by Maggie Humm
This book of historical fiction will be welcomed by those who enjoy stories about women trying to find their way in the world. The main character, Lily is an artist and a product of her times; she is aware of the expectations for women and what she wants for herself. Given the time frame of the story, readers learn more about nursing during the Great War and the movement for women’s right to vote.
With a bow to Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Ramsay, Lily becomes involved in wanting to understand what led to her demise. Mrs. Ramsay was a key figure to Lily who painted a portrait of her that was not completely well received by its subject. In addition, the reader watches Lily as she falls in love with her tutor, Louis.
There is a lot going on in this well-told narrative. I enjoyed the book’s Cornwall setting, the characters and the insight into women’s lives at that time. I also admire the author’s understanding of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and how this was incorporated into the story.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.