite familiar with for Alan, when Jonathan Doran comes along and throws a spanner in the works. Poor Eve is torn in two trying to understand her feelings, and fighting to feel the ones she thinks are the right ones for the right man, when for us as readers it is all so very clear what she must do, and where her heart truly lies.
I loved the complete honesty of Eve. It made her so very real and likeable. She makes mistakes, she longs for what we all as women, and especially love sick girls long for, and the fact she is conveying all of this in her personal account, makes her go into the gruesome, painful details, and give you the core of the matter. I loved that. No need to fill in too many blanks, it was right there in her very thoughts and emotions, making you remember those heart wrenching feelings of first love and the painful dilemmas one sometimes faces when one falls in and out of love.
My heart went out to Alan. He is such a sweet, loyal guy, clearly not the perfect fit for Eve, but such a kind and loving guy under his very few words and very down to business exterior. Somewhere in my mind I could connect to him, even though I feel we have absolutely nothing in common. That takes real literary talent, so kudos to Miss Sirois for making me go through all of these feelings, emotions, and connect with every character in this tale.
I also liked learning so much about sheep farming in that era. Who ever knew it was such a complicated profession? When disaster struck, I felt absorbed into the story, and kept reading to find out what would happen, and if a miracle would save this poor family.
That being said, I missed a few things in this book. To move the world is a book in the Power of the Matchmaker series, which has the recurring character of Miss Pearl. In this book, Miss Pearl only enters in the very last half of the book, when it is almost very clear where Eve’s heart will take her. Also it is so sad to see Miss Pearl’s role is so small. She is only meant to be a supporting role, but in this book her name isn’t even mentioned, her matchmaking skills are not even put to good use, she barely even plants a thought in Eve’s mind. That was a missing element for me.
The whole book was very detailed to the point of giving possibly too many details, but still being enjoyable, then the last chapter skips over 2 years, and gives you a glimpse of a possible ending. I felt a little cheated. If we are going to skip past years, why not to the end of the war, and the return of her soldier, and an actual wedding and HEA? Now I was left wondering whether Eve would find true happiness (which was implied at the end) or forever be alone (which still is a possibility, there is a world war going on). And this was quite a read to be left wondering at the end.
All in all, a good read, a nice change from what I am used to reading, and a nice addition to the series.
About the Author
Regina Sirois believes in intelligent books that challenge us to reach higher and be better. She believes in the powerful years of adolescence and loves to capture the raw moments when young adults begin to solidify into the people they were meant to be. She lives in Kansas with her high school sweetheart (also known as her husband), her two daughters, and their nearly hairless cat. She continues to write stories that won’t leave her alone.