I am a huge fan of this author and have read every title in her Maisie Dobbs series. Here she has written a standalone about Elinor White, a character who has had a life of loss, service, action and contemplation.
Winspear’s authorial voice comes through and felt very familiar to me from having read her other works. That said, it took a little while for me to become fully immersed in this title. Once that happened, however, I loved the book and rate it most highly (as does Publishers Weekly which gave this one a starred review.)
The novel covers a wide time period; it starts before WWI and extends to the post WWII period. As the book opens, young Linni lives with her parents and sister in Belgium. The war brings enormous changes to the family. Linni and her sister become saboteurs and they and their mother must subsequently leave the country quickly.
The book then moves to England and follows Linni’s life there. She has many experiences before being recruited to the SOE in WWII. In the post war period, for complex reasons, our protagonist becomes involved in trying to extricate a couple and their daughter from the clutch of their criminal family. Throughout the book, the time moves back and forth as readers experience Linni’s actions and feelings about the things that she has done.
Readers will be interested to see how Linni fares in each of her tasks and time frames. They will also enjoy getting to know the many characters in this story, some of whom, they really should keep an eye on.
All in all, I highly recommend this novel. Bravo Ms. Winspear.
Many thanks to Allison & Busby for this title. All opinions are my own.
Pub date: 21 March 2023