“You’re going to love Todd.” —Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
The critically acclaimed creator of the Inspector Ian Rutledge and battlefield nurse Bess Crawford mystery series, Charles Todd now offers readers a bittersweet love story and romantic mystery that unfolds at Christmas during the dangerous opening days of World War I. The Walnut Tree is an unforgettable story of a woman who puts herself in the line of fire for the sake of wounded soldiers and falls deeply in love with a man who may be forbidden to her. For anyone who has fallen under the spell of Downton Abbey, and for all the fans of the British-set mysteries of Elizabeth George, Anne Perry, Ruth Rendell, Martha Grimes, and Jacqueline Winspear, The Walnut Tree is essential reading.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As a fast and true fan of the Charles Todd novels I didn't quite know what to expect with this novel. This book is lovely, it is interesting, and it is as well written as any Charles Todd I've ever read. I have to admit to being rather surprised to find that it is strictly a romance. Lady Elspeth Douglas accepted a ring as a token of love and friendship on the part of Frenchman Alain Villard the evening before he left Paris to join his regiment. Lady Elspeth is not sure of her own feelings for Alain, but finds that she has agreed to allow him to approach her guardian regarding marriage when he returns from what they all believe will be a short time of combat against the Germans. Eventually Lady Elspeth is free of her obligation to Alain's sister and is ready to return to England. On her way to the coast from Paris she sees wounded soldiers awaiting transport back to England and tries to help in even the smallest way. She is spotted by an old friend now serving with his Scottish...
And indeed they do. The American mother-son team that writes the Inspector Ian Rutledge Scotland Yard mysteries and the battlefield nurse Bess Crawford whodunits have now added a delightful love story to their oeuvre that's set, as are their whodunits, in World War I Britain and France.
Did you know (I didn't) that back in 1914 a woman of the British uppercrust under the age of 30 !!! could not be proposed to without a parent or guardian's prior consent? Such is the case here. Our story opens with our heroine, Lady Elspeth Douglas, in Paris, waiting out the pregnancy of an old friend while the friend's husband is off fighting the Germans. Lady Elspeth's longtime crush, the friend's brother, proposes (provisionally of course, as he's not had "permission") before he too leaves for the front.
When the friend delivers and the Germans take Belgium and it becomes clear Paris is next, Lady Elspeth heads for Calais to catch a boat home, but she's too late. A...
I don't give out a lot of five star reviews but this book deserves everyone of those five stars. I'm not overly sure why it's called "A Holiday Tale" because it is NOT a Christmas book or any other holiday you can think of story. I can in a way understand being called that, but it is far to complicated to go into here. This is the story of a young titled English woman living in France when WWI breaks out. She sees the need of nurses and travels back to London to train to become a nursing sister and returns to France to nurse the wounded and dying. She hides the fact that she is Lady Elspeth, from the doctors and other nurses. I'll leave it there but what a wonderful historical novel. I both read and listened to the audible version. The Audible narrator was the best I have ever heard. English, French and Scottish accents were impeccable! I finally gave up reading and listened only. First rate everything. Clean book. No swearing, no violence, no immorality issues. Don't miss out...
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