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The Poppy Wife: A Novel of the Great War

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  733 ratings  ·  229 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 with their
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 and living
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Caroline Scott’s debut is beautifully written, powerful, and intense. The book takes place primarily in France 1921 with flashbacks to 1917. A story about the aftermath of war, the sorrow and the devastation. The guilt and heartbreak felt by those left behind. This is a piece of history I have not read much about it was sobering to acknowledge the impact of war on both the land and human spirit. It was lovely and heart wrenching to see the hope inspired by the rebuilding of France, all I could ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Poppy Wife is set during and after World War I, the Great War. Edie’s husband, Francis, is missing and presumed dead after the war, and his brother, Harry, is present the day Francis went missing.

Both Edie and Harry believe Francis is still out there, and each seeks to find him. Harry goes by his work, traveling to take pictures of soldiers’ graves, while Edie embarks on her own journey. Their paths are about to intersect, and will they find news of Francis?

The aftermath of a war and its
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher for an honest review as part of an Instagram book tour.

I really hope I can do this book justice and put into words how great this novel really is. Scott does it so well, putting a devastating and tragic time into words. This is a remarkable piece of work.

Here is a story based around the characters Edie and three brothers Francis, Harry and Will. Theirs is a story of love, heartbreak and bravery. Set at the end of the World War One this book puts
Moving, powerful, intense.

The legacy of war, in this case the First World War, is a theme vividly and movingly explored inThe 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 the very
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 experiences
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 ...more
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
*Review to come.
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.

Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Was it so wrong to feel that she had been treated unfairly? That she'd been judged and damned and had not had the right to defend herself?

I stayed up until 1am to finish this novel, set in 1921, following a veteran and a widow of World War I. It had shades of Graham Greene and Alfred Hitchcock, too: a vague menace stalking our main characters, who were trying to find peace in a Europe looking to neatly memorialize what had happened.

I've mostly given up novels set in eitherWorld War I or World
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
Linda Hill
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The end of WW1 is just the beginning of the search for missing loved ones for so many families.

I’ve been sitting here some time wondering how to do justice to Caroline Scott’s wonderful, heartbreaking and unforgettable The Photographer of the Lost. I think I might find it impossible to convey what a beautifully written, moving and profound book it is. I had thought I might have had enough of reading about WW1, but The Photographer of the Lost transcends just about everything else I’ve read about
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 sites to
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 alike felt during this
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
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, was it an
Emma Shaw
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Photographer of the Lost is a soulful, poignant, haunting and immersive debut novel. It is a story of sorrow and hope that highlights a part of history rarely remembered; the thousands who simply vanished.

Brothers Francis, Will and Harry all fought together in France during World War I, but Harry was the only one to return home. He carries the guilt of this every day and has never felt able to settle there again. Instead, he travels taking photographs of graves for the families of those
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 somehow survived
Harry Blythe is a World War I veteran who is the only one of three brothers who returned to England after the war. Harry suffers from what we now refer to as PTSD. In an attempt to help other families who have lost sons or husbands, Harry returns to France to find information about, and take photos of the graves of soldiers who were killed or labeled as missing in action.

Even though Harry has witnessed the death of both of his brothers, his sister in law, Edie, holds out hope that her husband,
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
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 history.
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
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
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to be honest and say that if you had asked me a week ago, I would have probably DNFed this book and I certainly would not have thought that this book could have been worth a 4-star rating. How wrong was I! I had no idea that I actually had one of the most emotional and thought-provoking books I would ever read on my kindle..

I have to thank a train delay and journey for me actually reading this book. Yesterday, I was stuck at Waterloo train station, and I figured that I would have one last
This is probably the most difficult review I’ve written because of how much this book stuck with me and made me think. On several occasions I had to take a break from reading because of the realistic battlefield descriptions or the overwhelming sadness I felt when reading and thinking about the sheer number of people who lost their lives or simply disappeared over the course of World War I, a largely glossed over war in the American public school system. While reading the book, I continuously ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
DNF @48%
2019; William Morrow Paperbacks/HarperCollins

I love the premise of this novel...the aftermath of the Great War. World War I was a war that scarred many soldiers, outside and inside. It was a war that affected more than the soldiers themselves. I found it interesting that Harry was able go to the front and photograph graves for the loved ones still surviving. Harry had been a soldier with his brothers, and was with Francis when he disappeared. Edie doesn't think that her husband, Francis
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 searches for Francis, she meets Harry
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.
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Photographer Of The Lost was a book that I couldn’t wait to read. I knew it would upset me, books like this always do, but I was upset for different reasons than I expected. The story about those who want to find missing service men is one I knew would affect me, families desperate for answers about husbands and sons who they knew deep down had lost their lives and wanted to see their resting place. For proof and some form of closure.

It is something, to my shame, that I had never given much
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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 ...more