Tuesday, 10 June 2014


Presenting Poppy by Mary Hooper.

Here is the summary of the book:

England, 1914. Poppy is fifteen, beautiful and clever, but society has already carved out her destiny. There's no question of her attending the grammar school - it's too expensive and unsuitable for a girl. Instead, Poppy will become a servant at the big house. And she'll 'keep out of trouble'. But Poppy's life is about to be thrown dramatically off course. The first reason is love - with someone forbidden, who could never, ever marry a girl like her. The second reason is war. Nothing could have prepared her for that. As she experiences what people are capable of - the best of humanity and the very worst - Poppy will find an unexpected freedom and discover how to be truly her own person.

Of War and friendship and the promise of first love, Mary Hooper's Poppy proves to be a heartbreakingly sweet journey. Circa 1914, a young adult tale in the middle of WWI. This was a year of great many changes regarding Women's right to vote and such. Mary Hooper's Poppy presents it all in its primal glory.

The war had just begun at the start of the tale and as such our titular character is the parlourmaid for the de Veres. Her destiny is mapped out for her, she is clever and with a sheen of innocence and naivete. She was accepted to a local college for further education but couldn't pay for so she has very accepted the position of a parlourmaid as her calling in life. But then one of her old teachers makes her an offer to volunteer in the war effort by becoming a nurse, in turn the teacher would help supplement her income if she accepts.

A daunting and quite a generous offer for Poppy, she is not sure how she would fare against the horror of war and its after effects. It is her affection towards the younger de Vere, Freddie is what seems to be holding her back. But when Freddie enlists, she also decides to volunteer.

An engaging and a very easy to follow and enjoy. Mary Hooper presents a historical young adult complete with rich details of the war and how it came to affect the general public of that era. And I am very glad to proclaim that romance took mostly the back seat here. While it does mention mutual affections from both Poppy and Freddie it didn't feel like that to me. Definitely felt more like a crush to me but maybe that can be cleared in the sequel.

Aside from that this a story brimful of bravery, patriotism, friendship and gory after shocks of war. "Wars are ugly affairs", Father Christmas said in the first Narnia movie and Mary Hooper presents it all in its eternal glory through Poppy's eyes as she experiences first hand what war does to people and the ugly truth of that reality.

"An engagingly heartbreaking tale"
Genre :      Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance

Publisher: Chicken House

Release Date: 8th May, 2014

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:              3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository


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