September 19, 2017
Blurb: From the author of Secrets of Nanreath Hall comes this gripping, beautifully written historical fiction novel set during World War II—the unforgettable story of a young woman who must leave Singapore and forge a new life in England.
On the eve of Pearl Harbor, impetuous and overindulged, Lucy Stanhope, the granddaughter of an earl, is living a life of pampered luxury in Singapore until one reckless act will change her life forever.
Exiled to England to stay with an aunt she barely remembers, Lucy never dreamed that she would be one of the last people to escape Singapore before war engulfs the entire island, and that her parents would disappear in the devastating aftermath. Now grief stricken and all alone, she must cope with the realities of a grim, battle-weary England.
Then she meets Bill, a young evacuee sent to the country to escape the Blitz, and in a moment of weakness, Lucy agrees to help him find his mother in London. The unlikely runaways take off on a seemingly simple journey across the country, but her world becomes even more complicated when she is reunited with an invalided soldier she knew in Singapore.
Now Lucy will be forced to finally confront the choices she has made if she ever hopes to have the future she yearns for.
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
Even though the blurb tells the future reader that Lucy Stanhope is over-indulged, I was not initially prepared for the spoiled brat with the waspish tongue that appeared on the pages of the first few chapters. I kind of clenched my teeth and spirited on.
Despite the fact that war was raging all around her, Lucy and the elite living in Singapore dined in fashion and were coddled in their affluent, carefree existence. However Lucy, typically throwing caution to the wind, antagonizes her step-father, the purse-string holder and ends up on a ship sailing back to London.
While Lucy never becomes a demure dishcloth (thank goodness!), her character does change through the novel as she embarks on an adventure with young Bill to London in the hopes of finding his mother and for her to obtain a film career.
Along the way, Lucy encounters Michael, a soldier she had met in Singapore who had to return to England because of a serious bout of malaria. Michael is an affable character, who never buckles under Lucy’s derision, but who seems more amused if anything.
I enjoyed The Way to London far more than I thought I would after reading the first chapter. In some ways, Lucy reminded me of a WWII version of Scarlet O’Hara, never letting a few calamities get in her way, but Lucy is not quite as stubborn as Scarlet and does allow herself to soften.
The interactions between Lucy and Michael and Bill made me smile frequently. I liked that Michael always gave as good as he got with regard to Lucy. And young Bill is a scamp. I would love to see how his character grows up!
After so much adventure in this character-driven novel, I expected something a bit more from the ending because I really doubt that Lucy would ever succumb to a neatly packaged life completed with gift wrap and ribbon, or at least I hope she wouldn’t. But I’ll not go into detail so that if you choose to read The Way to London you can do so spoiler-free. We’ll just say that The Way to London probably ended one or two scenes too early for me.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
From Amazon: The Way to London
4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies