#Review: Love in a Time of War by Adrienne Chinn @adriennechinn @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #blogtour #newrelease #historicalfiction

By | March 5, 2022

It’s a real pleasure today to be joining the blog tour for Love in a Time of War by Adrienne Chinn, and to share my review. Published by One More Chapter on 25th February as an ebook and audiobook, it’s now also available as a paperback – you’ll find it (in all formats) via Amazon in the UK, US, Canada and Australia, with the paperback available from any of your favourite on-line or high street bookshops. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the publishers for my advance reading e-copy (provided via netgalley).

I haven’t read a book from Adrienne Chinn before. Her first, The Lost Letter, totally escaped my radar – her second, The English Wife, most certainly didn’t (it was impossible not to notice the wonderful reviews), but I just couldn’t fit it into my reading list. But when I read the blurb for this one – the first in a planned series about the three Fry sisters – I knew it was impossible to resist…

Three sisters


The Great War


The end of innocence…


In 1913, in a quiet corner of London, the three Fry sisters are coming of age, dreaming of all the possibilities the bright future offers. But when war erupts their innocence is shattered and a new era of uncertainty begins.


Cecelia loves Max but his soldier’s uniform is German, not British, and suddenly the one man she loves is the one man she can’t have.


Jessie enlists in the army as a nurse and finally finds the adventure she’s craved when she’s sent to Gallipoli and Egypt, but it comes with an unimaginable cost.


Etta elopes to Capri with her Italian love, Carlo, but though her growing bump is real, her marriage certificate is a lie.


As the three sisters embark on journeys they never could have imagined, their mother Christina worries about the harsh new realities they face, and what their exposure to the wider world means for the secrets she’s been keeping…

My goodness, I really enjoyed this one – a wonderfully written and entirely all-consuming story of the lives of three sisters making their way into adulthood against a vividly drawn backdrop of a world in turmoil from the beginning of the First World War. It was one of those rare books where I became so caught up in the characters and their story that I really didn’t want it to end – and I couldn’t be more delighted that this is the first in a planned trilogy, and that I’ll have the opportunity to immerse myself in their lives and experiences once more.

Celia is the eldest, separated from her German fiancé Max, involving herself with the efforts of Mrs Fawcett’s National Union of Women’s Suffrage, writing newspaper articles always hoping that her gender will be recognised, her photographs – a skill learned from her father Gerald – capturing the times and the impacts of the conflict on the home front. The other two sisters are non-identical twins, and live very different lives. Jessie is a nurse, joining the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service despite her mother’s opposition, eventually finding herself in Egypt in a time of change that is reflected by her own life choices. Etta is the flighty one, a fledgling artist caught up with the Bloomsbury set, falling in love with artist Carlo and finding herself alone in Capri with a young child when the war tears him away. And Capri is where her mother Christina’s story began – it’s cleverly laced through the story of the sisters, along with the layers of secrets that explain her protectiveness of her daughters and her fervent wish (or maybe that should be vain hope…) that they will all follow a conventional path to marriage and motherhood.

The writing really is exceptional – the locations are far more than a backdrop, the era and settings quite wonderfully brought to life with vivid and detailed descriptions, along with a realistic recreation of the conventions of the time. And the story-telling really is tremendous – the three sisters are distinct and well-drawn characters, and the author wraps their stories around each other in a way that is a real pleasure to read. There’s a strong romance element to all three stories – beautifully and convincingly done – and the emotional content has a very sure touch.

This is a book that really has a bit of everything – drama, romance, conflict, heartache, rich historical detail, wonderfully drawn locations – and “swept me away” doesn’t begin to do it justice. It’s also a book that made me feel, and really deeply, for its characters – there were times I was in tears at the desperateness of their situations, but the moments of joy were perfectly handled too. And although the sisters’ stories (and their mother’s) are largely complete by the book’s end, it leaves a few intriguing threads to be picked up and followed later – I enjoyed this book so much, and I can’t wait for the next one!

About the author

Adrienne Chinn was born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, grew up in Quebec, and eventually made her way to London, England after a career as a journalist. In England she worked as a TV and film researcher before embarking on a career as an interior designer, lecturer, and writer. When not up a ladder or at the computer writing, she often can be found rummaging through flea markets or haggling in the Marrakech souk.

Her second novel, The English Wife – a timeslip story set in World War II England and contemporary Newfoundland – was published in June 2020 and has become an international bestseller. Her debut novel, The Lost Letter, was published by Avon Books UK in 2019. Her latest novel, Love in a Time of War, set during WWI, is the first in a series of three books based around the changing lives of three English sisters and their half-Italian mother, with a timeslip to 1890s Capri and London.

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