In A Field Of Blue by Gemma Liviero

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I finished reading In A Field Of Blue by Gemma Liviero a few days ago, but have yet to start a new book. I’m just not ready to let go! Although this is a fairly long book, nearly 400 pages, I would have been thrilled to read another hundred. I remember feeling the same after reading author Liviero’s The Road Beyond Ruin.

Set in 1922 England, the story begins with Rudy Watts receiving a telegram from his mother summoning him home immediately. Arriving home he finds his mother entertaining a young french woman – Mariette, and small child – Samuel. Rudy quickly learns Mariette claims to be the widow of his oldest brother Edgar, who was reported missing toward the end of WW1. The child of course, his son.

With nothing more than a questionable marriage certificate as proof, the family is skeptical but allows them to stay while they research further. As time passes and they come to have feelings for Mariette and Samuel, they begin to trust and want to believe her story.

This comes to a crushing halt when middle brother Lawrence arrives home. Samuel’s existence threatening his claim to the family inheritance, he of course wants to believe none of it. After Mariette refuses his advances, she disappears without a trace.

Mariette’s sudden disappearance, leaving nothing behind but Samuel and a journal in Edgar’s handwriting, brings more questions and doubt.

Armed only with the cryptic entries in the journal and determined to find the truth, Rudy sets off on a journey that takes him on an adventure across multiple countries and continents, ultimately finding a truth no one expected.

The primary story takes place in 1922, but splits off to tell the story of Mariette –  her life and how she came to be in current circumstances, and the story of Edgar – his experience as a soldier in WW1 and ultimate disappearance.

Typical to Gemma Liviero’s writing, the characters are well developed with rich mysterious back stories; her words creating settings so real I can hear the gunfire and exploding bombs of war, hear and feel the silence of the frozen forest.

This story is a lovely web of secrets, lies and deceit woven with the love and loyalty of family that has nothing to do with blood lines. Likely my favorite historical fiction novel read so far this year, I highly recommend.

In A Field Of Blue
Gemma Liviero
Lake Union Publishing
February 2020

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