This was a quaint World War 1 romance. I was so surprised to see how much our lives have clanged over the years. Stella Nolan is a war widow who sets out to visit her in-laws and the book takes over from there. It chronicles Stella's arrival, a pleasant discovery, and Stella's life since then. Jeffrey describes the trauma of war veterans and the behaviour of their wives. she also talks of the upstairs downstairs culture and all in all it's a very satisfying read.
Stella Nolan's whirlwind marriage during WW I seems very romantic, until he is killed in battle only weeks after they met. His parents do the right thing and invite her for Christmas. She immediately faints, upchucks, and they realize she is pregnant. Their quick negative appraisal of her (especially by her husband's sister) immediately turns to solicitous positive appraisal (especially by her mother-in-law). They offer her a home. Since she can't continue her career as a nurse, and is broke, she feels she must accept, though something doesn't feel right. This taut novel tells the back story of their romance, and how Stella comes to terms with her situation. The ending seems not to fit, wrapping things up a bit too neatly, solving her problem and that of her brother-in-law, a painter unappreciated by his wife and her family. Many charming moments, and seems true to the time and place on the home front.
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