March 20, 2016 by kristin
Title: Fall of Poppies
Authors: Heather Webb, Jessica Brockmole, Hazel Gaynor, Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, Jennifer Robson, Marci Jefferson, Evangeline Holland
Genre: Adult Historical Anthology
One thing I love about historical fiction is learning about bits of the past you never hear about in school, the history that has fallen through the cracks. This anthology – a collection of short stories all centered around Armistice Day, the end of World War I – delivers the goods with lots of fascinating historical details, paired with those other essential ingredients for fantastic historical fiction (in my opinion anyway) – deep emotional impact and characters who seem whole and real.
These nine stories all tell different sides of essentially the same larger story – the world’s collective breath of relief at the end of the Great War, and then the realization that relief is not possible for everyone, or maybe anyone. That things get better, but the War has taken something from all of them.
Of the nine stories, a few made me cry, one made me smile all the way through, and two had my heart beating faster like I was watching an action flick. The anthology contains a good balance of stories from the points of view of soldiers and civilians, mothers, widows, young lovers and old, showing many facets of the War and its aftermath (though I did keep waiting in vain for a story told from the German side of things).
As a mother, I was deeply affected by Hazel Gaynor’s “Hush” and Heather Webb’s “Hour of the Bells.” As a romantic, I adored Jennifer Robson’s “All for the Love of You” and Jessica Brockmole’s “Something Worth Landing For.” I wish I could read more stories about some of these characters, particularly Brockmole’s frankly ADORABLE Wes and Victoire.
I suppose I will have to content myself with reading more of the anthology authors’ other works! I promptly went to Goodreads and added many of them to my TBR list.
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