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Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War

Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War

4.2 71
by Jennifer Robson, Alison Larkin (Narrated by)

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In the dark and dangerous days of World War I, a daring young woman will risk her life to find her destiny.


In the dark and dangerous days of World War I, a daring young woman will risk her life to find her destiny.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Robson’s first novel examines the dynamic between love and duty in the midst of historical tragedy. As the story begins in 1914 England, Lady Elizabeth “Lilly” Neville-Ashford is under her domineering mother’s thumb. Countess Ashford is determined that Lilly marry another member of the aristocracy and has no qualms about interfering when Robert Fraser, a surgeon from a working-class background and the best friend of Lilly’s brother, Edward, shows the young woman kindness and interest. When WWI begins, Edward and Robert both sign up promptly to serve, and Lilly breaks with her family to do the same. She becomes an ambulance driver on the front lines in France, and when the chance comes to be assigned to Robert’s field hospital, she jumps at it. The love that grows between Lilly and Robert is colored by their proximity to war and death, as well as by the duty they both feel to their country. Robson’s skillful ability with detail and setting firmly relates the grotesqueries of war without gratuitous gore. Her deft touch as a storyteller keeps readers engaged in the story of the lovers, as well as illuminating the bigger picture of the war raging around them. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (Jan.)
Lynn Sheene
Set in the turbulent years of the first world war, Somewhere in France is a heartfelt portrait of love, courage, and self-discovery. Robson deftly weaves a tale richly steeped in the atmosphere, drama and heroism of an evolving and war-torn world. A compelling and memorable read.
“Robson intermingles the overarching themes of love, war, and societal strictures in this appealing read that should resonate with fans of Downton Abbey.”
Huffington Post
“…the fiercely independent Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford (Lily) will be sure to inspire readers.”
Erika Robuck
“Utterly engaging and richly satisfying, Somewhere in France depicts the very best in love and war. Fans of Downton Abbey will devour this novel!”
From the Publisher
"Robson intermingles the overarching themes of love, war, and societal strictures in this appealing read that should resonate with fans of Downton Abbey." ---Booklist
Library Journal
When Lady Elizabeth "Lilly" Neville-Ashford breaks free of her wealthy parents' control and becomes an ambulance driver at the front, "somewhere in France," she discovers an unexpected perk in also being able to be close to her childhood crush, surgeon Robbie Fraser, whose lower-class origins made him an unworthy suitor in her parents' eyes. The war provides its own obstacles to the couple's relationship, however, and Robbie and Lilly struggle to overcome both the horrors around them and their own fears and anxieties about the future. VERDICT Although Robbie and Lilly's love story dominates the narrative, debut novelist Robson never creates enough tension to leave the reader in any doubt about the romance's probable outcome, and Robbie remains a somewhat bland and underdeveloped figure throughout. Lilly's determination and insistence on learning to be more independent, however, should appeal to readers who like tales of plucky heroines making the best of tough circumstances, and her unusual perspective as a female ambulance driver puts an interesting spin on the scenes of wartime carnage.

Product Details

Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
MP3 - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Robson is a former editor and is now a full-time writer. She had a doctorate in British economic and social history from Saint Antony's College at the University of Oxford. Her father is acclaimed historian Stuart Robson. Jennifer lives in Toronto with her husband and young children.

An AudioFile Earphones Award winner, Alison Larkin is a classically trained actress who has appeared on Broadway with the Royal National Theatre and Off-Broadway with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her unusually wide range of voices can be heard in award-winning audiobooks, cartoons, and movies.

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Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please bn, can you do something to the plot spoiler heart2heart. She constantly reveals every detail of the book, sometimes including the ending of the story. There is absolutely no reason to reveal this much detail in a review. A few lines is all thats needed to tell if a book is good or not, yet this plot spoiler consistently goes into minute detail about the entire story line. Please do something to her, ban her or something. She is getting as bad as harriet klausner.
AngieJG More than 1 year ago
This novel interested me because it is about a time period I am very interested in. I appreciated the different viewpoint that this novel had to offer than others who write about WWI. This author chose to write about the females who participated in the war, not something that is often talked about. The bravery of the female ambulance drivers is amazing. Robson does a wonderful job painting a picture of a very unglamorous position in the war. It was nice that the characters with removed from their gilded cages and into the war. An heiress who seemingly has it all is the main character. She shows that women wanted more than sitting around, looking pretty, and searching out the best bred man to marry. Lilly is the main character, and her brother Edward is similar in that he is out to prove he is capable of more than a desk job that he easily could have settled in to given his station in life. Though the novel covers complicated territory, it is somewhat simplistic and rather predictable. Some may complain about that aspect, but I found it comforting. I liked all the characters, and couldn't put the novel down. Since the book was somewhat predictable and simplistic, I wanted a book 2 right away. I wanted to see how life would carry on once this tragic war ended. Overall, I would recommend this novel to historical fiction audiences.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love stories that have to do with WWI or WWII so when I heard about Somewhere in France I knew I had to read it. After the first couple of chapters I thought it was going to be Like Judith Kinghorn novel '"The Last Summer". This book was nothing like it and I enjoyed ever minute of it. If you like a good love story and WWI then this is a book for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A MUST READ for Downton Abby genre fans~
banker247 More than 1 year ago
I love reading books that took place in the early 1900's with the prim and properness of the ladies and gentlemen. This was a beautiful love story that just shows love will find a way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought this was going to be another "Downton wannabe" but was pleasantly surprised it was not. At times the plot dragged a little, but overall it was very good. After finishing it several days ago I find myself still thinking about it.
macleaves More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Great love story set in the battlefields of WWI. If you are a fan of Downton Abbey this young lady will remind you of Lady Sybil, spunky and trying to be her own person in an era where that was nearly impossible for a woman of her class. Not as graphic in the war scenes as others I have read, but can be a little grizzly.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A sweet love story that takes place during war and through a few countries with the two lovers from different "cultures," and how to overcome all of these very large obstacles!  Lady Ashford wants to see what is beyond her upbringing and leaves her cozy family home to help in the war effort while her brother's best friend came from nothing and has become a respected surgeon, but wants to help in his own way with the war effort as well.  Their paths cross a few times, but will it end positively?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the strong female characters. The story has romance, adventure, disputes and anger, friendship, and suspence. The book was well worth my time and money. In fact, I'm starting to read her follow up book immediatey! Another book that is excellent on the NOOK is the Indie Award winning novel, The Partisan, by William Jarvis. This novel takes place during WWII and is based on actual events. It also has strong female and male characters. Both books have settings that are interesting as well as readable. One book is about the horror of WWI and the other the evils of WWII. Both books deserve A+++++
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Borrowed this book from a friend , very glad that I didn't purchase it. When I began to read , the characters and the plot were so familiar that I thought perhaps I had already read the book previously . It then dawned on me that the similarities between Ms. Robson's work and that of Vera Britain's TESTAMENT OF YOUTH were strikingly similar . Ms. Robson merely made minor changes . A very predictable romance story suitable for teenage girls .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! I found myself so invested in the characters Can't wait to read the next book.
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Worth the read. Needed an epilogue
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent! This was one of those books that you just can't put down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. Lots of the history about women in WW1 and an interesting love story.
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marabee More than 1 year ago
I spend hours of enjoyment reading "Somewhere in France". Thank you Ms. Robson for such a pleasure.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im a history buff and this book well researched and written. Thoroughly enjoyed IT!