I believe it's official. I am a complete Charles Todd fan now. I believe I've read at least 5 of his books and his writing style is incomparable to any other author I've read. Each time I read a Bess Crawford book, I truly believe I am seeing and hearing things from the characters own point of view and that's why I believe his books are so addicting. You begin to care about the characters, in this case Lady Elspeth Douglas, who is struggling the social binds that require her to marry into her social status while being care for by her Cousin Kenneth since her parents have both passed away. Now at the height of World War 1, in 1914, Elspeth finds herself in France caring for her dear friend Madeline, who has just learned her husband is being called up for duty and must leave just as she is about to deliver her first child.
During her stay with Madeline, Elspeth becomes enchanted with Madeline's brother, Alain who she also learns is about to leave to join the war. On their last night together, Alain asks Elspeth for permission to court her when he returns from the war, and offers her his mother's ring as a token of their promise, which she accepts. Alain begs her to return to England fearing that the Germans will overtake the city of Paris soon and he won't be able to protect her. She promises she'll return once Madeline has the baby.
As Elspeth begins her journey home to England, she encounters some of the horrors of war, too many wounded dying men in desperate need of care and very limited resources. She offers what care she can as she comes upon the victims trying to find a way back across the English Channel but soon finds herself in danger and an unlikely hero in a childhood friend, Peter Gilchrist who saves her from being shelled while caring for the men. He helps secure her a way back to England but not without their being a spark of feelings between the two. Elspeth feels she can't commit to Peter even though she possess a different more strong sense of affection for Peter, because she has promised herself to Alain.
However with the war continuing Lady Elspeth feels she can't simply return to her life of luxury while so many are in need, so she attempts to find a way to join the nursing corps but without securing the permission of her Cousin Kenneth she won't be able to based solely on her social status. But Elspeth is determined to find a way to help those that she deeply cares for that are serving in the war, and nursing seems to be the only open door for her to learn the fate of the men she is torn between.
In the novel, The Walnut Tree by Charles Todd is a poignant, compelling tale brimming with adventure, danger and love. This is a enchanting holiday gift and a wonderful companion to Charles Todd's acclaimed Bess Crawford series. Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. I received The Walnut Tree compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and I can honest say this one was a heartwarming 5 out of 5 stars. I love historical romance novels with the World Wars as a perfect backdrop and this is no exception!
For more information on The Walnut Tree, Charles Todd, or where to pick up a copy of this wonderful novel today, please click on the links below:
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- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (October 30, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062236997
- ISBN-13: 978-0062236999
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