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The Poppy Wife: A Novel of the Great War

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  95 reviews
In the tradition of Jennifer Robson and Hazel Gaynor, this unforgettable debut novel is a sweeping tale of forbidden love, profound loss, and the startling truth of the broken families left behind in the wake of World War I.

1921. Survivors of the Great War are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many have been reunited wit
ebook, 448 pages
Published October 31st 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Caroline Scott I'm glad to hear that you've now received the book, Barbara - and terribly sorry that it took so very long to get to you! Really hope that you enjoy…moreI'm glad to hear that you've now received the book, Barbara - and terribly sorry that it took so very long to get to you! Really hope that you enjoy the rest of it. With all good wishes, Caroline(less)

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Karren  Sandercock
In 1921. The Great War may have ended, but so many desperate families are still trying to find out what happened to their missing husbands, sons and brothers?
Edie’s beloved husband Francis is still listed as missing, Francis is presumed to have been killed in action in France and Edie still believes that he could possibly still be alive?

Harry, Francis’s brother, was with him the day Francis went missing during the battle for Ypres, like Edie, he’s hopeful Francis is still alive
Moving, powerful, intense.

The legacy of war, in this case the First World War, is a theme vividly and movingly explored in The Photographer of the Lost. There are the traumatic memories of conflict and survivor’s guilt of those who came back, like Harry, the lingering absence of those who didn’t, and the unfinished business of those reported missing in action, like Harry’s brother, Francis. Francis’ wife, Edie, joins many thousands of others hoping desperately for some miracle or, at
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Poignant, insightful, and profoundly moving!

The Poppy Wife is predominantly set in the French countryside during 1921, as well as 1917, and is told from two different perspectives. Edie, a young British wife who after receiving a picture of her missing husband journeys to France to find him, dead or alive, and discover his fate wherever he may be, and Harry, the youngest of three brothers who endeavours to help his sister-in-law and others find some form of closure even while his own
Amy Bruno
Author Caroline Scott has taken my heart and tore it into a million pieces! The Photographer of the Lost is poignant, haunting and memorable and one of my top reads of the year.

One day Edie receives a mysterious letter in the post. There's no note, no explanation, only a photograph of her husband Francis that she has never seen before. Francis has been missing for four years after going MIA in the Great War. The photo confuses her but also revives her hope that he may still be alive.
A beautifully-written and very sad tale that moves between 1916/1917 on the front line during the First World War and 1921, when Harry returns to France to photograph war graves and battle scenes for the mourning relatives at home. He's also on the hunt for his brother Francis, lost in 1917 and presumed dead but without a known grave. Francis's wife Edie is also in France searching for the truth. But it's the people they both meet on their quests that make this novel so special, many of whom hav ...more
Susan Hampson
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is such a powerful and heartbreaking story of the families back in Britain, after WW1 has ended, still living in hope that their missing loved ones may still be alive. The year is 1921, Edie has made a pilgrimage to France searching for her missing, presumed dead, husband Francis after receiving a photo of him in the post. His brother Harry had been the last one to see him alive. Badly wounded he had left him to be taken care of, although he said he was sure he would die. All trace had been ...more
Karen Mace
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't even know where to begin with my thoughts on this book - other than that I adored every single blooming page!! I found it to be such a stunning read that really captured the atmosphere of the time, the grief shared by so many and the limbo that many families were left feeling after the First World War when their loved ones were missing in action. At a time when many were celebrating the War being over, many were left with so many unanswered questions with no word on the missing soldiers ...more
I am really glad I read this book. It is thoroughly haunting and so beautifully written. It spends a lot of time considering what life was like for those left behind at the end of war and it really made me think quite deeply about those left at the end of the war, what they went through and had to come to terms with in order to just exist.

The story looks at two characters in particular the first being Harry a soldier who survived that war and now makes his money going over the battle
Jessica Gilmore
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I think about the period between the wars, I tend to think of Bright Young Things, cocktails and jazz, Bertie Wooster, Jarrow and depression, The Remains of the Day, people moving on in every way from the WW1, in hemlines and music and food and social mores. Golden Age crime and glamorous rail travel, cucumber sandwiches and red lipstick. I don't think about what it must have been like picking up the pieces after four years of devastation. At least, I hadn't until I read The Photographer of ...more
Alex (PaperbackPiano)
I was immediately hooked by the prologue of this one (which you can read on my blog if you are interested!) The writing flows absolutely beautifully and I was completely swept away in the story. The setting was conjured so effortlessly; I could picture every desolate French field and every detail in Edie’s Lancashire home.

The author made me feel for every single character in this book, even those we only meet in passing. I totally felt like I was on this journey with them. And wow, w
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019

Way, way back when I did my English Literature degree I did a module on World War 1 and its aftermath. I read poetry and fiction that encapsulated the era and it fostered a real love of historical fiction in me. Since then I seem to have read a lot of books about the Second World War but appear to have seriously neglected the period in time before then. This has changed however with my latest read, The Photographer of The Lost by Caroline Scott, a beautiful and sweeping novel set in the
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
A story of love, loss, guilt, and hope, The Poppy Wife is a moving and poignant debut from Caroline Scott.

Three years after the end of the Great War, Edie receives a photograph of her husband in the mail. There is no note with the photo, in which Edie thinks Francis looks much older than when she saw him last just months before he was declared missing in action, and only a blurred French postmark provides any clues as to its origin. Unable to ignore the possibility her husband someho
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Poppy Wife is the story of lives torn apart by World War I. Francis, Harry, and Will are British brothers who go to war. Will is killed in action. Francis and Harry are in love with the same woman (although Francis married her). Francis is presumed killed, but his body is not found. Harry returns from war, a broken man. Edie is Francis's wife, left in limbo wondering what happened to him. One day she gets a photograph in the mail that looks like an older version of her husband. She goes off ...more
Lel Budge
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anne-cater
Set in 1921, the Great War is over, but with so many men missing their families are in a kind of limbo, not knowing if they’re, sons, brothers or husbands are alive or dead.

Edie’s husband, Francis is reported missing …could he still be alive somewhere?

Francis’ brother, Harry is a photographer, himself suffering PTSD after his own experiences during the war. He takes photos of soldiers graves, to send back to families to give them a form of closure.

When Edie se
Kathleen Freeman
This book is so unique in its perspective on WWI, it is unlike other books I have read set in this timeframe. For me there was so much to learn and was drawn into Harry and Edie's stories. However I will admit given the issues tackled by this book, it is not lighthearted but it opened my eyes to this time in history. I am so glad I read this book and it was so fitting that I started it on November 11.
Sue Plant
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this haunting book

world war one and the aftermath....a poignant tale of life after the war and how many wives and families embarked on a journey to find their husband graves

harry was a soldier in that war along with his brothers, harry longed to be an artist but after the war he became a photographer of the lost...bringing he hoped release to families by sending them photos of the graves of the heroes he
The Library Lady
Okay, the story here is fascinating. There are many novels set in post WWI England, but this is the first I have read that focuses on families either grieving for their lost sons/brothers/spouses or those unable to grieve because they have had no closure. Good material. Women searching amidst the ruin of post-war France for their loved ones, going from town to town looking at belongings. Women requesting photographs of their loved ones' graves.

However, poor execution. I know that a lot of revie
Susan Collins
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this novel with all its historical details about WWI. I definitely learned about the war as I read. The during and after war descriptions of the French countryside were vivid and specific. Much research by the author was evident; as the reader, i appreciated these details. The plot emphasized the importance of brotherly love both in the family and among the soldiers. I recommend this great historical story!
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is set in 1921 and focuses on Harry who survived the war and is now working as a photographer. He lost one brother, Will, in the war and another, Francis, has been missing, presumed killed for four years. His sister-in-law Edie has never given up hope that Francis might be found, a conviction strengthened by the mysterious arrival of a photograph of Francis. The photo is sent with no letter, no explanation, the only clue to its provenance being a French postmark on the envelope.

The wo
Caroline Kerdouci
Beautifully and sensitively written The Photographer of the Lost is at its heart a love story and of course about rememberance. Poignant, captivating, thought provoking and heartbreaking in equal measure I found myself wrapped up in the lives of brothers in arms, Francis, Will and Harry.
Narrated by Harry, and Francis wife Edie, the timeline switches between past experiences of the brothers during the war and the present day. Harry is the photographer of the lost, his task to find the graves of
Dee Groocock
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harry, Will and Francis are 3 brothers who have all joined up for World War 1 and we follow them through their experiences. Edie is married to Francis and is told that he is missing in action. When she received a photograph of Francis through the post with no other details, she wonders if he is still alive and decides to go to France to look for him. Harry is the only survivor of the brothers and has become a photographer since the war ended, he goes to France to photograph graves for grieving l ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this copy from Netgalley for an honest review.
This is honestly one of the most beautiful and poignant books I've ever read The depictions of life in the trenches for the British soldiers and the bleak ruination of entire towns and villages r,educed to rubble was profound .
The descriptive writing made this book so difficult to put down , I was hooked from the first few pages.
The storyline revolves around a photograph of a missing soldier presumed killed t,hat is sent to Edie wi
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to find the word to review this book because it's haunting, heartbreaking and it's one those story that remains in your mind.
It's about family, relationship, and the suffering of a lot families that had no news of their relatives that went missing during the war.
The writer is a master storyteller and it's amazing how well she describes this less known moment of the afterworld. There's a lot of food for thought and I learnt a lot about this less known part of the European hi
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It drew me in from page one and kept me interested all the way to the end. I had no idea I knew so little about WWI until I read this book. A great book for historical fiction fans.
*Great world building
*Wonderful characters
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A historical fiction book based during World War I, the story jumps between two timelines 5 years apart.
Harry and his two brothers all signed up for service and this follows them through the trenches and tells the story of then and after the trauma of the battlefield.
I read this at a slower pace to savour and visualise how it must have been for these young lads on the frontline. The book envokes all your senses as it describes the feelings, noise and smells. The description are vivid
Mrs Penelope A Cottell
Every now and then you come across a book that moves you so much that you will never forget it and keep it close so that you can read it over again and again and this book is one of those.
We are reminded each year at Armistice about the fallen and the unknown soldiers but do not think of the women who never got their loved ones back.
This book tells the story of women who in the early years after World War 1 went to the battle fields and cemetery’s of France to look for the evidence t
Deborah Carr
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this period in history and read a lot of books set during WW1, but I had never read one about the photographers who were commissioned by widows, or family members to track down where a loved one had been killed, their grave, or the place where they had been when they wrote their last letter, and take a photograph to send to them.

The story is set during 1921 with flashbacks to 1917 and brought the characters and their suffering very much to life. It was a stark reminder that although the
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartbreaking, the never ending pain of a lost love “missing “. This novel explores the gut wrenching pain of thousands of families left after the First World War without answers and without a grave to mark the life of a family member - assumed dead but posted missing. Closure is impossible and answers unreachable.

A perfect read this Remembrance season. Lest we forget
Michelle Olms
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Wartime, lasting heartache, and unconditional love.

I rate this book a 3/5

This was my first Caroline Scott novel and I was hooked from the very first page. The introduction was so strong and immediately made you feel as if you were apart of the story. Caroline Scott delivered a true anecdote of the harsh reality many faced during times of war. The storyline itself was very real and held lots of emotion. You felt the same pain the characters in the novel and individuals ali
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After completing a PhD in History, at the University of Durham, Caroline Scott worked as a researcher in Belgium and France. She has a particular interest in the experience of women during the First World War, in the challenges faced by the returning soldier, and in the development of tourism and pilgrimage in the former conflict zones. Caroline lives in southwest France and is now writing histori ...more

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