In a Field of Blue
From the bestselling author of The Road Beyond Ruin comes a novel about a family torn apart by grief and secrets, then pulled back together by hope in the wake of World War I.England 1922. It’s been four years since Rudy’s brother Edgar went missing in war-torn France. Still deep in mourning and grappling with unanswered questions, Rudy and his mother struggle to move on. When the enigmatic Mariette arrives unexpectedly at the family’s manor claiming to be Edgar’s widow, and the mother of his child, Rudy urges her to stay, hoping she’ll shed light on the missing pieces.Captivated by Mariette, Rudy finds that their mutual loss and grief bind them…as does the possibility of new love. But Mariette’s revelations bring more questions than answers about Edgar’s death. Suspicions threaten to divide Rudy’s already fractured family, setting him on a quest for the truth that takes him from England to France and beyond.In his search, Rudy is forced to confront the tragedies of war and the realities of the brother he’s lost and the woman he’s found. Will the truth set him free to find peace, or will it forever shadow his future?

In a Field of Blue Details

TitleIn a Field of Blue
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 1st, 2020
PublisherLake Union Publishing
ISBN-139781542009447
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War I, Romance, Historical Romance, Mystery, European Literature, British Literature, Novels

In a Field of Blue Review

  • Bonnye Reed
    January 1, 1970
    Amazon Prime First Reads January 2020
  • Jamie Brydone-Jack
    January 1, 1970
    Jumbled Family DramaThere are some things that I consider to be cardinal sins in books. One of them is data dumps, where the author just tells us a bunch of information instead of weaving it into the story naturally. This happened in several places in this book—especially at the beginning—and it certainly did slow things down. Another cardinal sin, at least in my book, is not starting where the action is. I don't know why some authors feel like they can't just start with an interesting part; Jumbled Family DramaThere are some things that I consider to be cardinal sins in books. One of them is data dumps, where the author just tells us a bunch of information instead of weaving it into the story naturally. This happened in several places in this book—especially at the beginning—and it certainly did slow things down. Another cardinal sin, at least in my book, is not starting where the action is. I don't know why some authors feel like they can't just start with an interesting part; instead, they ramp up into the action instead of just placing us there. I felt that that happened in this book. It should have started with the scene at Rudy's mother's house with Mariette. Finally, another cardinal sin is to cut away from this pivotal first scene to something that is mostly irrelevant. In this book, just after the big announcement in that pivotal (true) first scene, the author cuts away to telling about the narrator's birth and early childhood! Seriously!This novel didn't really feel completely coherent to me. It isn’t just the pacing. There is an odd collection of narrators as well. The first part of the book is told from Rudy's standpoint, the next healthy portion of the book is told in flashback from Mariette's perspective, and the last part ends with a jumble of perspectives. I felt that some incidents in this last part came out of left field, which honestly shouldn't happen in a book like this. Foreshadowing is so important so that we get glimpses of what the future may be. In general, I really enjoy historical fiction, but I didn't really feel like this was true historical fiction. It felt more like family drama that happened to take place in the past. The book description makes this sound like it is a romance, but it really isn't. The romantic elements are downplayed and are certainly not the major thrust of the book. So if you are thinking of picking up this book because of the romance angle, you will most likely be disappointed. We aren't actually told how the romance turns out until the epilogue, where it is told in an obituary. Frankly, this book left me feeling like there was no “there” there. Lots went on in places, but as events that I just didn't like or couldn't believe kept happening, it felt like all sound and fury, signifying nothing.
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  • Cindy Woods
    January 1, 1970
    A complicated and beautiful love storyI've read a great many love stories during wartime. This one, during WWI, stands out for several reasons.It is not just the love of a British soldier for a young French woman. It is also the love between sisters , between brothers, and the love that binds families. The story is beautifully written from the aspect of several characters starting with the youngest brother, Rudy, who has recently lost his eldest brother, a British soldier, to the battlefields of A complicated and beautiful love storyI've read a great many love stories during wartime. This one, during WWI, stands out for several reasons.It is not just the love of a British soldier for a young French woman. It is also the love between sisters , between brothers, and the love that binds families. The story is beautifully written from the aspect of several characters starting with the youngest brother, Rudy, who has recently lost his eldest brother, a British soldier, to the battlefields of France. A young French woman has arrived at their estate in England with a young boy she claims to be his brother's child and she his brother's wife. Suspicions are raised immediately as to the validity of her claim after four years and her reasons for coming now as there has been no mention of her or the supposed marriage she is now asserting as true. Under questioning her answers are vague and she has little proof. Rudy has another brother, Laurence, who was the middle brother to contend with, a wastrel who seeks to claim his inheritance since their elder brother's death being next in line. This complicated things.As Rudy seeks to understand and prove or disprove the young woman's story, he finds himself falling for her. The young woman, is desperate to prove her story having her own reasons to assert her claim that the boy, her son Samuel, is, in fact the son of Edgar, the deceased eldest brother, and must hold up under questions from Rudy, Laurence and their mother with very little proof.Needless to say, this is a many faceted story told from several viewpoints as each deals with ghosts from the past and flashbacks. It is an extremely difficult book to put down with great character description and development as the story unfolds. Many surprising turns and a quest for the truth is a fascinating journey. It reads like a multiple-layered mini-saga. Obvious research is employed to create a hearty plot.This story of life prior to, during and after WWI and its catastrophic effects on the lives of those in the midst of it is well worth reading and I will definitely recommend to readers. Well done!
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  • Goth Gone Grey
    January 1, 1970
    Too slow to build, shows the horrors of war and peopleDisclosure: I looked at the percent remaining on this book more often than I'd like, especially in the first section narrated by Rudy. While I'd like to say it was in hopes that the book had more time left and secrets to reveal, it was the opposite. The build up of plot and characters felt too drawn out, tedious, as if the author was paid by the word. That feeling continued to some degree for the remainder of the book, switching narrators a Too slow to build, shows the horrors of war and peopleDisclosure: I looked at the percent remaining on this book more often than I'd like, especially in the first section narrated by Rudy. While I'd like to say it was in hopes that the book had more time left and secrets to reveal, it was the opposite. The build up of plot and characters felt too drawn out, tedious, as if the author was paid by the word. That feeling continued to some degree for the remainder of the book, switching narrators a few more times to give other people their say. (Laurence did not need his say; that part could be edited out with no impact felt to the story). The plot is a bit convoluted, but interesting. I'm less enthused - obviously - with the execution of it. That said, it shows the horrors of war and the very human price paid on a number of levels, clearly and honestly. Love between family members, and fierce devotion even when unwarranted is also represented beautifully. An example of the writing: "The more times I saw Mariette, the more times I wanted to be with her, and I found that she featured in my thoughts every single minute whether she was in or out of sight. That night she was arresting, and the doubts that lingered somewhere behind the euphoria of spending part of the day with her didn’t rear their heads in those moments she was at my side. And whether any further truths about the past did in fact surprise me, I’m not sure I would have cared. She was now very much a part of my present."
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  • Happybookworm
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsStory set before, during and after WW1. Told from several pov's, some in the present some in retrospect. Edgar, the eldest son and heir to an English family is lost in action, presumed dead. No body found. Is he really dead? Could he have survived? 4 years after his going missing a young woman turns up at the family home with a child claiming to be Edgar's widow and his son. Is she telling the truth? Why has it taken her 4 years to contact them? How will this affect the family dynamics? 3.5 starsStory set before, during and after WW1. Told from several pov's, some in the present some in retrospect. Edgar, the eldest son and heir to an English family is lost in action, presumed dead. No body found. Is he really dead? Could he have survived? 4 years after his going missing a young woman turns up at the family home with a child claiming to be Edgar's widow and his son. Is she telling the truth? Why has it taken her 4 years to contact them? How will this affect the family dynamics? I liked the premise of the story and it was bittersweet and heartbreaking at times. It clearly showed the ravages of war and its effect on both body and mind (but of course in those days no one considered mental health). 2 parts that brought tears to my eyes was the story of Willy, the boy who lied about his age and the scene between Rudy and his mother when they realised that Edgar may have survived. The writing was beautiful at times but I found the pacing, swapping and changing pov's, a bit distracting and off putting. Overall I would recommend this book but the content may be unpalatable for those of a more sensitive nature. Lots of war content, episodes of child abandonment, child abduction and abuse.
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    Gemma Liviero never disappoints. This is my second of her books to read, and when looking back from my reviews of last year, I found it funny that her book "The Road Beyond Ruin" was one of the first books I had read and reviewed at the beginning of last year. As in my review of her previous book I found the characters to be well developed and enjoyed reading from each of their unique perspectives. The plot was engaging and I felt like while I was reading fiction I was also learning a bit about Gemma Liviero never disappoints. This is my second of her books to read, and when looking back from my reviews of last year, I found it funny that her book "The Road Beyond Ruin" was one of the first books I had read and reviewed at the beginning of last year. As in my review of her previous book I found the characters to be well developed and enjoyed reading from each of their unique perspectives. The plot was engaging and I felt like while I was reading fiction I was also learning a bit about the war and the hardship of civil life and military life on the war front.There were many heartbreaking episodes and yet there was also tenderness and hope, my one criticism would in the interaction between Rudy and Mariette and how quickly it escalates. I felt like it would have been out of character for how much Rudy loved his brother Edgar. This plot development was a bit tired, but I do believe Liviero handled it well even though I think the story would have been just as compelling without. Liviero does bring to light the horrors of war and how the unseen injuries of shell shock were little understood which is still very relevant to today and the mental health challenges men and women in the armed services still face. One might have trouble reconciling Edgar's actions, because we view them from our own mores, but one must remember that Edgar was forever changed by the war and it's atrocities.
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  • Andra
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very good book, just how good is measured by how it made me overcome one of my personal dislikes which is when the story is told from different people's viewpoint. I find that approach disjointed and breaks up the story for me. That said, now I've finished this book, I can't imagine how a different approach could have told the story so well. This book gave some excellent insights into shell shock and more generally how mental health issues were dealt with. It's well written, moving This was a very good book, just how good is measured by how it made me overcome one of my personal dislikes which is when the story is told from different people's viewpoint. I find that approach disjointed and breaks up the story for me. That said, now I've finished this book, I can't imagine how a different approach could have told the story so well. This book gave some excellent insights into shell shock and more generally how mental health issues were dealt with. It's well written, moving and in some places shocking. It gives insight into how those outside 'normal' lifestyles are treated, personally I don't think much has changed. I liked all the characters, each one well written so I really cared about them, the one bad apple was also well described and in the end I felt some understanding of him. Well worth the read.
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  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from Amazon as the one of the free Prime January books of the month. I started reading it on Jan 15 and stayed up until 4AM on the 16th finishing it. I thought it was well written enough that I wanted to keep reading and not put it down which is unusual for me. "In a Field of Blue" is one of many historical fiction novels that I've read in the past few years and I thought it was well done. Unfortunately, I didn't take the time to consult a map to locate the World War One I received this from Amazon as the one of the free Prime January books of the month. I started reading it on Jan 15 and stayed up until 4AM on the 16th finishing it. I thought it was well written enough that I wanted to keep reading and not put it down which is unusual for me. "In a Field of Blue" is one of many historical fiction novels that I've read in the past few years and I thought it was well done. Unfortunately, I didn't take the time to consult a map to locate the World War One battlefield sites mentioned in the book. There is so much that most of us don't know or remember about WWI so I appreciate the research that the author did. I'm ready to look into the other novels from Gemma Liviero to see how they compare.
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  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    I picked this up in a 99p sale having recently read other books set in this period. It is only barely a romance (there is an HEA though mostly stated rather than experienced) as the focus is much more on the horrors of war and the impact of war and broader economic forces on family relationships. It is well done though. Told in the 1st person with long sections from the POV of different characters, the story moves back and forth in time to fill in crucial details from the perspectives of I picked this up in a 99p sale having recently read other books set in this period. It is only barely a romance (there is an HEA though mostly stated rather than experienced) as the focus is much more on the horrors of war and the impact of war and broader economic forces on family relationships. It is well done though. Told in the 1st person with long sections from the POV of different characters, the story moves back and forth in time to fill in crucial details from the perspectives of different characters. The characters and relationships are interesting. The story is complex and the twists are interesting. The selfish bastard gets his comeuppance. The protagonist gets his girl. etc.
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  • Lynn Horton
    January 1, 1970
    I bounced between rating this book two or three stars, and finally went with three. I love the cover, so maybe that nudged my rating up. I read mystery, suspense, and thriller primarily, and the pacing of my favorite authors/genres is quick and streamlined—two things this book definitely isn’t. There’s so much prose and internal dialogue that I struggled to get through it. Some of the sentences are so convoluted that I had to re-read them—something I never do. The characters are one-dimensional I bounced between rating this book two or three stars, and finally went with three. I love the cover, so maybe that nudged my rating up. I read mystery, suspense, and thriller primarily, and the pacing of my favorite authors/genres is quick and streamlined—two things this book definitely isn’t. There’s so much prose and internal dialogue that I struggled to get through it. Some of the sentences are so convoluted that I had to re-read them—something I never do. The characters are one-dimensional and stereotypic, and I had a hard time caring about them, perhaps because things moved so slowly.I wanted to like this book.
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  • Tori
    January 1, 1970
    Once again, Gemma Liviero has won my heart with a story that is real and heartbreaking. She tells of the devastation of war but also of family relationships. Those we love the most can hurt us the most and yet that love goes on. Her storytelling allows the narrative to build and what unfolds is an amazing story of promises made and kept, and the heartache that comes with those promises. It is not an easy book to read because at times I was overwhelmed with a sense of loss and the unfairness of Once again, Gemma Liviero has won my heart with a story that is real and heartbreaking. She tells of the devastation of war but also of family relationships. Those we love the most can hurt us the most and yet that love goes on. Her storytelling allows the narrative to build and what unfolds is an amazing story of promises made and kept, and the heartache that comes with those promises. It is not an easy book to read because at times I was overwhelmed with a sense of loss and the unfairness of this world. But it is definitely a book worth reading.
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  • Marina
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating and moving, a very human war story Excellent story, insightful and unexpected. The shifting narration created a rounded story, one of love, of all kinds not just romantic, and survival.The details and twists intrigued and engaged, making it difficult to put the book down - yet I didn't want to rush through it, as it's one of those stories with characters you're reluctant to leave.Highly recommended.
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  • Sara Smith
    January 1, 1970
    I read this from Amazon Prime First Reads as one of the January selections. I wasn't expecting too much from the cover, but I really enjoyed this story told first from several different POVs during the aftermath of WWI. Is the beautiful young woman really telling the truth about his brother and his brother's child or is she a gold digger? The destroyed records and towns in post-war France make it difficult to figure it all out.
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  • gerry
    January 1, 1970
    An epic story, beautifully writtenThe language is especially descriptive and the first person narrative authenticates the setting and the plot. The novel illustrates the plight of veterans everywhere, no matter the war they served. But WW1 vets who suffered traumatic stress and ran from battle were shot. And the Great War left many vets and their families in dire circumstances. Highly recommended novel.
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyable storyI began this book as an easy read without high expectations. Admittedly, the first section was enjoyable but not as good as many other books I have read. I feared it would be too predictable. However, after the first section, I was very much drawn in and enjoyed the book very much to the end. I don't want to.goce any spoilers, so.my review is purposely vague. I would compare it to a Louisa May Alcott novel in many ways.
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  • Janci
    January 1, 1970
    I like the story overall but a few things keep me from rating it 4 stars. As one reviewer noted, I kept checking my percent read. It felt like I'd been reading a long time and I was only at 15%! The story did pick up though, and I didn't want to put it down. I did not care for the writing style, I read many sentences over, not to savor them but to untangle them. Finally, some parts of the story did not add up, or were too overly dramatic for me. Still, it is a worthwhile read.
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  • Virginia M Palomares
    January 1, 1970
    Understanding a great period of historyThis was a well written book. One was there on the battlefield with a very quick understanding of the sacrifice the people in France and the brave servicemen that had to face the unmanageable task of a ungodly war.I know this author has researched many hours to get such details.
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  • Stephanie Gates
    January 1, 1970
    DisjointedI think I would have liked this book much better if there had only been two narrators - Rudy & Mariette. The scenes told from Laurence & Edgar’s perspective disrupted the flow of the story enough to make me lose enjoyment of it. Also, the epilogue was completely unnecessary and pulled the rug out with one last cruel twist.
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  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent read with lots of twistsI've been reading more about WWI lately and this is another good one with much about shell shock, the plight of the French civilians and other tragedies we can't imagine. The love story is very good and I thoroughly relished the book, even though parts were very sad, like real life.
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  • Sharon Phelps
    January 1, 1970
    Historical fictionAmazing! Jaw dropping, keep you up all night good! Absolutely loved it. I loved all the little details that just hooked me and drew me in and the suspense as the story unfolded. And then I was surprised as each character told their story. This book is a must read!!
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Loved the book! I don't usually choose war reads; but the story takes place right after WWI, and revolves around the characters and family secrets, rather than the battlefield. I loved how it was told from different perspectives and how the author told each character's back story, so you could better understand their actions and decisions. I would definitely recommend this book to others.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful storyI picked this as my January Amazon Prime First Reads. I picked it because I enjoy historical fiction. This definitely did not disappoint! It gives many perspectives to add depth to the story and shed new light on the same situations. I love how it built the story upon each persons viewpoint.
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  • Minia Kalish
    January 1, 1970
    Page turnerI really enjoyed this story. It held my attention from page one. The interaction of characters was wonderful especially reading the material from the perspectives of the different characters. The strong family bonds , both of the sisters and the brothers added to the story greatly making them seem very believable.
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  • Jason Alford
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely Loved It! Very emotional story of love, strength and survival during wartime. Gemma Liviero has delivered yet again a breathtaking, beautiful novel that cements her as one of the best writers out there today... and my personal favorite. If you haven't read her yet you absolutely should. I highly recommend not only In a Field of Blue but all of her previous works. Well done Gemma!
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    A bit repetitive, and I did not care for the way the author used different point of views, which is probably why it seemed as though she was rehashing the plot. It just seemed a very odd way to structure a narrative. That being said, the story was pretty good, and I wanted to keep reading to find out the ending.
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  • Jackie Newman
    January 1, 1970
    I wish there were 10 stars to give this book!!!I don’t think I can do justice to a description of this story. The characters are so vivid and seem very much alive. The story line at times seems convoluted but in time the details mesh and it all becomes clear. I love, love, loved it!!!!!!!
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  • dotty devine
    January 1, 1970
    Read about 4 books weekly, so to say I am an avid reader is an understatement!! This book is worth every minute of your time. The story is very believable and you quickly understand all the characters. The journey the brother takes reveals so much about him and his family ties. Predicting the events and the outcome will be difficult, adding to the enjoyment....
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  • Michael A Schuler
    January 1, 1970
    IntriguingMany characters, many places, many themes intriguingly interwoven into a fictional narrative of World War I. As you would expect such a tale to be, this felt entirely real. There is a plethora of deep emotional feelings. I tend to read books skipping several pages at a time. I was so intrigued by this book, that I read it nearly word for word.
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  • Jody Kirchner
    January 1, 1970
    Great in partsOverall a good book. Interesting plot and strong female characters. Problem was it was mostly narrated by a man, and it has several male characters that all came off as weak and ineffectual. The beginning was really slow but it did gain momentum and was a great read for most of the rest of the book.
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  • Rebecca Schomburg
    January 1, 1970
    Family dynamic of intrigueIntriguing development. Very thought provoking. Educational insight on WWI. Good flow, kept me wanting to know more. Canadian connection a real surprise.
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