The Way to London
From the author of Secrets of Nanreath Hall comes this gripping, beautifully written historical fiction novel set during World War II—the unforgettable story of a young woman who must leave Singapore and forge a new life in England.On the eve of Pearl Harbor, impetuous and overindulged, Lucy Stanhope, the granddaughter of an earl, is living a life of pampered luxury in Singapore until one reckless act will change her life forever.Exiled to England to stay with an aunt she barely remembers, Lucy never dreamed that she would be one of the last people to escape Singapore before war engulfs the entire island, and that her parents would disappear in the devastating aftermath. Now grief stricken and all alone, she must cope with the realities of a grim, battle-weary England.Then she meets Bill, a young evacuee sent to the country to escape the Blitz, and in a moment of weakness, Lucy agrees to help him find his mother in London. The unlikely runaways take off on a seemingly simple journey across the country, but her world becomes even more complicated when she is reunited with an invalided soldier she knew in Singapore.Now Lucy will be forced to finally confront the choices she has made if she ever hopes to have the future she yearns for.

The Way to London Details

TitleThe Way to London
Author
ReleaseSep 19th, 2017
PublisherWilliam Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN-139780062433213
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, War, World War II, Fiction

The Way to London Review

  • Ann Marie
    January 1, 1970
    You can enter to win a copy of The Way to London at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine till 11:59pm 9/29/17. As many of you know, I’m always up for what’s new in WWII fiction and books set in England so I was very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the tour for this book. The Way to London is very much a character driven novel that provided a fresh and somewhat lighter read than many WWII novels already on my shelf.The book begins with Lucy living a life of luxury in Singapore. It would be easy to You can enter to win a copy of The Way to London at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine till 11:59pm 9/29/17. As many of you know, I’m always up for what’s new in WWII fiction and books set in England so I was very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the tour for this book. The Way to London is very much a character driven novel that provided a fresh and somewhat lighter read than many WWII novels already on my shelf.The book begins with Lucy living a life of luxury in Singapore. It would be easy to mistake her for a shallow, spoiled young woman. And perhaps she is a bit. But there’s usually a reason people behave the way they do and Lucy is no exception. Bounced from one nanny to another and sent to boarding school, Lucy has never had a close relationship with either of her parents. So it’s no surprise that she seeks attention where she can find it and has some difficulty making meaningful connections.As rumors of war swirl around Singapore, Lucy’s mother and lecherous stepfather discover that Lucy has been having a relationship with Yoon Hai, the nephew a prominent Chinese business associate. Lucy is ordered to be sent away lest she interfere with the marriage contract already being negotiated for Yoon Hai’s marriage to another woman. She is to be on the next ship to England to be sent to live with Lady Boxley, an aunt she barely knows.When she arrives, she finds that her aunt’s estate has been turned into a military hospital. Despite this and the evidence of the hardship of war all round her, Lucy does her best to continue living the life a carefree, moneyed woman, frequenting the pubs and defying her aunt’s wishes. This continues until Bill, a young refugee, comes into her life prompting a series of events that will lead them both on a journey to find “home”.Alix Rickloff has created many characters to love in this book which is actually very refreshing. Though flawed, most of the characters are inherently good. I found Lucy to be daring, sassy, witty, and deeply emotional despite her best efforts to hide it. There were several characters who took their time in revealing their true nature which worked beautifully in this book. And then there was Bill. Rough around the edges? Perhaps. In need of a little structure? Well, yes. A good-hearted young man any reader could love? Most definitely!And now I must address the romance bit… Many of you already know that romance is not my jam. I’ve been through reading the sappy stuff now for many years. To my own amazement, I actually liked the romance that developed in The Way to London. I know, I can’t believe it either! Perhaps that’s because it was more playful and realistic to me as opposed to the predictable gratuitous stuff authors sometimes try to sneak in. Whatever it was, it worked.Overall, this was a very fast, enjoyable read that I’m tempted to call WWII “light”. In a refreshing departure from many WWII novels, it doesn’t contain bloody battle scenes and won’t make you cry for hours. That’s not to say it’s without depth. It provides it’s own brand of wonderful in a charming, heartwarming way.I hadn’t read anything by Alix Rickloff in the past and was shocked to learn that she also writes paranormal romance. Though you probably won’t find me reading one of those, I’m impressed with her versatility and would certainly read another of her novels in the future.4.25/5 stars
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    I looked forward to reading this book. I am a fan of these types of books. As the saying goes, the first impression is the most important. Well my first impression of Lucy was not a great one. I found her to be inconsiderate, disrespectful, and childish. I am glad that her step father and mother finally took a stand against Lucy and sent her away, even if it took an incident to make them act. After, that incident, I thought I would try to be open minded towards Lucy, thinking that she would chan I looked forward to reading this book. I am a fan of these types of books. As the saying goes, the first impression is the most important. Well my first impression of Lucy was not a great one. I found her to be inconsiderate, disrespectful, and childish. I am glad that her step father and mother finally took a stand against Lucy and sent her away, even if it took an incident to make them act. After, that incident, I thought I would try to be open minded towards Lucy, thinking that she would change for the better. Which, she did but it was a slow change. One that I would and expect. It is not like I expected Lucy to change overnight. Although, I had another problem. It was the rest of the story and the other characters. I found no connection to any of it. Thus it made it made for me to want to stick with this book and continue until the end. Not, that I did as I only made it about half way. I lost my way to London.
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  • Chanel Cleeton
    January 1, 1970
    Featuring a strong heroine and an emotional journey, The Way to London is a beautiful story of love, friendship, and the strength of the human spirit set against the backdrop of the tumultuous events of World War II.
  • Sharlene
    January 1, 1970
    I can not say enough about how fabulous this book is. In the midst of war Alix Rickloff is able to capture the human spirit of survival and even humor. Her 3 main characters are some of the best I have come across and the supporting cast is just as endearing. I laughed, shed a few tears and fell in love with The Way to London. Put this on your #TBR list. Twelve year old Bill will steal your heart.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Find this and other reviews at: https://flashlightcommentary.blogspot...Alix Rickloff’s Secrets of Nanreath Hall made a fabulous impression on several of my friends, but The Way to London: A Novel of World War II marks my first experience with her work. I’m not entirely sure what I expected going in, but I was generally optimistic and am pleased to report my confidence was not entirely misplaced.Spoiled socialite, Lucy Stanhope, reminded me quite strongly of Naomi Watts’ Kitty Fane, but that’s n Find this and other reviews at: https://flashlightcommentary.blogspot...Alix Rickloff’s Secrets of Nanreath Hall made a fabulous impression on several of my friends, but The Way to London: A Novel of World War II marks my first experience with her work. I’m not entirely sure what I expected going in, but I was generally optimistic and am pleased to report my confidence was not entirely misplaced.Spoiled socialite, Lucy Stanhope, reminded me quite strongly of Naomi Watts’ Kitty Fane, but that’s not entirely surprising when one considers the nature and scope of the story. There is an oft ridiculous immaturity in her make-up and while I respect the opinions of those who struggled to appreciate her personality, I’d like to point out how difficult it’d be to recognize her emotional transformation if the author had centered the novel on a universally likable protagonist.The story itself is chock-full of wit, but the novel is character driven and those looking for a hard hitting historical are destined for disappointment. Rickoff’s is human story that wastes little time on the politics or cultural impact of the war which is where I struggled to appreciate the narrative. It’s fun and engaging, but it was light and leaves little for the reader to sink their teeth into.
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  • Sascha
    January 1, 1970
    4 1/2 stars. Even though the blurb tells the future reader that Lucy Stanhope is over-indulged, I was not initially prepared for the spoiled brat with the waspish tongue that appeared on the pages of the first few chapters. I kind of clenched my teeth and spirited on.Despite the fact that war was raging all around her, Lucy and the elite living in Singapore dined in fashion and were coddled in their affluent, carefree existence. However Lucy, typically throwing caution to the wind, antagonizes h 4 1/2 stars. Even though the blurb tells the future reader that Lucy Stanhope is over-indulged, I was not initially prepared for the spoiled brat with the waspish tongue that appeared on the pages of the first few chapters. I kind of clenched my teeth and spirited on.Despite the fact that war was raging all around her, Lucy and the elite living in Singapore dined in fashion and were coddled in their affluent, carefree existence. However Lucy, typically throwing caution to the wind, antagonizes her step-father, the purse-string holder and ends up on a ship sailing back to London.read more: https://saschadarlington.me/2017/09/1...
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  • Haley
    January 1, 1970
    It’s not often that I change my opinion of a character so much as I did in The Way to London. Lucy is SUCH a spoiled little brat at the beginning of this–she thinks the world actually revolves around her and how DARE anyone suggest otherwise. Her spitfire spirit and love of gin were the only two things that appealed to me, and I was ready to cast this book off.But, war is coming to Singapore, and she is all but shoved onto a boat back to England. Again…HOW DARE. Reality quickly sets in, and so d It’s not often that I change my opinion of a character so much as I did in The Way to London. Lucy is SUCH a spoiled little brat at the beginning of this–she thinks the world actually revolves around her and how DARE anyone suggest otherwise. Her spitfire spirit and love of gin were the only two things that appealed to me, and I was ready to cast this book off.But, war is coming to Singapore, and she is all but shoved onto a boat back to England. Again…HOW DARE. Reality quickly sets in, and so does Lucy’s character development. It happens slowly throughout the story, but it’s a bit like a flower opening as she discovers what love is.There is romance in this historical fiction novel, but the theme is more about finding your chosen family. Love takes all kinds of forms, in all kinds of people–not just between potential marriage partners. I certainly recommend this for lovers of WWII historical fiction!
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  • Gaele
    January 1, 1970
    A troublesome and difficult to like character in Lucy, she’s just like her mother: over-indulged, selfish, self-absorbed, sharp-tongued and manipulative, she’s always felt out of place and unwanted by her mother, even as she is following closely in her footsteps. Repeated moves and adjustments as her mother jumps from rich man to richer man, her current stepfather has been funding (read paying off) Lucy’s exploits in Singapore, until a confrontation with one of his potential investors leads to h A troublesome and difficult to like character in Lucy, she’s just like her mother: over-indulged, selfish, self-absorbed, sharp-tongued and manipulative, she’s always felt out of place and unwanted by her mother, even as she is following closely in her footsteps. Repeated moves and adjustments as her mother jumps from rich man to richer man, her current stepfather has been funding (read paying off) Lucy’s exploits in Singapore, until a confrontation with one of his potential investors leads to her being sent back to an Aunt in England, one she doesn’t remember. Lucy was incredibly difficult to empathize with: she’s built a shell of waspish responses and self-indulgent behaviors that, when finally explained are understandable, but wear very thin through the early chapters. There is little to no self-awareness of her less attractive traits, and her desire to be loved and accepted and finally acknowledged by her mother leads her into bad choices. Incredibly bad choices. On the way to her “exile’ the ship is torpedoed and her dreams are again thwarted as she awaits rescue from a lifeboat to head to her aunt’s. Enter Bill, a 12 year old child from London, evacuated from the city because of the Blitz, and the two form an unlikely friendship. Much like Lucy, Bill has always felt out of place which leads him to act out and get in trouble, if only for attention. Wanting to go home, as the country isn’t for him, the two head off to London, a journey that is fraught with peril and dangers, even as we see Lucy, for the first time in our knowing her, to look out for someone other than herself. Encountering an American GI that she had first met in Singapore, the attraction is clear, but Lucy is starting to see her behavior as what it was: indulged, self-absorbed and off-putting, although the attraction she finds for the soldier just may be a turning point for her and her aimless life. Expectations for her own life were never completely tied to love, as she doesn’t really believe in it. But, no matter the man, he would be titled and wealthy, and this soldier is neither. But he appreciates the airs she pulls around herself like armor, finds her funny, and she has softened with her relationship with Bill, as the two are trying to find home and hope in a war-torn, weary country. Half adventure and half love story, the sights, sounds and struggles brought on by the war are clearly defined and described, even as the story is solidly character driven. And what a cast of characters! Lucy is troublesome from the start, and does show great growth and maturation throughout the story, even if she backslides into old patterns. Bill becomes the star of the show: a young boy with a world-weary attitude, used to fighting for every morsel of attention he’s given: he’ll steal your heart and make you hope for his life to change. While the romance was more than a bit predictable, the changes in Lucy that allowed for her to contemplate a relationship far different from those she knew with her mother is heartening, and if you can get past your initial dislike of Lucy, this is a story well worth reading. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. Review first appeared at I am, Indeed
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    This is a well written book about WWII and how it affected the lives of the rich. I can promise you that you won't like the main character at the beginning of the book - she is sarcastic and rude and a real elitist who doesn't care how other people live or how the war is changing their lives. Don't let your feelings towards her, affect your decision to continue reading this book. I think that the author deliberately made her unlikable to show how she changes throughout the book. When you finish This is a well written book about WWII and how it affected the lives of the rich. I can promise you that you won't like the main character at the beginning of the book - she is sarcastic and rude and a real elitist who doesn't care how other people live or how the war is changing their lives. Don't let your feelings towards her, affect your decision to continue reading this book. I think that the author deliberately made her unlikable to show how she changes throughout the book. When you finish this book, you'll be glad that you read it and left with a memory of a strong female character.The book begins in Singapore, where spoiled and pampered Lucy is living the life of luxury with little thought about the oncoming war. After a possible scandal involving her, she is exiled to London to live with an aunt that she barely knows. On the way to London, the transport ship that she is on is torpedoed and she arrives at her aunt's with none of her beautiful clothes. Her aunt's huge home is now being used by the military as a hospital and she isn't at all happy about the rules that she is forced to follow. On a whim, she decides to help a young evacuee return to London to find his mom. What should have been a one day trip, ends up taking weeks and once she gets to London, it's not the beautiful and extravagant London that she remembers. Will Lucy grow up and accept life like it is during these war years or will she continue to yearn for her extravagant and pampered lifestyle from earlier? Her decision affects not only her but other people in her world who have come to know the real Lucy and why she acts the way that she does.This is a lovely book about the changes being brought about by war and about finding happiness no matter what you have to leave behind.
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  • The Library Lady
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, Alix Rickloff, you got me. I started out hating Lucy, and I think I was supposed to do so. But as the book progressed, and I learned more of her back story, and as I watched her grow and learn to care for others, I started pulling for her. The romance and ending were predictable, but satisfying.All in all, well done.
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  • Lisarenee
    January 1, 1970
    >>>>> My Synopsis (Review Follows): <<<<<Lucy Stanhope is a spoiled debutante living the good, but boring life in Singapore as World War II encroaches upon its shore. Just months before all hell breaks loose, her mother banishes her to England to live with her estranged aunt as punishment for her total disregard for priority and for almost sabotaging her stepfather's business deal. As the ship makes its way to England, however, it's torpedoed, and so begins a journe >>>>> My Synopsis (Review Follows): <<<<<Lucy Stanhope is a spoiled debutante living the good, but boring life in Singapore as World War II encroaches upon its shore. Just months before all hell breaks loose, her mother banishes her to England to live with her estranged aunt as punishment for her total disregard for priority and for almost sabotaging her stepfather's business deal. As the ship makes its way to England, however, it's torpedoed, and so begins a journey that will test her inner strength and beliefs ultimately changing her life forever. >>>>> My Review: <<<<<This was a lovely journey of self discovery. When we first meet Lucy she is a self indulgent young woman desperate for attention, but who goes about getting it in all the wrong ways--sometimes to the point of recklessness. She's always felt a bit like an outsider, constantly being moved from one place to another and never setting down any roots. With no immediate plans for the future and constantly trying to gain her mother's approval and affections, she tends to act out and do what she wants. While not happy about going to England, she hopes she'll somehow manage to find her place in the world. When a chance encounter with a Hollywood producer suggests he could make her a star, she really think much of the offer. As the idea begins to take root, she sets her sights on being "discovered" as she suspects Hollywood might be her ticket to getting her what she wants. Her mother would no longer be able to deny her existence and maybe, just maybe, be happy to lay claim to her.Bill is a young boy whom Lucy befriends. Separated from his mother during the evacuation program set up to save London's youth during the worst of London's air raids, Bill is equally ignored and frequently finds himself in trouble. In Bill, Lucy finds a kindred spirit often times seeing bit of herself in him. Right from the start, the two get along swimmingly. Together they decide to venture into the war torn region of London--one in search of his mother, the other for a shot at stardom.Lucy is more than she first appears. As the story progresses, we watch her grow as an individual and find herself right before our eyes. Instead of trying to do things that will get her mom to notice her, she starts trying to figure out what she wants. She begins to wonder what would make her happy. That's a luxury that until recently she really had no control over. As she makes her way to London with Bill, she loses her prickly disposition and begins to open up to life, love, and all the possibilities that exist..Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. It hooked me at the get-go and kept my attention. I hadn't a clue what to expect with this one, but it was intermittently funny, witty, and serious. I enjoyed the multifaceted characters, and felt as if I'd stepped through a portal back in time. I'm not sure taking a young boy back to London in the middle of a war zone was the wisest of decisions, but I enjoyed the journey and story nevertheless. I'll definitely be reading more books by this author in the near future.
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  • Kathleen (Kat) Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes you pick up a novel expecting one thing and get so much more. The Way to London By Alix Rickloff is one such novel. Set among the war that is just on the verge of breaking out, over indulged socialite Lucy Stanhope has followed in the ways of her promiscuous mother Amelia. It seems after her mother had given birth to Lucy, all she can do is find ways to hand her daughter off to a nanny or boarding school in order to fulfill her maternal expectations. But Lucy can see through all of tha Sometimes you pick up a novel expecting one thing and get so much more. The Way to London By Alix Rickloff is one such novel. Set among the war that is just on the verge of breaking out, over indulged socialite Lucy Stanhope has followed in the ways of her promiscuous mother Amelia. It seems after her mother had given birth to Lucy, all she can do is find ways to hand her daughter off to a nanny or boarding school in order to fulfill her maternal expectations. But Lucy can see through all of that. As her mother bounces from one relationship to another, finding wealthy men who can serve her needs and fund her lifestyle choices, Lucy feels the consequences of those choices. As the family heads to Singapore just before the attack on Pearl Harbor, her new stepfather expects something for funding all of Lucy's wild expenditures. After all he has no blood relation to her so he isn't about to be breaking any rules except infidelity to Amelia, but as long as the money keeps flowing, she isn't about to rock the financial boat. When Lucy is asked to distract a wealthy client of her stepfathers, things escalate to the point where they have asked that Lucy be removed back to London or risk the financial backing of the client to her stepfather. She doesn't realize what a blessing it might be in the long run. So while heading back to London aboard a steamship they are torpedoed in the middle of the night on the eve of war, and she finds herself on a lifeboat waiting to be picked up and delivered back to London to live with her wealthy aunt. Unfortunately it will be a set of circumstances that will forever test her resolved that in the past has suited her needs but will she be able to temper her rash tongue that has always felt free to speak her mind regardless of the outcome. When she find solace in an American soldier she first met in Singapore, it seems like fate may have a role to play in where her future is heading even as war breaks out all around them. I received The Way to London by Alix Rickloff compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. While this is such a riveting story, there are parts of the novel that readers should be cautioned about. There is a handful of profanity used as well as the promiscuous lifestyle of Lucy's that causes her to use men as she fits if they can benefit her. But the real story is the way she comes to resolve all the pain she has built up around her to protect herself from being hurt any further. I love her fiery grit and determination that keeps her from being a victim but also keeps her from also letting in anyone to love her as well. I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars based on my own review guidelines and really enjoyed this one so much I read it in one evening.
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  • Chaya Nebel
    January 1, 1970
    This is a beautiful and well-written picaresque tale with a headstrong protagonist, an emotional backstory, and a journey full of hope and aspirations, stumbles and failures, dangers and adventures. It's a story of an unlikely friendship and the tale of one young woman's difficult emotional and physical perseverance against a backdrop of war. Lucy Stanhope is a spoiled rich kid whose absent and uninvolved mother, married to her 3rd husband, is becoming tired of Lucy's troublemaking and shenaniga This is a beautiful and well-written picaresque tale with a headstrong protagonist, an emotional backstory, and a journey full of hope and aspirations, stumbles and failures, dangers and adventures. It's a story of an unlikely friendship and the tale of one young woman's difficult emotional and physical perseverance against a backdrop of war. Lucy Stanhope is a spoiled rich kid whose absent and uninvolved mother, married to her 3rd husband, is becoming tired of Lucy's troublemaking and shenanigans in their adopted country of Singapore, and even of her very presence. So Lucy is shipped back home to England to wait out World War II at the home of her stodgy aunt in Cornwall, a prospect that Lucy finds terrifically boring. However, Lucy wants adventure, and a life that defies expectation. So she embarks on a journey to London, accompanied by a young imp who is on his own search for home: his long-lost mother. The two travel together and encounter all manner of adventures and obstacles on their way to their joint and individual futures. This is a character-driven story, and luckily, Lucy's character is so well-drawn, colorful, realistic, and interesting that the reader's interest is sustained throughout. Despite the fact that Lucy is spoiled, flirtatious, and almost certainly an alcoholic, Lucy is quite likable. She's a troublemaker, rude, and entitled. but she's got a quite sad back story, which the author interweaves with her current situation to Lucy's advantage. Her mother isn't much of one, and her father has been absent all her life; in addition, she's saddled with a lecherous stepfather. So she's had to fend for herself all her life. She's been alone and as she notes early on, as a result she doesn't cozy up to people easily or befriend anyone whom she can't use. However, she has a deep compassionate streak, which accounts for her taking Bill under her wing.. Her character thus provides great material and foundation here on which to build this story of two lost souls finding their way "home," which has different meanings for both of them.The story is half a picaresque adventure, 1/2 a war tale/love story. The love story is a bit predictable, and I wish it were less so, because the journey on the way to the end should be fraught with suspense and drama, but isn't.The character of Bill I found grating, annoying, and quite frankly unrealistic in the least. He's a Dickensian urchin type, with all the innocent mishchief-making qualities that implies. Did not like him at all.Overall, a very good read. Thank you to the author and publishers for a review copy.
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  • N.
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't think I was going to like The Way to London, at first. Lucy Stanhope, the heroine, is a wicked character with icy manners. You have to be patient with her. The story is basically a romantic quest. Lucy is a wounded soul because her mother never paid attention to her and flitted from one romance (and marriage) to another. It starts in Singapore and Lucy is pressured to go to England by her mother after her scandalous affair comes to light. But, she's unhappy in her aunt's huge estate in I didn't think I was going to like The Way to London, at first. Lucy Stanhope, the heroine, is a wicked character with icy manners. You have to be patient with her. The story is basically a romantic quest. Lucy is a wounded soul because her mother never paid attention to her and flitted from one romance (and marriage) to another. It starts in Singapore and Lucy is pressured to go to England by her mother after her scandalous affair comes to light. But, she's unhappy in her aunt's huge estate in Cornwall, where soldiers are billeted and Aunt Cynthia expects Lucy to abide by strict rules and standards but is also too busy to spend any time with Lucy. Then, Lucy meets a 12-year-old boy named Bill who has been evacuated from London. Bill is frustrated with the family who took him in and wants to go home to London's East End. Lucy has heard there's a Hollywood filmmaker in London, a man she met in Singapore, and she wants to see if she can become his next starlet and escape England and the war. So, Lucy and Bill decide to go to London together. The war interferes with their travels and they meet a number of challenges. Along they way, they meet up with another acquaintance of Lucy's, a former soldier she met in Singapore who was released for medical reasons. He sees through Lucy's caustic personality - even thinks she's kind of funny. Can Lucy accept the fact that she may be falling for a man who is neither wealthy or exotic? Or, will she stick to her escapist plan and attempt to become a starlet? The Way to London is very plot-driven, which I love, but I think what I liked about the book most is the way Bill softens Lucy. The relationship between the two is a little odd and a lot heartwarming. And, in the end, I loved it.
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  • Ricki Treleaven
    January 1, 1970
    When I first started reading this novel, I didn't care for the main character Lucy Stanhope at all. I didn't care for her when she was a drunken tart in Singapore; I didn't care for her when the Germans torpedoed her ship off the coast of Africa en route from Singapore to England (as a matter of fact, it wouldn't have fazed me in the least had she gone down with the ship); and I especially didn't care for her when she made it to Nanreath Hall in Cornwall and didn't lift a finger for the war effo When I first started reading this novel, I didn't care for the main character Lucy Stanhope at all. I didn't care for her when she was a drunken tart in Singapore; I didn't care for her when the Germans torpedoed her ship off the coast of Africa en route from Singapore to England (as a matter of fact, it wouldn't have fazed me in the least had she gone down with the ship); and I especially didn't care for her when she made it to Nanreath Hall in Cornwall and didn't lift a finger for the war effort, the selfish tart.But once she met Bill (and they meet under harrowing circumstances), I started to not have quite as much disdain for her. Slowly but surely the selfish, hardened Lucy began to grow a brain, heart, and conscience. I think Alix Rickloff did an excellent job with Lucy's development, and I even began to admire her by the end of the book. In other words, if you can get over the disdain you might feel for this character in the beginning and keep on reading, I think you will be satisfied, too.If you would like to read a World War II historical novel with an exotic setting, well-drawn characters, over the top family drama, a sweet, yet believable romance, and one of the most farcical journeys from Cornwall to London ever written, then you should read The Way to London. I also read The Secrets of Nanreath Hall as part of the Once Upon a Book Club Subscription, and I loved it! Both books were set at the same time and place (Nanreath Hall) and I kept expecting Anna from The Secrets of Nanreath Hall and Lucy to bump into each other but it never happened. *sadface* Maybe there will be another book to tie them together because I felt like The Secrets of Nanreath Hall could use a sequel.Disclosure:I received an ARC of The Way to London from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Meg - A Bookish Affair
    January 1, 1970
    In "The Way to London," privileged Lucy is forced to leave her cushy in warm Singapore home where she is basically free to do whatever she wants and spend money however she wants for cold, dreary London as war threatens to engulf the Pacific. Lucy will go on a journey that forces her to change and adapt in ways she didn't think possible. This book had a slow start for me. Lucy does not start out as the most likable character; it was hard to find common ground with her for me. She is so focused o In "The Way to London," privileged Lucy is forced to leave her cushy in warm Singapore home where she is basically free to do whatever she wants and spend money however she wants for cold, dreary London as war threatens to engulf the Pacific. Lucy will go on a journey that forces her to change and adapt in ways she didn't think possible. This book had a slow start for me. Lucy does not start out as the most likable character; it was hard to find common ground with her for me. She is so focused on herself that she seems to treat the war as a nuisance rather than something to be concerned about. She's annoyed by having to go to England even though it is safer. She's annoyed about having to stay with her aunt so she goes to London and along the way meets Bill, a young boy looking for his mother. Bill was one of my favorite parts of the book and really shakes Lucy loose from her myopic tendencies. Meanwhile, Lucy learns that she may have lost her own mother, which gives her a bit of introspection as to whether she will follow her mother's footsteps or break free. This book is very much about how the rich "waited out" World War II. I really liked a lot of the historical detail that was in this book. I loved the descriptions of Singapore in the 1940s. I also really enjoyed some of the smaller details that the author put in the book like restaurants not having to adhere to ration amounts in the early 1940s. I had no idea about that! All of these details really brought the book to life. The slow start hung things up for me a bit but the book settles into a nice pace.
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  • Beth Withers
    January 1, 1970
    It was difficult to read a book with a main character that I heartily disliked for almost the entire novel. I frankly didn't care what happened to Lucy. I knew how it was all going to end; that was evident from the start. Why did I give it 3 stars then? I enjoyed the historical aspect of the book, which takes place in England during WW II. I thought that the time period was researched well and was presented in a realistic manner, especially the scenes in London. I got a real feel for how ordinar It was difficult to read a book with a main character that I heartily disliked for almost the entire novel. I frankly didn't care what happened to Lucy. I knew how it was all going to end; that was evident from the start. Why did I give it 3 stars then? I enjoyed the historical aspect of the book, which takes place in England during WW II. I thought that the time period was researched well and was presented in a realistic manner, especially the scenes in London. I got a real feel for how ordinary people would keep going with their lives as much as they could, despite the horrors all around them. I would have been interested in hearing more about what happened in Singapore - that was only touched on at the beginning. I also understand why Lucy was the way she was from her family background. It didn't endear me to her, however. One character I did enjoy was Bill, a young evacuee. His sense of humor, grittiness, and style in which he manages on his own made for some good reading. If I could have learned to like Lucy more, the novel would have been more enjoyable. **I received a free copy of this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.**
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    I love the writing style of Ms. London. Her descriptions and settings were so interesting. And I would have given this book 5 stars but I just couldn't like Lucy, I tried but I thought she was too broken even at the end I wasn't sure she would do the right thing . . . but then perhaps that is what made it such a good story.
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  • Koufitir
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book through the Goodreads giveaways and it has been sitting on my coffee table for quite some time. However, once I started I couldn't put the book down. It is a true page turner. Lucy finds not only herself but an entire family throughout the book. We witness her metamorphosis from a spoiled unsettled socialite to a strong willed, caring young woman. A joy to read!
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  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    got halfway through and put it down. just didn't connect with this book at all
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    Good book.
  • nikkia neil
    January 1, 1970
    I love Alex Rickloff's style of writing. This is a coming of age story that you'll not forget. I loved the development of the characters throughout the book and the ending was heart-stopping.
  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    Lucy is the spoiled daughter of Singapore ex-pats who is sent on her way to London in the opening days of WWII. Her journey winds its way by land and sea, amid turmoils aplenty. I read this EARC courtesy of Edelweiss and Wm. Morrow. Pub date 09/19/17
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