Poppy in the Field is a continuation of Poppy by Mary Hooper. As the title suggests, we, once again, follow the hopeful young VAD Poppy who decides4/5
Poppy in the Field is a continuation of Poppy by Mary Hooper. As the title suggests, we, once again, follow the hopeful young VAD Poppy who decides to apply for a position at a base hospital in France in the wake of turbulent heartbreak that has come with the recent news of her love Freddie's marriage to a sophisticated debutante.
Hooper has evidently done extensive research and in amongst the pages there is ample amount of descriptive detail that places you right in the time period. From the character portrayals to the world building to the language used, Hooper excels at creating the right environment in her writing.
Poppy is such a relatable character. As a newly registered nurse myself (I will not make any distinction between myself and her - a VAD, which I believe is the equivalent to an AIN), I could empathise with many of the struggles and hurdles that Poppy had to overcome during her nursing career. The cases of men in this book are, of course, of a more critical nature than my own patients (being a paediatric nurse that is only natural), but I think back to when I did my training... I felt very at home with her character - traces of her personality and situations I could see in myself. She is, overall, just here to do good. She wants to make the world a better place and oftentimes comments on the meaninglessness of the war and mortality. I can identify with her strong moral conduct easily, and found her to be a generally well-written heroine.
There is a romance in this book, as expected, and the love interest could be seen from miles away (hint: he was in the first book!). This predictability, however, did not detract from the sweetness and adorableness of the progression of their relationship. Although a bit hasty, but I suppose that can be related to the nature of the world they live in. In all honesty I got excited whenever they were together. It's possible that my reading this book was relatively quick was due to the fact that I wanted them to just GET TOGETHER ALREADY!!!
The writing style is easy to follow. In light of the difficult subject matter I was able to breeze through this novel, Hooper is to be commended in this way. The dialogue seemed quite authentic too.
The ending felt a tad rushed, like the author just wanted to get this book done ASAP. I was left wanting more detail, more insight into the future for all of the characters... but maybe it was the author's decision to leave some missing pieces, for the reader to fill in the blanks. In any case, the bigger issues and plot points had been tied up. I guess I just want more....more
Well I can definitely say I've had a good start to the year with my reading (even though I've only finished two, shame on me). I didn't really plan4/5
Well I can definitely say I've had a good start to the year with my reading (even though I've only finished two, shame on me). I didn't really plan this, but I read two "time/dimension travel" fiction books back-to-back, and while both shared some similar themes they were vastly different in their execution. Passenger was just so much fun to read! When I told my boyfriend about this book he thought the concept of it was dumb, but maybe it's my fault for not describing it well enough. This is true fantasy/escapism. If that sounds like your kind of thing, you're in for a treat.
Passenger follows a young violin prodigy Henrietta "Etta" Spencer who is flung into an unbelievable journey with an impossible and deadly task after a twisted set of events resulting in her best friend/mentor's death. She is a Traveler, meaning that she has the ability to traverse the world through Passages.
+ Sense of adventure and travel and going to different times/worlds + Pacing + The sweet romance but... + Twists and turns + Writing style ~ How can the book just end like THAT?!?!?!? - Romance felt a bit contrived/rushed/where's the underlying foundation? - A few convenient plot points (like how did Nicholas.......?)
This is the companion to Boxers by the same author. The story of Four-Girl is a tragic one. I like that a companion was made, and that the story conclThis is the companion to Boxers by the same author. The story of Four-Girl is a tragic one. I like that a companion was made, and that the story concludes for Little Bao in this one too. The ending is hewrt-wrenching and quite powerful. Even though this is a historical piece it does bear relevance to modern day society. It's fast paced and illustrated well enough that young readers (I mean high school-reluctant readers) would be able to read this too....more
Read this in one go with Saints in Kogarah library. :P
Very intriguing. The art style was simple, well suited to the tone of the story and the time perRead this in one go with Saints in Kogarah library. :P
Very intriguing. The art style was simple, well suited to the tone of the story and the time period. I have only briefly learnt about the Boxer Revolution. It's clear that a lot of research was put into this book.
There was something fantastical about the way that the author/illustrator presented the different elements to the story.
i guess i don't have that much of an opinion otherwise. It was just a quick read. The problem with graphic novels for me is I cant establish an emotional connection to the characters so that when devastation or conflict arises I feel so outside of it all, emotionally....more
3.5-4/5 [Review to be posted on the blog sometime this week. :P]
I had no idea that this book would have a sequel, but as I was nearing the end I knew t3.5-4/5 [Review to be posted on the blog sometime this week. :P]
I had no idea that this book would have a sequel, but as I was nearing the end I knew there was no way there couldn't have been. May 2015, 'Poppy in the Field'. I know it's going to be an emotional and intense read.
Last week I received a package from Bloomsbury in the mail, containing two books: this was one of them. I hadn't heard anything about it, but 1) I adore good historical fiction; 2) Mary Hooper is quite a well-known staple of YA historical fiction; 3) This book focuses on WWI; 4) The heroine becomes a VAD nurse for the war effort, so I picked it up almost immediately and don't regret the decision one bit.
Poppy Pearson is a young woman working as a parlourmaid for the de Veres. The war rages on. While the older de Vere brother enlists to fight in the war, the younger, Freddie, only joins after being handed an anonymous white feather in the mail (which Poppy's teacher had encouraged her to send). It is also by her teacher's suggestion that she also partake in the war effort by joining the VAD as a nurse. She's good at taking orders and she is no stranger to hard work and long hours. Before Freddie and Poppy part, they share a few moments: a look, a kiss, a touch and squeeze of the hand; and despite their difference in social standing they exchange letters and agree to meet once again. But Mrs de Vere will not allow the two of them to end up together--her son must marry someone of higher class...
Poppy was quite an easy read and definitely recommended for younger readers (12+) who are interested in learning more about what it was like in these times. Written in third person, with simple prose.
The characters were just okay for me. None of them were really that fleshed out or memorable. I like Poppy; she's a hard-working, honest and kind young woman, but she can be a bit frivolous and indecisive. Nonetheless, I liked following her in her progression as a nurse, and found that I could relate to a few of the situations that arose. Obviously, as a nurse myself, I had to draw some comparison between the conditions of the war hospitals back then, and how the hospitals are now. It was highly interesting and I think Hooper did a good job portraying the hospital working environment in England at the time.
Freddie de Vere doesn't have much of a personality at all; all I can really gather is that he's fighting in the war, he's from an extremely well-off family, he's quite a sentimental person, and he loves Poppy. Despite this, I think things will get a lot more interesting in the sequel. Something big happens in the end of Poppy, and it'll be interesting to see how that escalates, how both of them react to the actions of the other. As for the other young man in her life, the doctor at the hospital...
Poppy's VAD friends at her station, Matthews and Jameson, were interchangeable for me. They were the support that Poppy needed to get through the various ups and downs in her life, but I could never tell them apart!
A few of the Tommies (soldiers) and higher-ups were fun to read about. I like that Hooper included some of the injured, gave them names, personalities and back-stories of their own, so that they weren't just something thrown in the background. Instead, Hooper gives them life and brings forth the point that all of the injured and those who died in the war, had lives and voices of their own.
Finally I want to mention Poppy's brother, Billy/William. I think it is important that he was included in this story. While many young men jumped at the chance to gain glory and fight the good fight, many were frightened and were bullied or pressured into enlisting. The experience proves too much for him and he returns home in pretty bad circumstances. I can't wait to find out what happens to him next!
Poppy is the first book I've read that was set in England in 1914-1915 and overall I think that Hooper succeeded in portraying the setting with a level of realism worthy of the historical fiction genre. While I didn't fall in love with any of the characters I am invested in their lives and stories such that I will, without a doubt, be reading on with the sequel, Poppy on the Field! An easy to read account of what VAD nurses may have experienced in war-time England....more