It seems quite thought provoking that I finished this book on the eve of #anzacday.
Inspired by true events, this is the story of how society’s ‘lovely ladies’ won a war.
Each year at secluded Shillings Hall, in the snow-crisped English countryside, the mysterious Miss Lily draws around her young women selected from Europe’s royal and most influential families. Her girls are taught how to captivate a man – and find a potential husband – at a dinner, in a salon, or at a grouse shoot, and in ways that would surprise outsiders. For in 1914, persuading and charming men is the only true power a woman has.
Sophie Higgs is the daughter of Australia’s king of corned beef and the only ‘colonial’ brought to Shillings Hall. Of all Miss Lily’s lovely ladies, however, she is also the only one who suspects Miss Lily’s true purpose.
As the chaos of war spreads, women across Europe shrug off etiquette. The lovely ladies and their less privileged sisters become the unacknowledged backbone of the war, creating hospitals, canteens and transport systems where bungling officials fail to cope. And when tens of thousands can die in a single day’s battle, Sophie must use the skills Miss Lily taught her to prevent war’s most devastating weapon yet.
But is Miss Lily heroine or traitor? And who, exactly, is she?
This book is both riveting and also heartbreaking, as the author has really brought to life the characters and the situations that the people who had to live through #WW1. #5stars!
I cried, I felt proud of Sophie’s growth as she went from a young Colonial heiress to a woman who was brave and determined to do her best to help the victims of war.
Sophie has been sent away to England by her father who wanted more for her than just a catch for the penniless neighbour who saw only the fortune her father had made with his corned beef factories.
The “Corned Beef Princess” really found her place with the mysterious Miss Lily.
one of my favourite quotes in the book was this one.
The past is never simple, and the future never clear. I learned years ago to live each second as it happens. Even the bad ones can have fragments of beauty at its edges – Sophie Higgs 1918.
This is good advise and I wrote it on a post-it as inspiration for when things get tough.
Four girls from different backgrounds come to learn from Miss Lily but by the end of their stay instead of parties and husbands, they have to face war and all the hardships it brings.
Good friends all of a sudden are considered enemies and good people are lost to sickness and war.
5stars doesn’t seem enough somehow, this book had me thinking, wishing that we could learn from the gruesome events of not one but two world wars, but alas it seems the world still seems defiantly on a course of repeating itself.
It seems quite thought provoking that I finished this book on the eve of Anzac day. #misslilyslovelyladies was a riveting read and had me wanting to know more about the untold stories of the VADs, the voluntary aid detachments who had to become whatever was needed due to the lack of trained nurses, we get to see how life was for the women who farmed, manufactured and kept the countries moving. Ms French has created an unforgettable story, the publishers have created not only a beautiful cover, but it has the elegance of the era in its design too. I can’t wait to read the next in the series.
#womenofww1 #neverforget #anzac #jackiefrench #5stars 💝📚 #beautiful #book #coverlove
Miss Lily’s Lovely Ladies available now in all good bookstores