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Somewhere in France (The Great War #1)
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Somewhere in France (The Great War #1)

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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  8,310 Ratings  ·  1,099 Reviews
Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford wants to travel the world, pursue a career, and marry for love. But in 1914, the stifling restrictions of aristocratic British society and her mother’s rigid expectations forbid Lily from following her heart. When war breaks out, the spirited young woman seizes her chance for independence. Defying her parents, she moves to London and eventual ...more
Paperback, 373 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Yasmin M
Jan 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
Okay.
No.
Just no.

I don't get how this happened. The book had so much potential. I mean come on, war, royal girl truck driver! The WAACs, Scottish surgeon of severely humble beginnings; the nonexistent 'self-made man.. you'd think it would be a good read. You'd think wrong.

(Not so)Short pointers as to why this was so incredibly boring and uninspired:

-Robbie. I think this is by far the worst romance novel hero I have encountered in a book these past 2 years. Robo Robbie: the emotionless piece of sh
...more
Alicia Prevost
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Oh my lord, how I loved this book!!

Honestly, I don't even think I can summarize it or saying anything constructive about it besides, oh my lord I loved it. Every single word. Couldn't put it down, couldn't stop reading it. Just...amazing story. It was romantic and dramatic and everything a love story needs to be and was so honest about what a war is like.

And Robbie was so...human. One second he was dreamy and wonderful, the next he was horrible at communicating and insecure about his roots. Love
...more
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: WWI England and France
Steam factor: Med-Hot

Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford has dreams that go way beyond the walls of her palatial home as well as the aristocratic life she has.
With the country now on the verge of War, Elizabeth defies her mother and moves to London where she joins the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps.
While there she misses the confidences that she had shared with her brother's best friend Robert Fraser.
Robert has become a Scottish surgeon and was not of Eliz
...more
Nancy
Oct 20, 2013 rated it liked it
If you like romance novels, this will be an appealing book. I like historical fiction and non-fiction so I read the book. I have no real complaints about the book except that it is a romance novel. Of course I like a good romance woven between the pages of a good book with a strong primary story. The Great War and making something of oneself regardless of social and economic origin is a good primary story. I've read other books on this war with a little romance sprinkled in that I liked better. ...more
Erika Robuck
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
From the opening pages, the vivid settings in SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE engage the imagination. We soon meet Lady Elizabeth and her aristocratic family, and see that this is a young woman suffocated by her station in life.

Lady Elizabeth quickly becomes “Lilly” as she defies her parents and gives up her life of privilege to truly live. From learning to drive and working in London, to becoming an ambulance driver for the WAAC, Lily wins over men and women alike, and demonstrates that in spite of her she
...more
Les Romantiques
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

Posted on Les Romantiques - Le forum du site
Reviewed by Agnès
Review Copy from the Publisher

Somewhere in France is Jennifer Robson’s first novel. She is the daughter of Stuart Robson, an historian. It was the historical background that piqued my interest: the First World War, which we will probably see more of in the years to come, due to the centenary commemorations. And let’s not forget the ever growing success of the Downton Abbey TV series, which renewed the interest in this time per
...more
MAP
Aug 21, 2014 rated it liked it
If I had to sum up this book in one word, it would be "predictable."

It feels like this book was trying to be a hard hitting, gritty, no sugar-coating exploration of WWI, with a romance to serve as the catalyst for the plot, but ultimately the romance overwhelmed the war and the book couldn't quite make itself go all the way with describing the horrors of trench warfare. Let me put it this way: Warhorse was less sugary-sweet and more raw and stomach-churning than this book.

I dare an author to wri
...more
Jaclyn
Giving away a 1 copy to the luck winner on my blog. Contest runs until January 21st, 2014.

Fantastic! Super excited to hear that the author is writing a follow up. 2015 why are you so far away?

Robson captures the realities of war, while balancing that out with a lovely romance. Absolutely loved it!

Full review closer to pub date...

Edit - Dec 29th, 2013:

Somewhere in France is a historical novel set during the turbulent times of the First World War. While romance was a significant part in the nov
...more
Celli
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is more of a 1 1/2 stars than a 2. This book started out as a very sweet love story. I anticipated that it would be a contrived sweet little love story but it turned out to be a pretty lame one. A very typical story but not at all realistic. Lilly is sweet and naive and a little pathetic. 2/3 of the book is "I love her but I must not" and a whole lot of a useless lead up to an even more useless sex scene.
The ending is quite abrupt and left me with some questions. This was extremely frustra
...more
Debra
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've had good luck these past few months with some wonderful debut novels by some very promising authors. Jennifer Robson's first novel, Somewhere in France, keeps that streak alive and well. It is being touted in the promotional material as a book fans of Downton Abbey will love. I find that characterization a bit limiting. If you like good historical fiction with strong, able characters and an exciting, perilous setting with a believable love story thrown in for good measure, you will love Som ...more
Shawn
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: at-library
Set in WW1, the book revolves around an aristocrat who becomes an ambulance driver with the Woman's Army Auxiliary Corps and her love interest, a self-made surgeon from the Glasgow slums. Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War had the potential to be an interesting book. The Great War caused a lot of social change; woman took on roles usually filled by men and the line between aristocracy and commoner began to blur. I believe that was the point the author attempted to make and did with so ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
After my last WWI novel was such a dud, at least for me, I was rather loath to begin Somewhere in France. Though I was interested when I signed up for the tour, by the time the book arrived, I was not in the mood. I say this to explain that the cards were stacked against this book, but it charmed me utterly, despite me not being in the mood for WWI fiction or adult fiction in general when I picked it up. That’s the best compliment I can pay to Robson’s debut.

Read the full review at A Reader of F
...more
KOMET
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves a well-written story brimming with suspense, danger, and romance.
This novel has a certain Downton Abbeyesque quality to it, beginning in July 1914 as Europe stood poised on the precipice of no-return, pending the resolution of "that damn fool thing in the Balkans." Lady Elizabeth ("Lilly"), the youngest daughter of a wealthy and influential family boasting of an earl as head of the manor, was in the midst of a social gathering, complete with orchestra, at her parents' home in Belgrave Square, London, where she espied an old friend of her brother Edward's from ...more
Katherine
”Now men will go content with what we spoiled, Or, discontent, boil blood, and be spilled. They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress. None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress”

I’m a sucker for romances set during the World Wars (I don’t know why), and this book perfectly quenched my thirst.

Elizabeth “Lily” Neville Ashford is a pampered and privileged girl from an aristocratic family. She’s expected to attend her coming out ball, find an eligible (albeit rich), bachelor, g
...more
Tara Chevrestt
As I read this, I was reminded of Dowtown Abbey, most probably because I recently caught season one. But this heroine, Lily, so reminds me of Sybil. Now, remember, I've only watched season one, but I see in this book and in that season of DA, the tiniest little crack between aristocracy and "the working class".

During this time period, the Great War, that crack came to be. Aristocrats such as Lily wanted to make a difference, realized how trivial and silly and spoiled their lives were. Some wante
...more
Shoshanah
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm almost afraid to start this review because it's another that I can't imagine I'll do justice to. Reading this book, I couldn't put it down. I stayed up late to read it, but even more impressive (since I can't ever remember doing this!) I woke up early to keep reading it. That night I dreamed of the book, and that day I couldn't help but relive specific scenes over and over in my head. And don't ask my husband about the lunch we had together where I ignored him because I HAD to keep reading. ...more
Jen Milligan
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an incredibly well written, historically accurate and moving novel. It was wonderful to have a novel created around the female experience during the great war. I loved the idea that the protagonist was an ambulance driver. So refreshing vs being a nurse. The developing love relationship was also moving and I honestly couldn't put the book down; I had to find out what happened. I certainly hope that this is a series, I can't wait for Jennifer Robson's next book. And, for those who love Do ...more
Emmy
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
So good! I loved Lily and Robbie. It all felt so sincere and lovely. Wonderful writing. Just so enjoyable.

Will try to write a real review at some point.
Becky
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
With war looming, Lilly Ashford longs to do her part. The daughter of an earl, she's been raised to accomplish nothing more than land a worthy husband. But that's not the life Lilly wants. She wanted to travel and to learn. Unfortunately Lilly's own hopes have been hampered by her mother's restrictions and her family's expectations. And so she takes matters into her own hands, first learning to drive and then breaking with her family to set off on her own. With the urging of her brother and his ...more
Katie/Doing Dewey
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford has always thought fondly of her bother’s friend Robert since as a child he encouraged her to pursue her dreams. A surprise meeting years later reveals him to still be equally supportive and their mutual attraction is obvious. However, Elizabeth’s mother disapproves of Robert almost as much as she disapproves of Elizabeth’s career aspirations. The war and encouragement from friends give Elizabeth the courage to break with her parents. As an ambulance driver she is ...more
Lyuda
The story is much more than a romance. It's a vivid portrayal of horrors and devastation of war, of courage and determination of people fighting it. It is also a coming of age story, a metamorphosis of a timid girl who once looked as she'd jump at the sight of her own shadow to a strong, confident, brave woman. We first meet this girl, Lady Elizabeth (Lily), at the ball given in honor of her brother Edward and his fiancée. Attending the ball was Edward's best friend Robert Fraser. Lily only met ...more
Anna
Set during WWI, Lilly, Lady Elizabeth, desires independence, education and the freedom to choose the man she marries. Realizing her sheltered, cultured life and the traditions upheld by her family leave her few options. She is infatuated by her brother Edward's best friend Robbie. Robbie, having grown up in the slums in Scotland is considered unsuitable by her parents. Robbie has worked hard and found the means to be educated and trained to become a surgeon. Unbeknownst to her parents, Lilly lea ...more
Michelle
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
EH....It was just OK.
She was a strong character, but the whole thing just seemed "detached" from the whole concept of war. They're at a field hospital, but it's lacking in detail, other than her trying to do her job as an ambulance driver AND get the attention of the doctor she has followed there.
And the man she has literally followed into a war zone (pulled strings and everything to get stationed at his field hospital)... He seems nice enough, but for a man who has risen up from poverty to bec
...more
Linda
What we have here is basically a WWI romance novel, so if you enjoy reading that type of book, this one will please you. For my taste, it was a little too sentimental, but even so, I enjoyed the story about a titled English lady who worked as an ambulance driver on the French front and the modestly born Scotish surgeon who stole her heart. ***1/2
Kate Hilton
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Robson is such a fluid, lovely writer that it is easy to miss the meticulous research in her novels. This is a gripping, suspenseful tale of love in a time of war, and of a culture on the edge of the modern age. Start with this novel and you'll have the pleasure of a sequel!
Nicole
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, loved this book! I love historical fiction and this book just swept me off my feet! It was so smooth. It wasn't always easy to read (the descriptions of a WWI field hospital were difficult) but it flowed and made me want to be a part of their story. Well done!
Phoebe
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lady Elizabeth Ashford (Lilly) lives a sheltered life in the palace of her parents, The Earl and Countess of Cumberland. Her mother wishes to find a suitable match for her to marry and start a family. In doing so, has prevented Lilly from doing what normal young ladies her age are doing; going to university and/or getting jobs. With the start of the war in 1914, Lilly wants nothing more than to join and aid in the war efforts. She disobeys her parents and secures a position of ambulance driver i ...more
Debbie
May 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you like "Downton Abbey" then this is the book for you. Set in England/France during WWI, it has your romance, your high society, your average everyday people, your military, your medical, your war. Everything that "Downton Abbey" had for several shows during one season. This story is about Lady Elizabeth Ashford who wants to travel the world, go to school, have a career, and marry for love. But the restrictions of the early 1900 aristocratic British society and her rigid mom forbid her from ...more
Stephanie
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book! I sat down to start reading it at 7:30 one night and it was so good that I finished it before midnight. It had just the right amount of romance balanced with lots of great historical facts. I even learned a few new terms :). The author did a wonderful job of weaving personal relationships within the historical narrative. I am looking forward to reading more from this author!!
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Jennifer Robson first learned about the Great War from her father, acclaimed historian Stuart Robson, and later served as an official guide at the Canadian National War Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France. A former copy editor, she holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from the University of Oxford. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and young children.
More about Jennifer Robson

Other books in the series

The Great War (3 books)
  • After the War Is Over (The Great War, #2)
  • Moonlight over Paris (The Great War #3)
“Persian insect powder, mixed into a paste with petroleum jelly, had killed the lice in her hair, but then she’d inspected her clothes and found them infested with body lice, likely picked up from one of the walking wounded who” 2 likes
“Now men will go content with what we spoiled, Or, discontent, boil blood, and be spilled. They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress. None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.” 2 likes
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