Although I do not live in the UK and few of her books are published in the U.S., I am a big fan of Erica James and often order her books, happily paying for the shipping. This one has been in my TBR pile for a while although I am not sure why. I think that this is one of the best books that this author has written.
The novel has a dual story line; the one in the present is about Saskia and her family. Saskia, a book restorer, lost several family members to an accident when she was younger. A book restorer who is now in her thirties, Saskia lives with her two grandfathers and her father. Saskia is content with her life but perhaps not willing to risk hurt in looking for more.
All of the characters in the present story line come to life in the novel. Saskia’s father and grandfather’s personalities and love for Saskia are clear. Into this world comes Matthew who has books to be evaluated by Saskia’s father. Not surprisingly, Matthew and Saskia bsecome a focus of the story.
Matthew and his mother lived with Jacob, a professor. Saskia discovers a WWII diary that she and Matthew realize was written by him. This backstory is the backbone of the novel. The reader follows Jacob and Kitty’s moving love story through Jacob’s diary.
The Dandelion Years refers to how Kitty thinks “of the war and the effect it’s having on everybody. The hopes and certainties we used to live by have been swept away. We live in a time when all it might take is one little puff and everything could be gone…” That sense of time and life as precious permeate the story in the past and give a lesson to those in the present.
I highly recommend this novel and hope that more readers will discover this author’s many titles. Let me know if you know of Erica James.