GoodReads summary: England, 1914. Poppy is fifteen, beautiful and clever, but society has already carved out her destiny. There's no question of her attending the grammar school - it's too expensive and unsuitable for a girl. Instead, Poppy will become a servant at the big house. And she'll 'keep out of trouble'. But Poppy's life is about to be thrown dramatically off course. The first reason is love - with someone forbidden, who could never, ever marry a girl like her. The second reason is war. Nothing could have prepared her for that. As she experiences what people are capable of - the best of humanity and the very worst - Poppy will find an unexpected freedom and discover how to be truly her own person.Expected publication date: 08/05/14
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Poppy is a touching story about war, friendship, and first love.
Prior to becoming a book blogger I wasn't a big historical fiction reader, but over the last year or so I have been reading more and more books from the genre. I am especially interested in ones that are centered around WW1 and 2. Recent war-related books I have read and thoroughly enjoyed are Prison of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Poppy too has now been added to my list of enjoyable war-related reads.
I have only read one other book by Hooper and that is Fallen Grace, a wonderful story set in the Victorian Era. Something that Hooper excels at is painting a vivid image of the era in which the book is set in. It is obvious she has done her research, I truly felt as if I were there with Poppy on her journey of self-discovery. It was interesting reading about the war through the eyes of a 15 year parlormaid-soon to be VAD nurse. Poppy is a lively and intelligent mc, who I had no problem rooting for.
As of late she has been feeling romantic feelings towards her employers youngest son, and he seemingly is quite taken with her too. Just as something begins to brew, however, her ex-teacher presents her with an opportunity of a life time - to train as a VAD nurse, and by doing so serve her country and do her bit for the war effort. Her teacher believes she is far too resourceful and intelligent to be working as a parlormaid, so she offers to pay her allowance seeing as how it is a voluntary position.
The era in which the book is set was a time of great change for women. They were found taking on jobs that prior to the war were considered to be jobs for men. During her time training as a VAD nurse Poppy learns much, and her eyes are opened to the horrors and wonders of war. She makes new friends, all the while secretly writing to Freddy. Both storylines, romantic and otherwise, had me glued to the book. The ending left me wanting more, so I was delighted to find that there is going to be a sequel "Poppy in the Field". I am very much looking forward to continuing on with Poppy's story.