Two women, separated by 100 years, living remarkably similar lives…
The Poppy Field, by Deborah Carr, tells the tales of two English nurses, Alice and Gemma, living in northeastern France. Alice is a World War I VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) nurse working near the front line, and Gemma is an NHS (National Health Service) trauma center nurse. And although both women suffer immense losses, in the end, they find lasting love.
From the opening sentence to the last, The Poppy Field is an engaging page-turner. Like Gemma reading Alice’s letters, I often lost track of time while reading this book—hours passed in what seemed like minutes, and I stayed up much too late some nights just so that I could see what happened next.
Alice’s letters give a glimpse into the gruesome reality of World War I—where soldiers died from simple cuts infected by the excrement and gore that soaked into the soil of the trenches to the agonizing, slow suffocation caused by mustard gas. I could almost hear the screams and moans of the dying and injured.
Yet, despite the horror and heartache, bombs and blood, love took root and bloomed like the red poppies that covered those French fields. And when the last bomb fell and the last soldier was laid to rest, those poppies still remained, a reminder that hope and love will always conquer despair and hate.